Rawia and Matt’s Winter Session

December can be so magical for an engagement session in Washington DC. There are so many great locations to get the “Christmas vibe” that we want so here are a few ideas for planning a Christmas portrait session in DC.

Christmas Sessions: best locations in DC

  1. Union Station: this location is beautifully decorated during the holidays, with its grand architecture and festive lights. The interior provides a big tree (usually from the Norwegian embassy), which I love to use to get an actual Christmas tree in the photos!

  2. Library of Congress and Capitol Hill: The area, with its impressive buildings and Capitol Dome, is usually decorated over the holiday.

  3. CityCenterDC: This is a modern and upscale development with a central plaza that features a Christmas tree and holiday decorations.

  4. Eastern Market: Located in Capitol Hill, this is a historic market with a festive atmosphere during the holidays.

  5. Navy Yards: The Yards Park, located along the Anacostia River, is a modern waterfront park with a pedestrian bridge and views of Nationals Park. The holiday lights and contemporary design make it a stylish location for photos.

  6. Christmas Markets: Explore local Christmas markets, such as the Downtown Holiday Market or Georgetown Christmas Market, or any market in your neighborhood. These markets often feature festive decorations, artisan crafts, and a lively atmosphere.

Best time for winter photoshoots

Here are a few tips to schedule your session during this busy season:

  1. Late November: this period is ideal for capturing the festive holiday decorations while avoiding the peak of the holiday rush. Many locations, including the National Christmas Tree and other iconic spots, start decorating in late November.

  2. Weekdays vs. Weekends: Weekdays may offer a less crowded experience at popular locations, as weekends closer to Christmas tend to attract more visitors. If you have flexibility, consider scheduling your session on a weekday.

  3. Night Portraits: This is the best time of the year to take some night portraits during a session. I like to schedule the session about 30 minutes before sunset so we can finish at night time.

  4. Holiday Events and Festivities: Check the local event calendar for any special holiday events or festivities that might enhance the atmosphere. Coordinating your session with events like Christmas markets or tree-lighting ceremonies can add extra charm to your photos.

If you are looking for the perfect location for your engagement photos, take a look at my list of the best engagement locations in Washington DC.

The tree at Union Station is so great and I loved working with it to get creative. As we planned our session to end at night, we started with Capitol Hill to get naturally light photos. From there, we also watched the sunset and could have done the whole session there. That’s when I started to use an off-flash camera to capture the sunset and the couple.

We finished the session at Union Station to capture some holiday-themed photos inside and outside for the location.


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