Maya | Class of 2018 | Anchorage, Alaska Senior Portrait Photographer

Hello FRANDS! 

Today's blog is showing off some of my senior work from this past Fall. Fall is hands down one of my favorite times to shoot here in Alaska. The Fall colors are just so full of life and strikingly intense and I can say the same thing about Maya, she's absolutely stunning and her smile is just the most charming smile ever! 

We photographed Maya's Senior portraits in mid Fall when the colors had just POPPED. We had the most gorgeous weather and ideal lighting. We did a walk about Downtown stopping by all her preferred hot spots and stopped in the the Nordstrom Sky Bridge where we surprisingly got shots with no photo bombers in the background. 

Maya and I also stopped by the Downtown neighborhoods to take advantage of some unique painted houses and little Birch trees that lined the most adorable white picketed fence, I mean come on how perfect is THAT? Next we traveled to one of my favorite locations, Westchester Lagoon and played in the mud off by the coast. I don't think Maya was too thrilled with what happened to her adorable wedges, but we got some amazing shots so in my eyes it's worth it! I totally had to toss my Steve Madden zipper boots after... 

Check out Maya's Senior Portraits! If you are looking for a Senior Photographer please consider Dolce Vita! 

2018 Senior Model Farewell | Anchorage, Alaska Senior Portrait Photographer

Hello peeps! 

So, all good things eventually come to an end... One of them being my 2018 Senior Model Program. I had such a great time working with all of my 2018 models throughout the school year and I'm sad its over.

Each student was unique, passionate and great role-models for the class that comes in behind them! Thank you 2018 models for doing all my crazy requests and dealing with me for a year, wishing you luck in all your future endeavors! 










The Pearson Wedding | 8.18.17 | Crow Creek Mine Girdwood, Alaska

Anybody there? 

I'm no stranger to the Pearson family,  I've photographed all different branches of their family and even Dalton's senior pictures. When I heard news that Dalton and Terryn got engaged I was secretly crossing my fingers that they would ask me to be their wedding photographer, and they did! 

Terryn hands down has amazing elegant style and I knew her wedding would be nothing more than pure elegance. Terryn expressed the importance of wanting the perfect wedding in the woods and she accomplished that and more! The wedding took place at The Crow Creek Mine, a historic gold mine that's nestled in the woods of Girdwood, Alaska. The mine has a variety to offer with its cascading views, Crow Creek access and fairy tale forests.  It's one of our favorite locations for summer weddings! It was a moody day with lots of cloud coverage and it even sprinkled throughout the day. You know what they say though, rain on your wedding day is a sign of good luck, which I believe because Terryn & Dalton are expecting their first little one this SUMMER! 

  • Venue: Crow Creek Mine | Girdwood, Alaska

  • Flowers & Design/Planning: True North Events

  • Cake: Midnight Sun Bakery

  • Dress: Bateau Bridal Boutique

  • Photographer: Sonja Stafford Photography

  • Catering: Master's Catering

Kelly & Avery's Fall Engagement session | Kincaid Park | Anchorage, Alaska Wedding Photographer

Whoa there what's going on? I've blogged twice in a month!? That's right ya'll, it's part of my 2018 goals and I'm trying to get in the swing of things. One of my main goals is to connect to my clients, future clients and anyone who follows our work here at Dolce Vita. I've been holding out for too long and I think you all should see the work we've been brewing up this past year.  

I had the pleasure in working with Kelly and Avery this late Fall and Kincaid Park was the location of choice. Kincaid was the perfect place to use as a setting because it was the setting of their first date.

We started at Little Campbell Lake that is located inside the park and made our way over to the cross country bridge and ended the session over by the rolfing park where the views are just spectacular! I'm looking forward to spending more time with Kelly and Avery on their wedding day set on August 24th, 2018 to take place at one of my favorite locations ever Crow Creek Mine in Girdwood, Alaska. 



The Dubys 9.2.17 | 49th State Brewery Wedding| Anchorage, Alaska Wedding Photographer

When I first met Kyle one of the very first things she said to me was, my group is crazy do you think you will be able to handle them? I smiled because after 7 years in the business I have thought I've seen it all especially after working with wedding parties of 22 plus people. I will say after attending Kylie and A.J's wedding, Kylie definitely lived up to her reputation as the "BEST party haver, ever!" Her wedding was nothing less but one big celebration, I mean PARTAY! 

Kylie and her bridesmaids started their early afternoon prepping for the day in our bridal suite, which is available for rent starting January 2018. Next, we walked around what I call "The G Street Block" and captured some bridal and bridesmaids portraits around Downtown on the way to the wedding venue, The 49th State Brewery. The groomsmen and groom got ready at the Hotel Captain Cook and did a walk-a-bout Downtown and stopped for a ice cold beer at McGinleys Pub where they met up for the ceremony after. 

The ceremony took place at the very top roof top of The 49th State Brewery where the views were amazing. Guests sipped on lemonade and had views of The Sleeping Lady, Chugiak Mountains, Downtown Anchorage and The Cook Inlet as they waited for the start of the ceremony. Reception took place in the main banquet room at The 49th State Brewery and the Bride and Groom hosted their own full bar with a couple of special drinks including Moscow Mules and Old Fashioned's. Decor included modern geometric shapes, twinkle lights, fun adults drinking games and  paper fortune tellers that read fun "Duby fun facts". 

Check out our last wedding of 2017, we will be working backwards in catching up on the blog! 

Future Gamer Liam, 3 month old newborn | Sonja Stafford Photography, Anchorage Portrait Photographer

Welp, if you don't have baby fever you may have it after this post! This blog post has too much cuteness to handle and literally has my ovaries crying for a baby. Liam was a treat to capture, he gave me so many funny faces and was full of so much character and life which is a surprise because from what I've seen in the past the men in his family do not like to get their picture taken and scurry from the camera! Liam had the coolest hair and so much of it and his warming brown eyes are going to melt your heart!

Side story, I have photographed this little guys parents engagement, wedding and now his milestones up to three months so far. Growing with my clients is dear to me, I absolutely love it and there is no bigger honor.

Scroll down, if you dare! Don't blame me if you catch baby fever! #sorrynotsorry

Balloons and Engagements, Studio & Downtown Anchorage Engagement | Sonja Stafford Photography, Anchorage Wedding Photographer

What's more hip than having your engagement portraits taken in a old historic downtown bank building turned studio and out and about around historic landmarks in beautiful Anchorage? NOTHING! This gorgeous couple contacted me about doing a session and had a studio session in mind at first I was hesitant only because I haven't photographed a engagement session in my studio and I wasn't sure exactly how I was going to plan it out. After Ryan contacted me with an idea and had sent over several bouquets of balloons, I had no worries! My studio was flooding in beautiful white and clear balloons and it was dreamy!

Ryan & Joe had beautiful chemistry, the way Joe looked at Ryan was the sweetest and you could tell that they love to laugh together. Both work and live in the Downtown area so a Downtown engagement session was right up their alley. We first started in the studio and then headed out and around the corner to the 4th Ave Theatre where I had them practice dipping, haha. We had a great time and as you can see for yourself we had a successful engagement session!

Here are a few of my favorites from the session, enjoy!



Balloons and Boudoir, Valentines Day | Sonja Stafford Photography, Anchorage Boudoir Photographer

boudoir (bo͞oˌdwär/noun: a woman's bedroom or private room.

Boudoir sessions are not just about "risky photos" in your underwear, they are so much more. Boudoir sessions are invigorating and full of fun, glamour and a experience that every woman should experience not once but several times in her life time. Boudoir is romantic, it's sexy and it's classy. 

I don't normally display much of my boudoir work but after a client left my studio full of balloons, I figured I'd take advantage of being able to be creative. Alisa Marie is a colleague and friend of mine and was all in to model for me last minute and this is what I came up with. The studio fled with natural light and the body suits Alisa had chosen were perfect for the soft "Valentines" elegance I was trying to bring to the table. 

Take a look because it's not typical you see a boudoir sesh on the blog! 

Sweets, Blush and Glitter | Inspired Bridal Shoot | Anchorage Wedding Photographer | Sonja Stafford Photography

Hello there, I hope everyone had a Happy New Year! I am kicking off 2017 with this gorgeous Kate Spade Inspired Bridal Shoot brought to you by some of Anchorage's best wedding vendors. When Laurel of Ido Events contacted me about collaborating with her and a few other vendors on a idea that Tara at FabFrocks had came up with I was all on it! Any chance I get to use my creativity for something personal and to network I jump at the moment.

Tara had this beautiful dress at her shop and vision was desserts and fresh pinks on a pure white backdrop with a natural light and airy setting...  After meeting at my studio we gather props and talked more about the set up and boom, this is what we came up with! The creative and wonderful Natasha of Alaska Knit Nat came up with the idea to include lolly pops in to her bouquets and boutonniere, Laurel included the balloons, champagne and fixings. 

Ardy of Ardy Cakes provided all the beautiful desserts and they tasted as good as they looked. My favorite part of the shoot was after when we all had champagne and ate desserts. My favorite dessert would of been the covered Oreo, they were perfection! Well, now that I am starving for desserts but can't have any because its after the New Year, I must go! Feast your eyes on this beautiful shoot and leave some love! 

All Florals by : Natasha Price at Alaska Knit Nat

All Florals by : Natasha Price at Alaska Knit Nat

Hair & Make-up: Sasha Weaver @ The Beauty Room

Hair & Make-up: Sasha Weaver @ The Beauty Room

Dress & Accessories: FabFrocks Anchorage

Dress & Accessories: FabFrocks Anchorage

Cakes & Desserts by: Ardy Cakes

Cakes & Desserts by: Ardy Cakes

Event Planning & Decorating: Ido Events

Event Planning & Decorating: Ido Events

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Andrew Beckett | c/o 2017 | Chugiak High School | Anchorage Senior Photographer
Oh, Fall sunset you are amazing! We had the best lighting for Andrew's senior session what now feels like, what was way back in Fall! Andrew was great to work with and was easy to direct and I loved how he just went with the flow. I loved the character his truck gave to the shoot and how he brought his style, 110%. 
Andrew is active has been active in hockey since he was preschool age and loves Michigan State. For Andrews shoot we started out at the Eagle River Nature Center and then stopped along the the river and wrapped our session up at the MAC in Eagle River where were caught some amazing sunset light up there!  Check out his session here:
Lisa + Ryan | Eagle River Engagement Session | Anchorage Wedding Photographer
Photographing couples must be one of my favorite things to photograph. There is just something about capturing the chemistry between two fresh lovebirds that keeps me on my toes in excitement! Lisa is no stranger, I've worked with Lisa before in her friend Becky's wedding a couple years back, she was a bridesmaid. I remember her photogenic likeness and was eager to know that she had wanted me to be her photographer! 
Working with Lisa and Ryan on their engagement session was a breeze, I mean they could totally be Patagonia models right? For our location we chose the Eagle River Nature Center. The weather was chilly and cloudy but the tones were still so warm and the wide open spaces of the park provided plenty of warm light.
I am looking forward to working these these again on their wedding day July 23, 2017 at the gorgeous Crow Creek Mine in Girdwood, Alaska! It's going to be stunning and I can't wait to see all your plans come to life. 
Sonja StaffordComment
Marcelinda Estrada | 2017 Bartlett High School Senior | Anchorage Senior Portrait Photographer, Dolce Vita Photo Boutique
Hello Ya'll! 
I had a great time photographing Marcelinda for her senior portraits. She is an absolute stunning girl with a incredible future in front of her. Marcelinda, you are going to rock your senior year like, just like you rocked this senior session!
What I love about this session is all of the color and pops of Summer, I am so glad Marcelinda decided to get her senior portraits done in the peak of all the blooms!  Here are a few of my favorites were ABSOLUTELY almost impossible to choose! 
Sonja StaffordComment
Jesse Boese | 2017 Dimond High School Senior Model | Dolce Vita Photo Boutique, Anchorage Senior Photographer
Todays rainy and gloomy weather makes for bloggin' type of day! Meet Jesse Boese he is my 2017 Senior Model for Dimond High School. Jesse is a athlete and enjoys to play basketball and baseball. Jesse enjoys hiking, four wheeling, camping, traveling and spending time with his family!
I really enjoyed strolling around Downtown, Anchorage with Jesse and his mom. We got quite the exercise in walking all the way from G street to the museum and around. It was a bright sunny day and then the clouds started rolling in dramatically and I am so happy that they did! Check out Jesse's senior session right here! 
Location, Location, Location... | Anchorage Wedding and Portrait Photographer | Dolce Vita Photo Boutique
One of the very first questions I get asked when chosen to photograph someone, where should we go? You may think location is everything but in some circumstances you don't need a whole lot. Alaska is beautiful enough... Clients sometimes stress about the location that I am going to take them or want to know exactly where we should go... Sometimes, I don't have a answer for them right away.
Often I am inspired by what the subjects plan to wear and their fashion style, after I see what they have chosen to wear I can put together more of a scene in my head. I also have to hear my clients story, hear about how they met or what their lives plans are and what their hobbies are. Getting to know my client helps me in capturing their story through my work and in picking my locations. After we arrive to the location I am then inspired by the light and what is at that time going on around us.... 
Below are some examples of random locations I have used and how the before and after turned out! The below locations include a flower bed on the sidewalks of Downtown Anchorage, the Downtown Cemetery and a random spot in the middle of a neighborhood in South Anchorage that was close to our first location. 
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Alaska Traveling Vintage Dress Project | Anchorage Portrait Photographer, Dolce Vita Photo Boutique

Hello Peeps! 

Look at me on a complete roll, bloggin' and stuff! This session is totally different than any other shoot I've done before. This shoot allowed me to use all my creativity to the fullest and create my session off of one thing, a vintage wedding dress. 
The dress is part of a project called, "The Alaska Traveling Vintage Dress Project" and I had the privilege to participate in it. The Project is put on by the a wonderful creative artist herself in MULTIPLE ways, Jessica Steele. Jessica is the owner of several amazing Alaska businesses including Beehive Beauty Shop, Be Vintage Rentals, and Steele Photographer. Not only is she an amazing business owner she is talented in all her crafts. Thanks Jessica for allowing me to participate! 
When first braining storming ideas for my time with the dress I knew that I wanted to use all the flowering trees that were blooming everywhere, I was inspired by all of the vibrant colors. I was also inspired by a chipped red painted ladder that I found on the roof top of my building. I wanted to portray that we were in a flower garden and create a very light, colorful and airy flow to the session.
We started with a studio session using the ladder and some garland I purchased from Michaels and then headed outdoors. We didn't go anywhere spectacular as far as outdoor location just to the good ole cemetery and random flowering trees on the side of the city streets around town. Sometimes you don't need a big extravagant location to come up with something pretty... maybe i'll write a blog about that since most of my locations are in the most random spots. Meanwhile, check out my shoot with the Traveling Vintage Dress. 

Model: Sabrina Simons

Hair, Make up, Coordinating & Photography: Sonja Stafford 

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Back in time with Class of 2014 Senior, Willa Forrest | Anchorage Senior Photographer, Dolce Vita Photo Boutique
Taking it back to Summer 2013 this gloomy and rainy Tuesday. I thought to blog this session because we had to reschedule our first session due to a unexpected downpour about 15 minutes into our shoot. Crazy weather and all, Alaska is great!  I love all of the blooming flowers here, although fireweed is a weed it is so vibrant and beautiful and it is blooming everywhere right now. Check these images on this bloggin' Tuesday! 
Sarina Mancari, 4th of July/Boho Inspired Shoot | 2017 South High School Senior Model | Anchorage Senior Photographer, Dolce Vita Photo Boutique
Happy Tuesday Ya'll! 
Meet Sarina Mancari, she's Dolce Vita's 2017 Senior Model for South Anchorage High School. Sarina is simply amazing and I am just not saying that. I am blessed to have her represent Dolce Vita. First off, she has a 4.0 GPA, I mean rock on beauty and brains! She loves to spend her extra time hiking, fishing, traveling around the state and she absolutely loves her state of Alaska. Sarina plays varsity volleyball for South and loves dogs, she even puppy babysits and walks for her job. 
When discussing with Sarina her senior session she was down for anything, I had bought a pair of heart American Flag sunglasses and they inspired me to do a Americana/Boho themed shoot and I knew Sarina would be perfect to model for it. The night was perfect, it was sunny and warm and the lighting was just perfection. As we were shooting King Salmon fishing was going on all around us and fishermen and women were everywhere down by Ship Creek. The creek was running hot because I saw catches everywhere, it was quite nostalgic to the evening. It was seriously just a gorgeous evening in Alaska. 
Everyone take the time to look around and enjoy your surroundings and remember freedom isn't free. I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe 4th of July and Happy Independence Day! God Bless America. 

MUA: Sasha Weaver @ The Beauty Room

Posing & Styling: Sonja Stafford

Photographer: Sonja Stafford, Dolce Vita Photo Boutique

Saturday Afternoon Lifestyle Family Session with The Z Family, Party of FOUR! | Anchorage Family Photographer
Why not hop in the car and drive down to the Kenai Peninsula to capture the most gorgeous lifestyle family session, EVER??? I mean really... YEAH! 
I have been photographing this sweet family since Roudy was a little three month old. Aimee first came to me for a Mother's Day Mini I was having, she was dressed to a "T" with the cutest style and since then she has never disappointed! Anyone see those snap chats of her adorable home???
 I have since the Mother's Day session photographed her engagement, wedding, family and now newest newbie portraits! I love that I get to continue growing with my clients and it's a honor that they choose me to document their sweet memories. 

Bless you guys and Aimee come decorate my house, lol! 

Kaytie Ridle DHS 2017 Senior Model | 50's Era Stylized Shoot | Anchorage Senior Photographer
Hello Everyone!
I'd like you to meet Kaytie Ridle, she is a 2017 High School Senior at Dimond High School and will be representing Dolce Vita Photo Boutique at her high school.  When Kaytie told me her likes were vintage clothes, cars and records... MY MIND WENT INSANE with great ideas!
I was inspired by a photo my friend Lenny had taken and posted on Facebook of his 1950's Buick and The City Diner. I gave Lenny a call he was all in for a shoot of his ride. Lenny even got in contact with Lori over at The City Diner to see if they were game for letting me use there restaurant as a location and they were! I knew having everyone all in that this shoot would be perfect! 
Check out this 1950's stylized shoot and big thanks to all of the help to make this happen!

Hair and Make-Up- Sasha Weaver at The Beauty Room

Photography, Posing, Styling: Sonja @ Dolce Vita Photo Boutique

Location: Anchorage City Diner

April 8th, 2016 Headshot Mixer
Well, we had a successful first headshot mixer. I had a great time hosting my first open headshot meet & greet. I had a numerous amount of attendees and a great turn out. Big thank you to Katey Klem with Denali Credit Union for your help in spreading the word and THANK YOU to all of the attendees. I hope you had a great time at the mixer and hope that you love your new professional headshot.