I’m always nervous about suggesting sunrise engagement sessions to new clients, even though early morning is the only time a Washington DC engagement session at the monuments won’t be overrun with tourists. People trust my professional judgment, but obviously, most don’t love sacrificing sleep so they can get gussied up for a photoshoot. But Megan was super sweet when I suggested meeting at the Lincoln Memorial at 6:45 a.m. On a weekend.

The early wakeup totally paid off. Perfect light, a soft pinkish sunrise and an empty Jefferson Memorial made for a beautiful, easy session. Of course, it also helped that these two took direction phenomenally well and didn’t complain about the cold!

For couples who want an engagement session with a classic Washington vibe, I like to start at the Lincoln Memorial. Sunrise is beautiful here, and we can get the Washington Monument in the background. Unfortunately, the Lincoln is currently undergoing a pretty extensive renovation and certain sections are blocked off. Some of my favorite spots aren’t accessible, and there’s less space for us to work in (by “us” I mean the half-dozen other photographers also working with clients!), but the view is still gorgeous.

The Jefferson Memorial is by far my favorite spot at which to photograph portraits and do a classic Washington DC engagement session. This memorial is a bit more of a walk than the other two, so unless it’s cherry blossom time, fewer people visit this one. The beautiful white marble makes a pretty but neutral backdrop so that the people shine. (Pro tip: if it is cherry blossom time, try to visit in the early morning on a weekday. Otherwise, the whole Tidal Basin is absolutely packed with tourists).

Are you planning a Washington DC engagement session? Get in touch and let’s chat!