Tacoma Elopement Photographer

Adventure Portrait Sessions: What They Are and Why You NEED One! | Olympia Wedding Photographer

What is an adventure portrait Session?

An adventure portrait session is a great way to capture images of you and your babe while exploring the great Pacific Northwest. An adventure session throws traditional portrait locations to the wind in exchange for ones that are a bit more wild, natural and epic. They tend to be way more fun… and maybe a bit muddier!

Who is an adventure portrait session for?

Nature lovers, free-spirits and the adventurous at heart. If a bit of a drive or a hike doesn’t scare you then an adventure portrait session is for you! While adventure session are perfect for lovers and elopements, they are also great for senior sessions, bridal sessions and boudoir. So hike up your skirt and let’s go!

How much does an adventure session cost?

Price depends on the location you select as well as time needed for the adventure, see pricing HERE.

Things to consider when planning an adventure portrait session.

  • Time - How long will it take to drive to your desired location? If there is a hike, how long will it take?

  • Location - What sort of background appeals to you? Woods, mountains, water? All of them?? Maybe there is a place that has special memories for you?

  • When to schedule - This depends on your location…. places like Mt. Rainier close when there is snow but others like Gold Creek Pond are amazing in the winter! Also consider fall as a great time to book due to the auburn foliage, it’s pretty magical! Winter session can be foggy, snowy and majestic but there is a higher chance of rain…be prepared to shoot in the rain or reschedule.

  • Clothing - Select two or three outfits that don’t clash with the scenery. After all the view is why we are there! Think simple patterns, solid colors and fun hats. Bring or wear sensible shoes. Bring towels and a change of clothes in case you get wet.

  • Props - Best to keep it basic out in the wilderness but a cute little picnic, a bottle of champagne or a cozy blanket can all be great additions to your session.

  • Snacks- Exploring is hard work and we may build up an appetite! Bring plenty of food and water for our adventure.

Where are some great locations to do an adventure portrait session?

The possibilities are endless!

Below are just a few localish locations for an adventure portrait session. If you have another idea I'd love to go explore with you! I'm open to non-local adventure too, message me and let's start exploring!

Ask about session discounts on my bucket list/favorite locations!

  • Ruby Beach

  • Rattlesnake Ledge

  • Cannon Beach

  • Leavenworth

Mt. Rainier

See more of Mt. Rainier


Lake Cushman

See More Lake Cushman


Rattlesnake Lake

See more of Rattlesnake Lake


Franklin Falls

See more of Franklin Falls


Gold Creek Pond


Deception Pass

See more of Deception Pass


Cannon Beach

See more of Cannon Beach


Manchester State Park


See more of Manchester State Park

Vantage

See more of Vantage, WA

Group Senior Shoot

For portrait location ideas closer to Olympia check out 10 Great Portrait Locations Near Olympia

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

Kenzi's Vintage Glam Bridal Portraits | 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

Kenzi + Daniel's Lake St. Clair Elopement | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Little elopements in unique venues, houses or Airbnb’s are TOTALLY a thing, and an amazing thing at that, #givemealltheelopements! Intimate, private and sweet, elopements take the pressure away from the planning, coordinating and money that goes into a big wedding. Brides and grooms can focus on each other and the people and things that are most important to them rather than trying to focus on all the events that happen on a big wedding day. Elopements are perfect for the sweet, adventurous couples that aren’t tied to tradition and pleasing others.

Planning and elopement is much easier than a big wedding as well…. venue, photographer, officiant, dress, suit, flowers and snacks! The only thing to do after that is sit back, get married and have a blast. Oh and of course print a few cards to send off to loved ones to announce your elopement!

Elopements can also be done in adventurous locations, so if there is a location that is sentimental to you and your boo then that could be a good option! See more adventurous elopement ideas HERE.

Kenzi + Daniel eloped at a private residence at Lake Saint Clair in Olympia, Washington. This custom built house added such personality to their day. I loved that they skipped tradition once more and got ready together rather than separate. The photos of Daniel zipping up Kenzi’s dress and Kenzi tying Daniel’s tie are priceless! Sweet moments, unconditional love and yummy treats, my kind of day!

See Kenzi + Daniel's PNWesty (I totally need to patent that word!) engagement session HERE.

Florist: The Amazing Heidi from A Moment in Time Floral Design

Make-up: Sable of Hello There, Lovely

Venue: Private Residence/ Lake St. Clair

Macrons: Macarons by Mel

Announcement: Sandpaper

Dress: Lulus

Vendors, you did amazing putting together all the little details that made this day so memorable!

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

Krysta + Kyle's Dupont Couples Session | Olympia Wedding Photographer

XOXO,

Sarah

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

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

Kailey + Gary's Gold Creek Pond Vow Renewal | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Kailey + Gary were originally married 10 years ago in a small informal ceremony. They were young and in love and ready to take on the world together - which took precedent to the wedding ceremony of their dreams. A decade later, they got to live their dream and renewal their marriage vows surrounded by the mountains and forest of Washington State.

Gary serves in the U.S. Army and is currently stationed in Texas, but Kailey + Gary knew that they wanted to renew their vows near JBLM, since they were originally married here and it holds a special place in their hearts. Thanks to a referral from a mutual friend (Erika, you're the best <3), this beautiful couple contacted me and we begin to piece together this stunning vow renewal. After several location scouting trips and much back and forth correspondence we decided on Gold Creek Pond (for obvious reasons.) As months passed, Kailey found the perfect dress, Hair and Makeup was booked with the lovely Bethany Yackel Beauty, vows of love and support were written and plane tickets were purchased. Kailey, Gary, their son and Kailey's parents flew from Texas to Washington with a vow renewal and then much needed vacation on their minds. Reports of rain lingered on the weather report and we all experienced a roller coaster ride of nerves and emotions due to it. Finally, the day before the vow renewal, Mother Nature decided on an accurate forecast and warmth and sun were waiting for us when we arrived at Gold Creek Pond.

Talk about the perfect combination of PNWesty (I need to copyright this word) scenery + amazing couple + perfect weather + a twist of adventure and storytelling. I heart this more than words can express.

Congrats to Kailey + Gary on your 10 year vow renewal! I'm so grateful you chose me to document it.

Hair and Makeup:  Bethany Yackel Beauty

Can you picture you and your love in these images? If you're considering an intimate wedding ceremony, vow renewal or elopement contact me today to start planning!

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

Rachel + Jason's Courthouse Wedding | Tacoma Wedding Photographer

When you want a low key wedding but you still want fun and creative wedding photos!

Rachel + Jason were a blast to work with and I loved their sense of humors. 

Congrats, lovebirds!

Venue: Tacoma Municipal Courthouse

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

Travia's Ft. Steilacoom Bridal Session | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Oh briiiiiiiiiiiiides! I know I post lots of these bridal sessions, but I just LOVE doing them! Such a great way to get some beautiful images of yourself and by doing your session on a day other than your wedding day you'll be more relaxed and it won't be taking away time you could be spending with your guests.

 

 

“Work on being in love with the person in the mirror who has been through so much but is till standing.”

“Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.” – Anna Taylor

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”

“Don’t ever allow yourself to forget how incredibly special you are, even for a single second. Without you, the world would not be as magnificent. Let yourself remember to love again, starting with you loving you.”

“You, yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” “If you have the ability to love, love yourself first.” “Demonstrate love by giving it, unconditionally, to yourself. And as you do, you will attract others into your life who will love you without conditions.

Bouquet by A Moment in Time Floral Design

Check out more beautiful bridal sessions below!! Also if you are in need of hair, makeup or florals for your bridal session click HERE.

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

Kenzi + Daniel's Lake Cushman Engagement Session | Olympia Wedding Photographer

In search of adventure and some epic beautiful scenery Kenzi, Daniel and I chose Lake Cushman as the destination for their adventurous couples session. We also threw around a few other ideas for beautiful "PNWesty" locations but in the end this quaint little lake, full of serenity and character, really drew us in and made the decision for us.  

When I first heard that rain was forecasted for our portrait session day I nearly cried! We had so carefully selected that day, working around everyone's schedules, and spent time determining location, wardrobe and snacks! I was sad but determined to shoot no matter the weather. Luckily, Kenzi + Daniel are adventurous souls and were fully on board. Instead of rain we ran into the most delicious weather! A layer of white cotton candy fog hung over the lake and mingled in the trees. To my delight it was was the most perfect weather to help set the mood for this romantic couples session. 

The day of the shoot was relaxing, exciting and so much fun! We met in the afternoon and headed out to Lake Cushman together so we could explore and find these amazing places. We definitely had a full car with two car seats (sans babies), three adults, a picnic basket, food, 3+ blankets, multiple changes of clothes, camera gear, a guitar and some light hearted chatter. Kenzi + Daniel are so easy going though, it was just as fun getting to know them as it was exploring. 

This sweet couple has been together for five years and they have three amazing children. They enjoy spending time with family and friends, being outdoors and of course they love being in front of the camera.... which is fantastic because their connection is unreal and they are so fun to work with! Anytime, friends! I look forward to when we meet again. 

Make-up: Ronny Marcella

Moon/Moonstone Jewelry: Amber Corp

XOXO,

Sarah

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

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

Lindsay + Nick Downtown Olympia Engagement | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Seventeen.

Seventeen is the number of days until these two lovies exchange 'I do's.'

When Lindsay and I first talked about location for her and Nick's downtown Olympia engagement session I was thinking Percival Landing and I was stoked! I've shot there multiple times and it's always a lot of fun and there are so many places to wander and get variety. Then she suggested a little marina and I got even MORE excited! Boats, beach and a new location... yes please!!

Although the weather report threatened rain, the only thing we got was some serious wind and some magnificent sun! We arrived a bit before golden hour so we could walk around and scout and eventually we wandered down to a little beach with sun gleaming through the pillars that held up a cute little building and I quickly 'b-lined' straight there! I couldn't believe how beautiful the light was streaming in behind them! It was the perfect fiery glow. It was a fully luminous and magical view! After the beach we took a few photos with their wild but loving fur-babies and then we ventured down to the docks where the light was softer and cooler. We had a beautiful view of the sound and all the clean white boats that lined the docs! Definitely a beautiful location for engagement photos!

Seventeen.

Seventeen days until Lindsay + Nick's beautiful PNW wedding... in which there will be an EPIC waterfall. If you know me then you how much I love waterfalls! *jumps up and down like a giggling maniac, clapping hands and cheering*

Seventeen and counting down.

Side Note: To capture such amazing love stories, like Lindsay + Nick, is truly what makes being a PNW wedding photographer such an amazing job.... well, let's be real - love stories AND waterfalls.

Side Side Note:... who is coming back with me to shoot at this dock / beach again??? I am just in love with this light and location!

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

Alex + Cody's Ft. Steilacoom Couples Session | Tacoma Wedding Photographer

A little rain.

A little sun.

Gorgeous flowering trees and lots of fun.

Oh, springtime - I do love you because it means that summer is coming and you bring color and beauty to Washington; but thanks to your unpredictability I don't miss you until at least mid-winter.

Washington weather is 80% of why I carry a clear umbrella (or two) in my car at all times! Fifteen percent is because they are so darn cute in portraits and the remaining 5% is in case a giant spider tries to eat us... or more specifically me, sorry clients. Don't get me wrong, I know they are good be cause they eat obnoxious pests like mosquitoes.... small birds and probably a baby pterodactyl if one flew by but they are just way too big around here!

I was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska and while we have a handful of spider varieties around none of them rival the chihuahua-sized ones that live in this wild and wet state. It didn't take me long to wonder if I was in Washington or Australia when I first moved here! Ok, seriously they aren't that bad.... although I have been known to run lighting speed through the house to the shower while simultaneously stripping down to rid myself of any eight-legged 'friends' that may be hitchhiking after I walked into a web.... OK fine, they aren't so bad, as long as they don't touch me. Ever. Especially not my face, hair, neck, torso, arms, legs or feet. Or clothes.

Ok, let's get back to Alex + Cody after that creepy jaywalk. As you can see we had some crazy up and down weather that day but we totally rolled with it and had so much fun exploring Ft. Steilacoom Park in Tacoma! Well... I may like Washington springs more than I initially let on! 

 

P.S. When session are filled with this much love, smiles and laughter I always leave with a full heart. Never let that love fade or the laughter dissipate. Those are two things that truly make life worth living. 

XOXO,

Sarah

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

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

Ingrid + Dan's Manchester State Park Engagement | Olympia Wedding Photographer

Ingrid + Dan hired me to be their wedding photographer and I tell you what, I'm pretty darn excited about it! Just look how stinkin' cute they are! They are so in love, fun-loving and sweet - It was cute to see them laugh and joke and interact with each other!! Can't wait to capture these two's Seattle wedding! Countdown 30 days!

There's is another thing I'm really excited about and it's Manchester State park in Port Orchard, WA. A gorgeous rocky beach, evergreen trees, paths to explore and.... some awesome abandoned buildings! Perk alert: all this is near a parking lot so this is a great location for those with mobility issues!

Ingrid + Dan had a free hotel stay and they decided to use it near Port Orchard, when we started looking for location ideas Ingrid sent me a few and instantly Manchester State Park stood out to me.  After a few minutes of research I was even more convinced, so glad we decided on it! Manchester State Park is an hour away from where I live in Olympia which means I had to leave my house by 7:00 am to make our 8:00 am session. (For those of you who know me well) that is EARLY for me and I've always been partial to evenings since 'golden hour' has some amazing light but I ended up loving the beautiful, cool morning light - morning photos session maybe totally be my new thing..... maybe.

Awesome couple, an adventurous new location, abandoned buildings, a beach, fun and smiles and pretty morning light - what a perfect combination!

 

“I could make you happy, make your dreams come true. Nothing that I wouldn’t do.

Go to the ends of the earth for you to make you feel my love.” ~Bob Dylan

 

You’re my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I’m winning
'Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you
-John Legend

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

Winnifred + Michael's Vintage Cherry Blossom Elopement | Olympia Wedding Photographer

One of my favorite times of the year is spring. Why do you ask?? Well, there are quite a few reasons... the birds start singing, flowers and plants start to bloom, the sun starts to make a presence..... blah blah blah. Really it just comes down to the Cherry Blossoms blooming! No joke. I love all the happy spring vibes but I'm totally and utterly obsessed with the gorgeous pink blossoms that pop up everywhere around Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle and the majority of the PNW. There are some places, like the University of Washington, that are especially gorgeous and thus very popular for photo shoots while the trees are blooming. There are also some hidden little gems like this lovely driveway lined with trees!!

A perfect way to celebrate the beauty that nature so graciously grants us, like these phenomenal blooms (or the breathtaking mountains of the PNW etc) is to document your love in that absolutely pristine scenery.  Not only do you get some unique and gorgeous portraits of you and your love, but every time you see the blossoms you'll think back to those sweet little moments and be vividly reminded of how strong and perfect your love was at that moment. 

There are not many things that rival the beauty and perfection of nature, but unconditional love, and the raw connection shared between lovers is on that list. Winnifred (Winni) + Michael definitely share that connection, it was really fun to watch them laugh, cuddle and share secret smiles throughout their day. Also, Winni's wedding dress is vintage and was originally worn by a close friend's grandma on her wedding day. How cool is that to see it make a comeback and in such a special way! It's was a perfect addition for the vintage look that Winni envisioned!

Also, these beautiful trees are quite the nice reminder that the rain will soon slow and the summer sun will dry up the Pacific Northwest and give us a much needed break from the soggy Washington winter. So that's amazing!! If you are as in love with these beautiful trees as I am, keep your eyes peeled in early spring and you're sure to find a sweet little spot for some amazing photos! Message me and let's start planning out your vision!

Flowers by A Moment in Time Floral Design

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