As a DC family photographer, the National Mall is iconic for photos. The marble columns, grand steps, and sweeping views of the reflecting pool make the Lincoln Memorial a top spot. When you get gorgeous light like this morning, it’s simply magical!
All of my portrait sessions on the National Mall take place at sunrise for one reason: avoiding crowds! The Lincoln Memorial attracts tourists and locals alike. During the day and into the evening, the crowds can be overwhelming even if you’re just visiting. When you’re trying to get your photos taken, it’s even worse! It can be nearly impossible to capture those relaxed, care-free, natural family photos you desire when crowds of people are surrounding you. For little ones, it’s even harder to have a good time. There are simply too many distractions and things to worry about.
While getting up for a sunrise session sounds daunting, here are a few tips to make it easier:
1. Hair and makeup artists DO offer services this early! Many even come directly to your home. So while it may be early, it’s one less step to getting ready. And it’s always nice to get pampered. I provide a list of recommended vendors to all of my client so you don’t have to stress about this part.
2. Think about the season that works best. The sun rises the earliest in the summer; spring and fall sessions are a little later. My personal favorite month is September. The sun rises around 6:30 / 7 AM, and it gives you a great chance for comfortable temperatures (not too hold or cold). Check out my DC National Mall portrait planning guide here for more all the details.
3. Planning everything ahead of time is key! We’ll get your wardrobe set beforehand so there’s no rush of “what to wear” the night before. You are welcome to borrow a dress from the client closet, or I can help you pick something out on your own. I’ll even put together style boards to visualize everyone’s outfits together. So the morning of your session will be a breeze to get ready.
At the end of the day, having iconic photos like this is so special! This family lives in DC, and they wanted to make sure they documented this unique time in their lives while the little ones were still little. It’s always an honor being part of your story!
About the photographer
Emily Alyssa Photography offers outdoor family, maternity, and couples portraits throughout Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland. She also offers studio and in-home portrait sessions. Her natural light photography studio is in Northern Virginia. With an emphasis on a relaxed, natural photography style, she enjoys getting to know her families and documenting this special time in their lives. Interested in commissioning Emily for your family photos? Reach out for more details:
Looking for more information on getting photos taken at the National Mall in Washington, DC? See the guide here!