Seattle Engagement Photographer

Jessica + Michael's Cabin Creek Lodge Wedding | Washington Wedding Photographer

Jessica + Michael said their “I do’s” at a quaint little lodge in Easton, WA called Cabin Creek Lodge. Some of the amazing features of this venue are multiple sleeping areas, a large game room, a wrap around porch big enough for an outdoor reception, an indoor reception area, a professional kitchen, an outdoor bar area, a fire pit, and a spectacular woodsy ceremony location. It is also situated on a little creek which is a beautiful location for bride and groom portraits or just to wander and explore. This venue really has it all and is woodsy and secluded enough for an intimate wedding but located fairly close to Seattle. Proximity and easy access from SEATAC airport is ideal for those guests flying in from out of state or country… which leads us back to the multiple sleeping areas so that guests can have a room indoors or even throw up a tent outside. No need to block out hotel rooms for your wedding guests when they can stay right at the venue. I’d say that is pretty handy and a huge plus to this venue.

It truly was an honor to capture this sweet couple’s wedding day. The father of the bride is a photographer as well and could have photographed the wedding himself but Jessica wanted him to be present for her big day and not busy taking pictures the whole time. I thought that was really sweet and it was obvious when they did their first look and throughout the day how much these two love each other.

My favorite part of Jessica + Michael’s wedding (besides the groom’s tears when he saw his gorgeous bride walking down the aisle) is when Michael read a letter that Jessica had written him not long after they met. Michael was deployed to Afghanistan and the two were corresponding by letter and fueling their romantic relationship. Michael, knowing that some day he was going to marry this girl, saved and unopened letter that Jessica had written him just for this occasion. He carefully opened the letter and read it’s contents to the crowd, resulting in tears, laughter and a touch of blushing from the bride. Seriously impressed by this sweet gesture! Congratulations Jessica + Michael! You two are so amazing together!

Venue: Cabin Creek Lodge

Florist: Auburn Flower Farm

Cake: Regina Barale

Caterer: Jim Hunter + Associates

HMUA: Mckenzie Galanti

Officiant: Jessica’s Grandfather

Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero / Rebecca Ingram

Wedding Party Dresses: The Wedding Bell

Jewelry/Rings: John Sampieri

Suits/Ties: The Wedding Bell

Check out Jessica + Michael’s engagement session HERE!

 

XOXO,

Sarah

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Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

Naya + Betka's Downtown Seattle Couple's Session | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Naya + Betka’s downtown Seattle couples session was one of the funnest of 2018! Lighthearted and madly in love, these two are free spirits and wild at heart. We had a blast exploring the streets of Seattle; from daydreaming what the inside of the (below) cool house looks like to handstands and dancing in the street. Plus that sunflare, #amiright! I just love how these women’s personalities really show through in the images!

In a few months time (Yay, June! I can’t wait for summer) I’ll be shooting these lovely ladies again, this time for a wedding shoot! I’m super stoked to see the outcome of that and can’t wait to spend the day laughing and having a good time with them again. Stay tuned for more amazing images featuring these two lovebirds! Counting down the days!

Special appearance by Percy the cat. I have no idea what his or her name actually is, that’s the name I gave it.


P.S. I really want a pair of yellow pants now!

P.P.S This is one of my new all time favorite couples photos! Just look at their smiles!! They bring each other so much happiness.

P.P.P.S That’s a lot of post-scripting going on.

 
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“What we find in a soulmate is not something wild to tame, but something wild to run with”. - Robert Brault

"When the evening shadows and the stars appear. And there is no one there to dry your tears. Oh, I hold you for a million years. To make you feel my love." — Adele

"And when you smile. The whole world stops and stares for a while. 'Cause girl you're amazing. Just the way you are." — Bruno Mars

Do you want memorable images of you and your love? What’s holding you back? Call me, let’s sit down for chips and salsa and chat about your ideal session.

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful.

Preparing For Your Engagement (Couples) Session | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Congratulations on your engagement! This is a special time in your life and should be documented. So, before you get too far into wedding planning, take a few moments to start planning your engagement session. Engagement photos are a great way to announce your big news, plus they will be some of your top viewed photos of the year! They deserve a little planning but the fun we’ll have and the amazing photos you’ll get are totally worth it! These will be images you’ll treasure forever. Plus it also gives you a chance to work with us prior to your wedding day so you can get a feel of how we work and it takes a lot of unnecessary stress out of the wedding shots!

Below let’s talk about some of the things you’ll need to consider while planning your engagement session but remember the most important advice is that this should be fun and relaxed! It’s not worth stressing over, save that for the wedding deets!

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  1. Wardrobe

  • Pick out two or three outfits for your session, this will give you some variety in your photos. If you are having a hard time choosing you can always bring an extra outfit or two or get our input on what would photograph the best.

  • Choose soft, muted, neutral colors like whites, browns, sage green, grey, blush or black. Avoid neon colors, crazy or tight patterns or lots of competing colors because they will draw attention away from you and your love. You two are the focus of the photos and we want to avoid competition and instead focus on the intimate and fun moments between you.

  • Select clothing that is comfortable, if you aren’t comfortable then it will show in the photos. That being said, avoid clothes that are too tight and may show underwear lines or unwanted bulges. On the other end of the spectrum, avoid clothes that are baggy or over-sized. They can make you look boxy and add bulk to your shape. Finding proper fitting clothes that you are comfortable in and fit your body style is essential!

  • Consider buying a dress or skirt for your session. You’ll look and feel great in your new outfit and a hand selected dress to match the location you choose can’t be beat. Long flowing skirts photograph well and are really fun in action-based shots!

  • Coordinate—but don’t match. Think coordinating color palettes, but not matchy/matchy. Too much contrast (i.e. you in white, him in black) can overwhelm a picture or be cheesy. Also avoid both wearing patterns as they again may draw viewers eyes away from your moments.

2. Look your best!

  • These photos will be family heirlooms. They’ll be sent off on save-the dates, parents and grandparents will display them and eventually children and grandchildren will look back at them. It’s important to look and feel your best! Although many women are comfortable doing their makeup I suggest hiring a professional to do your hair and makeup because they know how makeup photographs so they can contour to bring out your best features. They also can put together the perfect palette to match your selected outfits and location.

  • Utilize your hair and makeup trials with your wedding vendors. This is a great way to get the most out of those trials and not pay for additional services. Need hair and makeup artists? Check out our Sound South Wedding Vendor Guide.

  • Get your ring cleaned, let that thing sparkle!

See more of Krissy + Mitch’s Lake Cushman Adventure Session - Coming Soon

See more of Krissy + Mitch’s Lake Cushman Adventure Session - Coming Soon

3. Where should we have our photos taken?

  • Are you at home in the city? Adventurers?? Are you drawn to the mountain or water? Is there a location that is significant to you and your fiance? Ask yourself these questions and it will help you find an engagement session location. You two will be the main focus of the photos but having a serene or special backdrop makes for fabulous photos and epic memories from that day.

  • Looking for areas nearby the Olympia area? Look HERE for some idea.

  • Seeking wind in your hair and adventure to feed your soul? Say no more, I’m already sold. For ideas on adventurous locations click HERE.

See more of Emily + Mario’s Gold Creek Pond Engagement Session - Coming Soon

See more of Emily + Mario’s Gold Creek Pond Engagement Session - Coming Soon

5. What time should we plan on begin taking our photos?

  • About 2 hours before sunset is the best time since the light is prettiest. So, for example, if sunset is at 7\8:30pm, we'll usually plan to start around 6:30pm.

  • Two hours or so after sunrise is also a good option for certain locations. The morning light is cool and pretty, there are less people out and about and depending on the season there is a good chance of some pretty fog!

See more of Silu + Aristotle’s Seattle Engagement Session - Coming Soon

See more of Silu + Aristotle’s Seattle Engagement Session - Coming Soon

6. Creativity + trusting your photographer

  • We are very experienced in posing couples and will use our creativity to bring out the best in you! Chat with us before the session and let us know if there are any specific poses that interest you, otherwise sit back, have fun and trust us to capture all the special moments.

See more of Naya + Betka’s downtown Seattle Couples Session - Coming Soon

7. Keep the mood light.

  • Relax! If you are uncomfortable it will show in the photos! Relax and BREATHE!

  • Have fun! Above all, this is the most important. This is an exciting time for you as a couple and we want to capture your personalities and the love that you share.

8. Can we bring pets?

  • Of course! Bring your fur babies and we’ll grab some photos of you and them. I do recommend bringing a friend to help with them while we are shooting the photos without them though. If that isn’t an option bring a long leash so we can tie them to a tree while we are shooting.

See more of Krissy, Mitch + Lily’s Lake Cushman adventure sesion - Coming Soon

See more of Krissy, Mitch + Lily’s Lake Cushman adventure sesion - Coming Soon

9. Think props

  • Is there something special that has lots of significance in your relationship? It could be a blanket, a piece of jewelry, a vintage car or a motorcycle. The more unique to your relationship, the better! Look HERE for more prop ideas.

  • If you choose to bring props, limit it to two or three. We want your awesome props to enhance the photos and add personality, but not take away attention from you two.
     

10. Be on time

  • This is REALLY important! What you may not realize is that photographers are 100% dependent on the sun and specifically plan their sessions for the most flattering and beautiful light. If you show up late you will lose time off your session due to lack of light

  • . There are always things that happen that are out of our control, like traffic and accidents but by planning your route and a backup route ahead of time and leaving early you can minimize the risk of showing up late and losing camera time.

  • Being late is stressful and we want you happy and relaxed!

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

Ashley + Codey's Trinity Tree Farm Wedding | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Ashley + Codey tied the knot on a beautiful but typical Pacific Northwest fall day in September. Although there was the occasional sprinkle, the rain held off during the ceremony and during all the pictures! Thank you Mother Nature, we appreciate you!

The day started off pretty relaxed as Ashley and Codey each got ready with their closest friends and family. Fun toasts, wedding party presents and lots of laughter were highlights that morning, along with a game or two of pool, of course. I’m fairly certain that Codey didn’t stop smiling all day! Ashley is stunning to begin with but also Sorrida Salon did such an amazing job on her hair and make-up that I walked right by her! Ashley, you are gorgeous and looked like you belonged in a high-end bridal magazine!

Let’s take a moment to talk about the venue too, The Lodge at Trinity Tree Farm. What a GORGEOUS venue!!! I loved that it was clean, modern, well-lit, and convenient. The layout is great and there are excellent spots for formal photos on site as well. One of my favorite parts of the venue is that it is a Christmas tree farm…… so trees! The perfectly aligned rows of trees and the quaint gravel driveway that winds through the trees are excellent for beautiful bride and groom photos (and my OCD). Let’s be real with such a gorgeous couple and such an amazing location I could have spent hours exploring and taking pictures of them in the trees! A Pacific Northwest wedding photographer’s dream! Getting Married at Trinity Tree Farm?? Hiiiiiire me, pleeeease and let’s go play in the trees!

Wedding Planner / Day of Coordinator: Colleen Stanton

Florist: Down to Earth Flowers

Cake/Desserts: Mike’s Amazing Cakes

DJ/Band: DJ Daron

Hair + Makeup: Sorrida Salon

Wedding Dress: Made With Love (Stevie)

Wedding Party's Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu

Shoes: Badgley Mischka

Jewelry/Rings: Robbins Brothers’

Suits + Ties: The Black Tux (Hugo Boss)

Catering: The Tall Chef

Venue: Trinity Tree Farm

Second Shooter: Alexis Rae Photography

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

Veronica + Joseph Tumwater Engagement Session | Olympia Wedding Photographer

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

Kate + Taylor's Discovery Park Engagement | Seattle Wedding Photographer

Kate + Taylor are getting married! 

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

Jade's Bridal Session | Olympia Wedding Photographer

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

Lerae + Jordan's Tolmie State Park Engagement | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Lerae, Jordan and I met up on a beautiful Fall day for these fun and sunny engagement photos. Fast forward several months, a change of calendar year, three seasons and many many many hours of planning and here we sit 9 days until their wedding! NINE! We have finally hit single digits! Man, it's crazy how fast time has flown by!

Lerae + Jordan wanted an area close to Olympia that showed the greens of the Pacific Northwest but also had water and a variety of areas to shoot. Tolmie State Park makes for great scenery for portraits and is one of my favorite locations in the area! Beyond the beach, forest and fun wooden bridge there are also tons of trails to explore with a variety of dark green, PNWesty scenery. For other options near Olympia check out '10 Great Portrait Locations Near Olympia'.

As well as a great location, I love the tones that Lerae + Jordan chose for their wardrobe. The soft neutral tones and natural colors were perfect for both the wood and the beach and they were both comfortable and relaxed in the outfits they chose. Outfit selection is critical for good portraits and colors, patterns and fit can really change the mood and outcome of the images. For more tips on wardrobe selection see 'Preparing For Your Portrait Session'.

I don't typically encourage bringing a ton of props to portraits session because I prefer to focus on people and their interactions with each other rather than items, but a few per session can add some variety and sweet, personalized little touches. Lerae + Jordan chose to bring a cute little sign with a significant phrase on it, 'Love you More...', and a blanket, which fit great into their session! Need ideas for a prop or two to bring to your session? Check out 'Fun Prop Ideas for Your Portrait Session'.

Lerae + Jordan's session was not only amazing but it was also so much fun! I LOVE to capture 'love' and the way these two interact it is undeiable how much they love each other! Their sweet little cuddles, constant giggles and the way Jordan so sweetly looked at and attended to Lerae was really heart-warming. I'm counting down the days until this sweet couples says 'I do!'

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful

Amy + Jimmy's Hall at Fauntleroy Wedding | Seattle Wedding Photographer

Amy + Jimmy picked the perfect day to marry! March in the Pacific Northwest is usually pretty soggy and drab but with a strike of luck the day was not only full of laughter, love, friends and family but it was also full of sunshine and warmth. The perfect start to a lifetime together!

One thing I liked about Amy + Jimmy's wedding is that they kept it simple and made it about what was most important to them.... people. It was fun to follow them throughout the day as they interacted with their friends and family. They weighed out tradition and people on a scale and were able to put together an amazing balance, and experience for their friends and loved ones. Many times I see brides indifferent about traditions or doing them because ... well, because it's tradition. I am definitely a fan of the new wedding trend of setting tradition aside and doing what works best for the bride, groom and their guests. Hooray!

There is a new twist on an old tradition that I do really like though.... first look with the bride and her dad! I love when my brides and grooms do a first look, or even get ready together as it adds an emotional/unique aspect to the wedding (and makes family photos before the ceremony possible!) There is just something so special about the bond between a father and daughter, I always get teary eyed during these first looks! Of course I was raised by a (simply amazing) single dad and we are still very close, so that could be why I love first looks with brides and their dads SO much! Scroll down to see the first look between Amy and her dad, it's pretty darn cute!! Side Note: .... John Goodman?!?!

Overall, Amy + Jimmy's wedding at, The Hall at Fauntleroy in Seattle was pretty darn amazing! Congrats to Amy + Jimmy on their nuptials, may you always be surrounded by as much love and support as I witnessed on your wedding day!

XOXO,

Sarah

Like what you see? To see more please like Sarah Gonia Photography's Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and check out our Pinterest page!

Contact me today and lets document all those little moments that make life beautiful