Whether you’re history buffs or nature lovers (did someone say cherry blossoms?!), Washington DC has plenty of options for you to choose from for a dreamy engagement session.
Since Washington DC is one of the main city hubs with local experts from the Joy Photo and Video team, we wanted to compile engagement session recommendations. Here are the best Washington DC engagement photoshoot locations to consider.
Best Washington DC Engagement Photoshoot Locations for Lovers of History
If you and your significant other want to take advantage of the historic foundations of our nation, this is the perfect place to take your engagement pictures.
Keep in mind with each of these locations, they are all highly secure areas and can be very busy during peak tourist hours.
Do your research in advance and make sure that you’re partnering with your local photographer so that you have the best experience---especially since photo permits are required at monuments within the National Mall.
Lean against the columns at the Lincoln Memorial.
This tops our list of the best Washington DC engagement photoshoot locations! The grand scale of the architecture makes for beautiful backdrops, and there are plenty of places to walk hand in hand with diverse backgrounds (from columns to steps.) And when the light hits just right, it’s like a dream for an engagement photographer. Learn more.
2 Lincoln Memorial Circle, NW, Washington, D.C.
Showcase your love at the Jefferson Memorial. This memorial serves as another great photo spot to feature your love story. Our favorite part is the way the six granite 30-foot pillars and architectural walls serve as a neutral (yet elevated) background. Plus, if you’re there at the right time of year, you’ll get a great view of the Japanese flowering cherry.
Pro tip: Parking can be difficult so make sure to show up early (or just take car service so you don’t have to drive.) Learn more.
701 E Basin Drive, SW, Washington, DC 20242
Showcase your love of history and of each other at the US Capitol. If there are any spots that scream historic landmarks in Washington DC, this is one of them! Due to its location, you can walk around the grounds and get photos where the building is not so prominent. (This will help add to more diverse shots in your photo album.) Learn more.
210 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Cuddle up on the steps of the Supreme Court building. If you and your significant other have any connection to the law or constitutional rights in your careers or passions, this is a solid choice. Consistent with the other local monuments, we don’t know what we love more---from the marble to the columns or the steps. (Did you know, this is also referred to as “The Marble Palace”?) Bonus: If you start out at the Capitol, this spot is nearby and could add some additional photo backdrops. Learn more.
1 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20543
Feature your timeless love story at the National Gallery of Art. If you consider yourselves to be lovers of art and lovers of history, consider the National Gallery of Art for a unique engagement session location. First founded in 1937, this location is the perfect combination of history and art. In addition to over 2,000 pieces of art, there is lush landscaping and decadent architecture. Learn more.
401 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20565
Popular Outdoor Locations for Washington DC Engagement Sessions
Pose under a Cherry Blossom tree. We couldn’t have a list with the best Washington DC engagement photo locations and not include the Japanese cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin! However, keep in mind that this will be limited to peak season (typically April and May) and will be at its prime during the annual National Cherry Blossom festival. We recommend sunrise sessions so you can get there before the crowds, and make sure to be flexible on timing since the bloom schedule varies from one year to the next. Check the festival calendar for event details and tips. Learn more.
Varied locations around the Tidal Basin
Feature a rustic, local vibe at Blagden Alley. If you’re looking for something lower key, couples who are local to the DC area are big fans of engagement sessions here. The charming alley is lined with brick buildings and cobblestone streets which is incredibly romantic. (There are some neat pieces of murals, too!) And since it’s home to hot local restaurants and bars, consider staying for a date to extend the memories after the shoot. Learn more.
Blagden Aly NW, Washington, DC 20001
Union Market District. Another option that will feature the charm of the city is Union Market. Walk hand in hand down the alleys and you’re bound to find a backdrop that fits your vibe. We really love the statement walls plastered with colorful graffiti which adds an artsy vibe to the photoshoot. Learn more.
395 Morse Street NE, Washington, DC 20002
Feel like you're walking on cloud 9 at Dumbarton Oaks gardens. If you envision your engagement session taking place in a garden, this historic estate has 16-acres for you to choose from! The idyllic grounds will make you feel like you’ve been transported to a secret garden and is a great option to consider for your session. Learn more.
Have a romantic picnic at Meridian Hill Park. While there are plenty of parks in the area, this is one of our favorites for engagement sessions because there are plenty of places that are quiet. And the sprawling Italian gardens and fountain make for beautiful photos. Take a blanket and bottle of bubbly and cuddle up for some cute photos. (This is a popular spot to pop the question and get married, too!) Learn more.
2500 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
We hope you enjoyed learning about some of the best Washington DC engagement photoshoot locations. (We’re sure you can now see why we love this city so much!)
If you’re looking for a photographer to help document your love story, we’re here to support you on your journey to “I do!” just like we did for the sweet couple featured in this blog, Joy and Elijah. (Don't miss their wedding video here.)
[Photoshoot in the spotlight: Joy and Elijah in DCB.]
The Joy Team