Updated: Mar 21

First, let me just say that I love engagement photos shoots.

Asking for your partner’s hand in marriage is literally life-changing, and is immediately followed by excitement from family and friends, which makes the promise of this next step even more meaningful. And for better or worse, we live in a time when sharing our lives on social media is the norm, so engagement photos are a special keepsake for more than just living room décor. Here at Lab House Studios, I strive to create a collaborative experience. Choosing locations to shoot, for example, is something that should be a joint effort between photographer and couples. For this reason I send my couple clients a list of amazing locations to serve as a backdrop to their shoot. Once we’re able to discuss more and I get a feel for who they are as a couple, it’s on and poppin’ -- I mean, shooting! DC is our nation’s beautiful capital and therefore full of rich history, regal monuments, and an energy that is unlike any other city in the nation. Below you will find my top places in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV represent!!) to shoot for any occasion, but especially for engagement shoots. Check them out and let us know what you think! 1. Thomas Jefferson Memorial | Washington, DC

This site is perfect for shoots because it is separate from the monuments on the mall, and therefore relatively less crowded. You also have the opportunity to get the Washington Monument or the Potomac River in the background, and if it’s spring time, the cherry blossoms are beautiful in this area! 2. Montpelier Farms | Bowie, MD

This location is perfect for couples interested in a traditional fall setting for their portraits.

This farm has a small footprint, however, it has great spaces to work with. The operators ask that patrons purchase an item to support their farm, however, you may use their location to take pictures free of charge!

3. Meridian Hill Park | Washington, DC

This location is not a "hidden gem", however, it will deliver exactly what you need! This park is a structured urban pack located in a beautiful part of Washington, DC. This location offers plenty of parking, it's free (no permit required), and amazing unique areas as backdrops.

This location often has events over the summer so be sure to check their online calendar so you don't schedule a shoot during their busy periods. Also, please make sure you tell your female clients to bring flats if you're deciding to maximize the area and shoot in more than one location - the soon to be bride will appreciate that!

Park Features:

  • A Cascading Fountain

  • Joan of Arc Statue

  • Great Arches and long Terrance

  • Architecture and Landscape Design

4. Union Station | Washington, DC

A restored historic, mixed-use, transportation located just blocks from the U.S. Capitol. They also have several locations that are perfect for beautiful portraits.

*No permit required, however, you cannot bring additional equipment (tripods, lights, etc) into the location.

5. Tidal Basin | Washington, DC

This location is the focal point of the National Cherry Blossom Festival held each spring. Each year over one million people come to visit the nation's capital during the springtime see the beautiful pink blossoms. The colors and scenery is breathtaking when the flowers start to bloom.

When the weather is warm in Washington, DC, the trees will keep your clients cool and the sun from being so harsh on their skin.

With that being said, do not schedule your session mid-day during the weekends. To avoid the people and tours, start your session early in the morning or during the week.

Here are some other great locations to consider as well:

6. Brookside Gardens | Wheaton, MD 7. Green Spring Gardens | Alexandria, VA 8. Library of Congress | Washington, DC 9. McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area | Poolesville, MD 10. City Center DC | Washington, DC 11. National Harbor | Fort Washington, MD 12. Hyattsville Historic District | Hyattsville, MD 13. Georgetown | Washington, DC 14. Old Town Alexandria | Alexandria, VA 15. Smithsonian Institute Castle | Washington, DC

Do you know any more great locations? Feel free to let us know in the comment section below!


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