Posts in Favorite Seattle Locations
The Value of Consistency in Family Photos | Seattle Family Studio Photography

I often get emails from clients concerned about the fact that I shoot in the studio. Their worry is that if they come in to the same location year after year, their photos will all look the same. Wouldn’t it be better to visit a new location each year for variety?

Now, I know that I’m a little biased. I LOVE studio photography! But I also think there are real benefits to having studio portraits done every year.

For one, it’s a great way to see and compare the changes in your children.

In a studio, there are no distractions. The focus is just on your kids and your family and the simple backdrop I use in the studio allows them to be the focus, not the location.

I also love the consistency! My goal is to always produce one or two images at each session that will be printed and hung on a wall. A wall display of studio images throughout the years is beautiful to me. Clean and timeless!

And as for the concern that your photos will all look the same, remember that your kids are constantly growing. Each time you come into the studio they will be in a differently place in their lives. So while you will have consistency in the style of your images, your photos will never look the same because your family won’t look the same. Each year there is something new to capture.

So don’t worry. If you, like me, love the timeless look of studio photography, just go with it! And image what a great collection of family photos you will have to share with your kids when they grow up! I personally can’t think of anything better!

2016 family session:


2017 family session:


2018 family session:

Preserve and Gather | Seattle Family Photography | Coffee with Friends

Preserve and Gather is the most adorable cafe that recently opened up just a block down the street from my studio!

My friend Lily and I have been stalking them on line for ages... and so, when they announced on their Instagram page that they had open, we made a plan to meet there the next morning.

First of all, the food is is AMAZING!  

Fresh baked goods, homemade preserves and pickles... and fantastic coffee.

And the space is beautiful.  So beautiful in fact, that I decided to run over to my studio and grab my camera.

Our coffee date ended up being an impromptu photoshoot with Lily and her adorable daughter Ida.

If you are in Greenwood, be sure to check this place out!

And if you are coming in for a photoshoot, don't forget to walk down the street when your done and get yourself a delicious treat!


Newborn Photographer Seattle, Sandra Coan :Preserve and Gather, Seattle WA
Newborn Photographer, Sandra Coan :Preserve and Gather, Seattle WA
Newborn Photographer, Sandra Coan :Preserve and Gather, Seattle WA
Newborn Photographer, Sandra Coan :Preserve and Gather, Seattle WA

Images captured on a Contax 645 with Fuji 400h.  
Processed and scanned by Richard Photo Lab

Favorite Places: Golden Gardens

Hello! And happy July! I'm finding it hard to believe we are already half way through the year. And although I am thoroughly enjoying this weather and spending time summering it up with my family, I can't help but think Fall is just around the corner and for me, that means the busy season.

September and October are always crazy busy as families start to plan for their holiday photos. But to me, July and August are the best times to come in for a session. Summer in the Northwest is gorgeous! Why not take advantage of it and beat the Fall rush?

And, if you are wondering where to schedule your summer photo session, let me tell you a bit about one of my favorite Seattle locations, Golden Gardens.

Golden Gardens is the quintessential summer spot. It's tall sea-grass, sandy beach and water and mountain views make it a favorite of mine.

Sandra Coan.  Seattle Family Photographer.  Golden Gardens

Things to keep in mind when booking a summer session here:

  • If you want water/mountain views, be sure to book your session in the late afternoon to ensure the best light!
  • Parking can be tricky, especially in the summer, so plan a little extra time. And if you don't mind a bit of a hike, consider parking up the hill at the dog park and walking down. The parking spots are in the shade, and the walk through the trees to the beach is quite lovely.
  • Remember you are at the beach, so plan your outfits accordingly (not all shoes are sand friendly). For clothing inspiration visit my "what to wear" board on Pinterest.

When finished with your session I recommend heading over to Little Coney for a soft-serve ice-cream cone, or to Ray's Boathouse for dinner and a beer! Fun!

And don't forget, if you do want a fall photos session, it's best to book early! Send me an email and get on the books today!

Sandra Coan, Seattle Family Photographer.  Golden Gardens

Favorite Places: Seattle's Olympic Sculpture Park

0082_familyAll month long, I'll be sharing some of my favorite Seattle locations for family photos. Last week I talked about the Ballard Locks.

This week I'm featuring the Olympic Sculpture Park.

The Olympic Sculpture Park is a new favorite of mine.

I love it for several reasons.

  • Diversity. The abundance of art, mixed with beautiful trees and water views, makes this location such fun. It’s the only park in Seattle that can look both super urban and super "naturey". The best of both worlds!
  • Indoor space. As we north-westerners know, the wether is not always suitable for an outdoor session. The PACCAR pavilion at the the OSP is bight and airy and photographs beautifully. I've done entire shoots in this building. It’s lovely, modern and full of light, even on a dark rainy day!
  • Ease of access. The OSP is surprisingly easy to get to, despite it's proximity to the waterfront and downtown. It has a huge parking garage and plenty of street parking!

Planning a summer photo-shoot at the OSP? Why not make a day of it! Here are some fun things to do when your session is over.

  • Visit the Great Wheel. This is something I do with my boys a few times a year. Always a hit!
  • Go to the Aquarium. We really do have a great Aquarium, and it's a short and lovely walk from the OSP.
  • Go out for a meal. My family usually hits up The Old Spaghetti Factory when we visit the Sculpture Park. Or, if you're in the mood for seafood, Anthony's is just down the street.

Remember, July, August and September are the best months for outdoor photos (and my weekends fill up fast!).  So call or send me an email and get on the books today!


Favorite Places: The Ballard Locks

If you send me an email asking for a recommendation on where to schedule your family photo session, chances are that I’m going to recommend the Ballard Locks. The Locks is without a doubt my favorite Seattle park.  Here is why:

  • It’s beautiful.  The huge trees, stunning rose gardens and classic brick buildings make this location work in every season, rain or shine.
  • It has paved pathways.  This is something most people don’t think about when scheduling a photo session, but the paved pathways at the Locks are awesome.  For one, they don’t get muddy.  So those cute outfits you picked out for your family session will stay cute… even if it’s just rained or even if your child decides to roll around on the ground mid-session.  And, the dark color of the pavement makes for flattering images.  I know it sounds weird, but most parks are really green, and while green is pretty in the background, standing or sitting on it is going to give you green looking skin in a photo.  Sitting on pavement however, is going to make your skin look amazing.  And don’t we all want to look amazing?
  • It’s rarely crowded.  When most people visit the Locks, they go straight for the fish latter and rarely ever take time to stroll through the park.  That means that even on a busy summer day, the park area, where I like to shoot, is never crowded.  So we don’t have to worry about strangers photo-bombing your family portraits!

Sandra Coan: The Ballard Locks


Sold on the Locks?  Why not make a day of it?  Here are some of my favorite things to do in and around the Ballard Locks.


  • Visit the fish latter.  July is the best time to see the salmon, and it’s always an impressive site.  If you are scheduling a summer session at the Locks, be sure to schedule in some extra time to see the salmon run!
  • Go to the beach.  Beautiful Golden Gardens is a quick five minutes drive from the Locks.
  • The Farmers Market.  If you are scheduling a session on a Sunday, be sure to pop into downtown Ballard afterword and visit the farmers market!  Such fun!
  • Go out for a meal.  Ballard is teaming with great restaurants.  My family LOVES The Hi-Life and The Stoneburner.  Both places have great food and are very family friendly.  We also enjoy the Lock Spot and the Totem House, and will often order our food to go and pic-nic at the Locks!

I hope this is helpful!  And remember, July, August and September are the best months for outside portraits in Seattle.  Send me an email today and get on the books!

Sandra Coan: The Ballard Locks