There are so many amazing locations in Washington, DC to take engagement photos, and I wanted to put together a list of some of the best places! Many places in DC require permits in order to have professional photos taken.
As far as engagement photos go in Washington, DC, the monuments have no doubt won the title of being the most popular location!
Photographs taken at these iconic locations make for absolutely stunning backdrops. Many people are surprised to learn that permits are required for professional photo sessions at monuments that are usually packed with tourists snapping away with their cameras and cell phones. The National Park Service maintains all memorials and monuments, and their permit application can be found here. There is a fee of $90 for the application and a fee of $50 for the location. (If you intend to take wedding photos at the monuments, the fees may be higher depending on the number of people in your bridal party.)
My suggestion would be to plan your engagement session at sunrise in order to keep the number of tourists as low as possible, especially if you wish to take photographs of the monuments.
One of the most popular monuments for taking photographs is the Lincoln Memorial. A classic DC location like the giant staircase and marble columns makes sense that so many people want to take their engagement photos there.
CityCenter's unique seasonal art installations make it a great backdrop for urban-style engagement photos in Washington DC. If you're a couple living and working in the city, CityCenter is worth considering.
As well as its unique urban structures and park areas, Yards Park is surrounded by the Potomac River in the distance. Although Yards Park is not a common place to take engagement photos in Washington DC, it is becoming increasingly popular among couples who want the Potomac River as a backdrop for their engagement photos.
Take advantage of Union Market's heart wall/Never Give Up mural to document your love story! The colorful hearts of this iconic mural make it an obvious choice for engagement photos since it is among DC's most famous street art locations. A few other murals can be found in the Union Market area, including Yoko Ono's quote ("Relax. Your heart is stronger than you think!"), the colorful Human! mural, and the giant eye by the Angelika Pop-Up.
A Supreme Court monument is a great option if you want the look of monuments without having to worry about paying permit fees.
It is located in the Columbia Heights neighborhood and contains many great photo spots, including Meridian Hill Park, which is also known as Malcolm X Park. The fountain is only on during certain times of the year, and even during the summer months, the water may be turned off for repairs. As with the monuments, Meridian Hill Park is administered by the National Parks Service, so the same permit requirements apply.
In the middle of the city, the Spanish Steps provide a little oasis of green in the middle of the city! It is located in a residential neighborhood known as Kalorama, between Decatur Place and S Street, in the center of Minneapolis.
A combination of urban neighborhoods and waterfront views is available at The Wharf for a wide variety of engagement photographs. Take a walk down the piers and giant swings, rent kayaks or paddle boards, or ride a water taxi,]. Engagement photography at the Wharf does not require a permit. Check the neighborhood's events calendar before choosing a date, as there are frequent large gatherings and concerts here.
A popular neighborhood for engagement photos is Eastern Market in DC. You'll also find lots of murals in the neighborhood, and Capitol Hill Books is just around the corner if you're into books!
You can take indoor engagement photos at the National Gallery of Art if the weather isn't ideal. In the East and West buildings, there is a cool light tunnel that connects the two buildings. There is a beautiful open atrium in the East building, and there is also a magnificent staircase. Furthermore, two buildings are filled with artwork! No photography permit is required, but they do not permit flash photography, so be sure to call ahead to make sure there are no special events taking place.
Here is one of the most popular places I shoot engagement photos in DC that isn't in DC. From the waterfront to the beloved cobblestone streets, the historic Old Town of Alexandria offers a variety of views
Artechouse, DC's newest museum, exhibits seasonal interactive art as part of its permanent collection. To find out what exhibits are on display and to purchase tickets, it is recommended that you check the Artechouse website prior to visiting the museum to find out what exhibits are on display. In addition to the interactive art spaces, Artechouse also features a small bar where you can use augmented reality to interact with cocktails as part of your experience.