Event

Olympia Arts Walk 2017

In April, my family and I attended the Arts Walk 2017 in downtown Olympia, Washington. Arts walk is a two day festival that celebrates local artists - of all different crafts. From Painting to little wooden bird houses, sewn masterpieces and hand crafted statues there was an endless variety of beautiful, locally crafted Art. There were also performers filling the streets; some of my favorite being the children jugglers, fire dancers, break dancers and musicians. Local businesses aided in the spirit of the festival by displaying the Art of local Artists, from preschool students to accomplished Artists alike.

The streets were closed to traffic for the festivities and there were so many people it was hard to find room to walk. Looking all around there were smiles on the faces that whizzed passed me, children danced, laughed and chased bubbles. Looking up I saw balloons, a beautiful blue sky - and some rain. Even looking down was festive as the streets where covered in detailed chalk drawings, names of children and lovers and inspirational quotes.

The Luminary Procession is held the first night of Arts Walk and boasts some elaborate and visually stunning lanterns -many homemade. From dinosaurs to bugs to simple shapes, a parade of beautifully lit works of art passes through the streets of the Olympia. What a great way to close out the first day of Arts Walk.

A unique and popular part of Arts Walk is the Procession of the Species, which is a parade where it's participants dress up in detailed costumes of all species. It is intended to celebrate our connection with the earth and all living things. More immediately it provides joy and entertainment for all that witness it's magnificence. The Procession of the Species in Olympia has very minimal funding and depends on donations to keep it running. Please consider donating (information on donating HERE.)

The experience was one of a kind, chocked full of culture, spice and life. A truly remarkable and eye-opening experience that we will now be adding to our calendar every year.

Some of my images from Arts Walk and the Procession of the Species were featured on Thurston Talk's website. See the article HERE.

Arts Walk is presented by the City of Olympia Arts Commission and the Parks, Arts & Recreation department with

support provided by the local business community.

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

Armin + Tailor's ROMANTIC Seattle Surprise Proposal | Seattle Wedding Photographer

Swooooooooooooooooooooooon! In December, Armin went full out to surprise his then girlfriend, Tailor, with this fairy tale worthy proposal.

Tailor had been out with her best friend for a fun girls day but when they arrived back at her friends house, Tailor had a romantic surprise waiting for her. A tantalizing trail of red rose petals, lined with the warm glow of candles lead Tailor up a set of stairs to a glowing arbor where her boyfriend, Armin, anxiously waited. The next moments were a medley of tears and heart felt words that were passionately followed by kisses - SHE SAID YES!

As a wedding photographer it was so neat to see the moments that lead to couples contacting me to photograph their weddings! All the preparation, planning, organizing, setting up - the waiting, the anxious laughter and thoughtful gazes. Friends and family coming together to pull off an epic surprise. Proposals, being where a new chapter begins, are such an intimate and special part of a couples story. Each engagement is unique, personalized to the couples love story and worth documenting no matter the circumstances! I love story telling and if I could follow each couple from proposal to wedding, and beyond... my heart, and my camera, would be pretty darn happy.

So back to my story, Tailor + Armin are engaged!! Surrounded by their closest friends and family they celebrated their big news. Lots of wedding and life planning are in their future but together they will build a life and become a family. This is how their story begins...

If you are planning to propose to your Cuddly Wumpkins, you may have a ring and a general plan in mind but don't forget one HUGE factor. Me! Having a photographer present to capture your proposal is a great way to document the start of "the rest of your life" together. The expression on her face, the tears that fall -smeared makeup and all- the love you have for each other in that moment will all become solidified in time. A true candid and heartfelt moment that is worthy to remember over and over and pass on to generations to come.

Tailor + Armin's story starts here, but where does yours start?

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

 

Check out the below wedding blogs and resources!

Goofyfoot Pretzels

In December I photographed a fun Self-Love inspired Lularoe event with my good friends Kristin. One of her friends brought these amazing pretzels for us to snack on!!! GoofyFoot Brand Pretzels are delicious so we decided to take some fun pictures with them. I love that Gooftyfoot is ran by a local mom in Lacey, WA!! Supporting small local businesses, just like mine, is definitely important to me. That being said, try these pretzels!!! Just don't bring them around my kids or you won't get any, they are that good!

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

Kristin's Lularoe's Self-Love Experience #2 | Olympia Event Photography

Kristin's Lularoe Self-Love Experience went so well the first time that she decided to make it a monthly thing!!! How great is that! I just love her sunshine-y personality and how she invests time in others and strives to make them more confident in themselves and see their true beauty! Kristin, you're a saint!

December's event was on a rainy day, but that didn't stop us from taking some fun photos to celebrate the get together. Some of the attendees came to the first event, but most were there for the first time. The ladies (and one gentleman) had a blast setting up outfits for each other to try on and they even had some fun Christmas props to throw in there!

One thing that I find very interesting about Lularoe is that it's so versatile. One woman will put together an outfit and rock it and yet another could take the same pieces and rock it in a different configuration. Very cool and fun and flattering! And there are so many patterns to choose from!!

We even enjoyed some Starbucks hot chocolate in their festive red cups and some Goofyfoot Brand Pretzels, which are absolutely amazing BTW! They are made by a local Lacey, Washington Mom! Stay tuned for a blog about them!

Another successful event focusing on loving yourself and making new friends! Keep it up Kristin! Next one is planned for February! If you'd like to participate please message Kristin HERE or visit her group HERE.

To read about Kristin's Lularoe Self-Love Experience test run 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

Crime Stoppers Reindeer Run 2016 | Olympia Event Photography

In November I was approached by my friend, Julie Major, to volunteer my time to a fundraising 5k put on by Crime Stoppers, and I gladly agreed! Not only am I a runner (on a post-babies hiatus haha) but I am also a strong supporter of law enforcement and maintaining a safe and peaceful community to raise my children. Perfect fit for me!

The 5k started bright and early at the Olympia Hands on Children Museum and set up was in full swing when I arrived. Staff and volunteers from the HOCM and Crime Stoppers of Thurston County were working through the cold to prepare the race and event areas. The other supporters for the event included DJ Pooji, Batdorf & Bronson, Mark Brown, Club Oly Road Runners, LOTT, Allwest Moving & Storage, Major & Company, Yelm Jewelry & Loan, Propel Insurance, Washington Performing Arts Center, Oly Chivers, Tumwater Police Department, Yelm Police Department, City of Olympia Police Department, Lacey Police Department, Washington State Patrol, Thurston County Sheriff's Department, Olympia Fire Department, Lularoe Sunshine Kristen and OntheRunEvents.com. <---- Check them all out because they ROCK!!!

I had a blast photographing this event and it was great to see how many people participated! -238 PEOPLE FINISHED THE RUN! Not including all those who did the 1 Mile Candy Cane run and the countless personnel who gave their time for this event. Plus SANTA!!!! Thanks Santa and thank you to Olympia Fire Department for bringing your awesome vehicle for Santa.

Special Thanks to Brendan Hay for picking up my second camera and capturing tons of awesome action shots. You rock buddy, even if you shoot Sony ;)

Below are some photos from the event and some actual race photos. To see a full gallery or download images please click HERE.

Click HERE to see the race results!!!

Contact Crime Stoppers to see how you can donate or volunteer your time.

Also if you see any of our hard working law enforcement agents out and about take a second to thank them for all that they do. They work hard to keep us all safe. THANK YOU from Sarah Gonia Photography!

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

Kristin's Lularoe Self-Love Experience - Test Run | Olympia Event Photography

A few months ago, my friend Kristin - who sells Lularoe - approached me with an idea she had for some gatherings she might need my services for. Her idea was to put together some events with her Lularoe business that would focus of women's self-confidence and friendship instead of sales. As an Olympia Event Photographer I was curious and intrigued, as a woman with self-image issues I was thrilled!

I arrived early and helped Kristin put together a few "sample" outfits to get things started. Kristin had all her inventory out for the ladies to try on and some yummy snacks that kept my tummy happy - and fueled a month long addiction to candy cane Hershey Kisses. The focus of the get together was to have fun and find something the women were comfortable in and loved. Seven women, with all different body types came together and had a blast picking out outfits for themselves and each other! We laughed, joked, smiled and made neighbors stare while we took pictures on the side walk.... HAHA.

Kristin also had her long time friend, Julie, come show off her Origami Owl inventory. Julie is super sweet and has some great jewelry including a really amazing aromatherapy necklace which I am now a proud owner of!! To contact Julie about her amazing inventory click HERE.

Not only was the event a success but what a great concept!!! When I asked Kristin why she decided to put on such an amazing event, this was her response "Because I struggle with my own self image, I was fairly certain I wasn't alone in this thinking. I want people to put on the clothes, maybe in a way they haven't tried before. The clothes are comfortable, but I want women to feel comfortable not only in the clothes, but in their own skin. My hope was that you could capture in each of them what they don't see, but what the rest of us do see. "

I saw it, Kristin, I saw it!!! Each one of your girls are absolutely gorgeous! What an amazing experience from the brain and heart of an amazing woman. Kristin, you are one of the most beautiful, fun and caring people I know. Don't stop loving others - you see the beauty in everyone, keep showing them. I'm so glad you decided to make this a monthly event!

To contact Kristin or join her for one of her monthly self-love experiences click HERE or visit her business page HERE.

Meet Kristin! The mastermind behind the Lularoe Self-Love experience. Isn't she gorgeous!

Meet Kristin! The mastermind behind the Lularoe Self-Love experience. Isn't she gorgeous!

 

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

Keep Calm and Chive-O-Ween On!

Two weekends ago I photographed a fundraising event, Chive-o-ween, for Oly Chivers and I had a blast!!! This wild crowd took over O'Blarney's Irish Pub in Olympia to "Party with a Purpose" and together with a few other Washington Chive Chapters raised over $7000 for Operation Supply Drop AND collected costumes for a local Boys and Girls Club! For those of you who aren't familiar with theCHIVE I recommend checking them out! Contact Oly Chivers if you want to get involved or see how you can help.

Also take a minute to check out The Chive's link, FIVE of our photos made it including the cover photo <3

Chive on!

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

T.C.C. Global Discovery Program Farewell Celebration

On August 11th, 2016 I drove from Olympia to Tacoma Community College to photograph a Farewell Celebration for the students from the University of Kitakyushu (UKK in Kitakyushu-City, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan.) Tacoma and Kitakyushu are sister cities and every six months approximately 25 students come to study at TCC for 2 quarters. The students attend classes at TCC and live with local host families so that they get a truly immersed and authentic experience. Making new friends, improving English speaking skills and to be happy were some of the goals these students arrived with. Now, in these final days I captured friendly encounters, comfortable conversations in English and so many smiles. The positive impact of their time here in Washington was very real and very apparent. Side by side with the members of their host families, fellow students, student mentors and TCC Global program staff these students celebrated their experience and prepared themselves for their futures after returning home. I saw many tears but more importantly I saw love and laughter, in their six months here the students formed so many special bonds, and thanks to social media, they will never be broken.

This experience was very familiar for me and seeing the students emotions and interactions with their host families brought back a flood of memories. In summer of 1999, at age 16, I myself embarked on a journey of a lifetime and traveled to the city of Catamarca, Argentina. As an exchange student, I spent one year living in another culture, speaking a different language and interacting with people from all over the world. Memories from this year are, to this day, some of my most coveted. I learned so much from my experience and I see study abroad as such a powerful tool for learning tolerance, acceptance and independence.

Just for fun....

I dream that, someday, my children will become 3rd generation (yes, I said third!) exchange students. Maybe even to Kitakyushu...

This was the 16th cohort and 2016-2017 will be the 9th year for this fantastic and oh-so vital program. I look forward to capturing more events for the TCC Global Program.

For more information and to follow along on the student's adventures check out TCC Global Discovery Program's Facebook -------> https://www.facebook.com/tacomaccinternational/?hc_ref=SEARCH&fref=nf

 

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