September 21, 2020

The Best Spots for Engagement Photos in the DC Area

where to take engagement photos dc area

It’s time for your engagement photos! You may already have an idea of where you want to have these taken. Some couples choose a meaningful spot, like the place they proposed, a favorite date night spot or where they love to go on long walks. On the other hand, you may have started looking and realized there are so many spots to choose from. How do you decide?

First, I recommend deciding if you want a city location, a nature location or a mix of both. City locations in this area tend to happen in Washington, DC. We are so lucky to have the beautiful monuments, the Capitol Building and other iconic backdrops just outside our doorstep. Nature is best if you love hiking, you always pictured a gorgeous field drenched in sunlight or if you want a little more privacy without people around.

If you just can’t decide, I recommend choosing a location that has a little bit of both! These locations usually have some variety so we can decide if you want mostly nature with a little city / architecture mixed in; or if you really love the city, but want to capture some greenery or other nature backgrounds as well.

Either way, I’m here to guide you so you choose the perfect spot! I’ve been shooting in the DC area for five years now, and these are the most popular spots so far.

iconic dc engagement photo

If you love iconic Washington, DC engagement photos…

These are for you! I recommend choosing sunrise to avoid crowds and get the very best light.

virginia mountain engagement photo

If nature engagement photos are more your style…

…there are tons of beautiful spots in the Northern Virginia and DC area! I recommend having a sunset session for these spots, which typically starts a couple hours before the sunset time for the day.

  1. Shenandoah National Park 
  2. Manassas Battlefields 
  3. Jones Point Park in Alexandria
  4. Bon Air Park Rose Garden in Arlington
  5. Great Falls Park
  6. Brookside Gardens*
  7. Meadowlark Gardens*
  8. Sky Meadows State Park*
  9. Walker Nature Center in Reston
  10. C.M. Crockett Park
  11. Terrapin Beach on Kent Island
  12. Locust Shade Park
  13. Burke Lake
  14. Prince William Forest Park
  15. Morven Park*


Want a little bit of both? 

A mix of architecture + nature is my personal favorite. We can tailor each spot to be the perfect amount of each.

  1. Old Town Alexandria
  2. Carlyle House in Old Town Alexandria*
  3. National Arboretum* in DC
  4. Local neighborhoods in DC – you can see a couple ideas here, here and here!
  5. Virginia State Arboretum
  6. Great Marsh Estate*
  7. Local wineries – Stone Tower, La Grange Winery, Winery at Bull Run, the Barns at Hamilton Station, etc.*
  8. Airlie*
  9. Glenview Mansion
  10. Vienna Town Green – this one is best at sunrise!

Finally, don’t be afraid to try something new! If you have access to a unique building or area, I’m always on board. In the past I’ve had couples use venues, farms on their family’s private property and more. It’s your story, and I’m here for the adventure. If you’re still looking for an engagement photographer, stop by my portrait page for more details! If you need engagement and wedding photos, go here.

*These locations may require a permit and / or special permission to be there. I’ll walk you through this step if needed – it’s really easy! 


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