Best Times for Photo Sessions in DC

I have been photographing in DC for seven years now and have learnt a few tricks for scheduling the best time for a photo session. Here are a few things to remember: 

  • DC gets very warm in the summertime. Opt for early mornings when scheduling your sessions. Around 7:30-9 am is early enough to avoid the crowds and heat, but also give you beautiful light.
  • DC has many federal buildings and museums that require permits to photograph at. Some can take awhile to acquire and others are pricy. Look for outdoor options that do not require permits and give you the freedom to move around. The Library of Congress, The National Gallery of Art and Yard’s Park are a few favorite spots of mine.
  • Opt for an indoor location if it is too warm or in case of rain. The Portrait Gallery has a lovely atrium with a glass roof and wonderful foliage. This allows beautiful light and a lovely, bright backdrop. Remember to be courteous and stay out of the way as much as possible. I try to get there when they open so their aren’t as many tourists and always pick a corner of the building to stay near.
  • Sunday afternoons can be pretty quiet in DC during the summer. This is a great time to walk around the Capitol to miss some of the tourist spots.
  • If all else fails, DC offers many cute coffee shops. They make for a fun spot with great backgrounds and indoor locations. The Wydown on H Street, Vigilante Coffee in Hyattsville and Union Market are great options with good lighting.



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