Portraits in Washington, D.C.

For anyone who is new here (welcome!), I’ll start by explaining that I used to be a wedding and portrait photographer. Not too long ago, I had a very busy business for six years (before I decided to close that chapter), and one of my favorite parts about the job was the opportunity to explore the areas around me. I live in Northern Virginia just a hop, skip, and a jump outside of Washington, D.C.

Offering such a photogenic background, portrait sessions in D.C. were always in high demand and I found myself photographing couples in front of the city’s quintessential monuments and memorials on the regular. Those sessions inspired me to explore the city further outside of client work and I’ve made it a point to visit more often. I loved my photography business even though I had to let it go, so I thought it would be fun to reminisce by revisiting some of my favorite iconic D.C. portraits!

Washington Monument

It doesn’t get much more iconic than the Washington Monument. At over 555 feet tall, the obelisk can easily be spotted from so many vantage points in the city and it showed up frequently in my photography.

District of Columbia War Memorial

Tucked away in the foliage along Independence Avenue, the War Memorial is a little less traveled by the tourist crowd, so it made a perfect spot for images without a lot of people in the background.


Thomas Jefferson Memorial

This is another one where we could often find a quiet spot among the columns for portraits, especially around the back of the building. The Jefferson also offers a beautiful view of the Tidal Basin and the Washington Monument in the distance.


Lincoln Memorial

I’m no longer up-to-date on the current photo permit requirements, but when I was doing weddings and portraits you were not allowed to photograph inside the Lincoln Memorial without a permit, and the security guards were very strict about it. If they saw a photographer carrying professional gear with a bride and groom in tow, they turned you away immediately! Every once in a while I was able to get away with a casual engagement portrait if we were discreet. But I’ll never forget taking this photo of Nick and Marjorie in front of the memorial (which is totally allowed) in the rain. It’s one of my absolute favorites.


Capitol Building

My very first time doing an engagement session (eee! nerves!), I was photographing a couple who had access to the Russell Senate Office Building (Shawn worked there) and we were able to get a cool shot of the Capitol from inside, but there are so many other great spots in D.C. to photograph our Capitol.


Cherry Blossoms

Last but not least, and while they aren’t technically a monument, I can’t write about my sessions in the District without mentioning the Cherry Blossoms. Spring is a magical time in the city and the blossoms were the perfect backdrop for magical photos!



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