Springtime in DC is popular for all the pretty blooms. Cherry blossoms, peonies, roses – so many options! This guide walks you through planning a portrait session during this magical season.
You can’t mention spring without the infamous cherry blossom season in DC. After taking portraits along the magical Tidal Basin for many years, we have decided to stop offering these specific sessions. However, we still offer cherry blossom sessions at other locations! Popular spots include the National Arboretum, locations around DC, and Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. The best time for blooms is usually in early to mid-April, although it does vary each year! Sometimes they start blooming in late March. The weather is usually still very cold in March (and the leaves haven’t popped on the trees yet, meaning other trees will be bare). So I usually recommend going for an April session!
The sun changes drastically throughout this season (end of March through May). You can plan on approximately 5:30- 7:30pm in April and 6:00-8:00pm in May for sunset. Sunrise is anywhere between 5:30-7am depending on your date. Many locations also work well a few hours after sunrise if you don’t want to get up that early, or a few hours before sunset if that works better with bedtime schedules. We’ll choose the location and start time combination that gives you the very best photos!
Favorite spring photo locations in DC and Virginia:
Oatlands Historic House & Gardens (Leesburg, VA, cherry blossoms in April, peonies in May, other blooms throughout the season!)
Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (Vienna, VA, great for cherry blossoms, the pond, and other beautiful blooms)
Bon Air Rose Garden Park (Arlington, VA – you guessed it, roses!)
Also notable: The magnolia trees are also stunning and can be found in DC in early April.
First, I recommend booking your photographer early. If you wait to reach out until April, many of the prime dates may already be booked. Many families book towards the end of April into May. (March and Early April are often too cold for little ones.)
In my experience, everything isn’t truly green until end of April. Even if some trees are budding earlier, others won’t so you may have some photos with brown trees in them. I still think it can look beautiful, but I want to warn you in case you’re looking for lots of greenery in every photo. If you really want that, wait until end of April into May to make sure you get it no matter where you go!
Spring can be such a beautiful time! But if you have allergies, you may want to wait until the summer when pollen isn’t as intense. It also is still cooler in the spring, so if you dislike all cold weather I recommend scheduling a little closer to summer for morning sessions (usually by mid- to end of May you’re safe).
If you have more questions that haven’t been answered here, send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org! You can also book your own session here.