Every year I get couples asking me for advice on where to snap their engagement sessions. While many couples know the exact place they want casual portraits, many don't! Last year, I comprised a list of the most popular engagement locations in DC and areas in Virginia as well. It became so useful to couples that Virginia Bride Magazine published my advice! How fun! However, lately I have had couples ask to shoot somewhere outside of the norm. A lot of them ask me "where have you always wanted to shoot?" Instead of writing out my list a hundred times, I thought I would share it with the world. To show you what the areas look like, I pulled images off of Google Search because I have never photographed here before!
Here is my local list in the DMV area of my bucket list shooting locations:
1. MCKEE BESHERS WILDLIFE AREA
Sunflower Fields at Mckee Beshers Wildlife area look amazing. HOWEVER, peak sunflower season is really only in August/September so this trip must be timed right. Sunflowers are my favorite flower! I even have one tattooed on my foot.
2. BURNSIDE FARMS
Burnside Farms also has sunflowers but amazing tulips as well! Again, the blooms depend on the season!
3. SEVEN OAKS LAVENDER FARM
Seven Oaks Lavender Fields is stunning. I mean, who doesn't want to pretend they're in the lavender fields of France?? This must also be timed with season. To find best times, you'll need to email the owners. Typical lavender season is late June!
4. DUMBARTON OAKS
Dumbarton Oaks is a dream... Ok, so technically for hire photography is not allowed here but a girl can dream for a law-bending couple right?
5. ROOSEVELT ISLAND
Roosevelt Island is the area's best kept secret. It has winding paths, cool grafiti and is breathtaking in fall. This couple would need to be up for a bit of walking!
6. UNION STATION
Union Station provides an amazing backdrop for the vintage couple. Sunrise is best here to avoid crowds.
7. THE NATIONAL CATHEDRAL
Union Market has the coolest urban love backdrop! This would be for the more adventurous couple!
9. CAPITOL BUILDING
Capitol Building is stunning inside and out. I would LOVE to get on the Speakers Balcony but you need an escort. The west lawn before the steps is also stunning!
10. Brookside Gardens
Brookside Gardens is just outside of DC in Maryland. I fell in love with this ceiling of blooms!
11. Goodstone Inn
The Goodstone Inn & Spa would make the perfect place for portraits. You could even make a mini getaway out of it and spend the weekend to celebrate!
12. VIRGINIA ARBORETUM
VA Arboretum is a little further out but definitely unique in terms of setting.
13. Bon Air Park & Green Spring Garden
County Fairs & Carnivals cannot be beaten in terms of fun, classic romance! The National Harbor Ferris Wheel and Glenn Echo Park kind of have this vibe but I want so badly to do a real fair! This usually occurs around fall.
18. HOT AIR BALLOONS
Is there anything more romantic than the scene in the Notebook where they paddle among the swans!? Dreams. Riverbend Park or Key Bridge Boathouse can take care of this set up!
20. CAMPING & MOUNTAINS
Alright, this one is particularly for those outdoorsy couples. Old Rag Mountain or Great Falls would be great for this one!
21. Franciscan Monastery
When the flowers are in bloom here, it is stunning! I love the arches and little gardens.
22. Catholic University
True life, this actually has some of DC's best cherry blossoms when they're in season!
23. Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower
Yes, you can shoot INSIDE the clock tower! It is only open certain hours on Saturday and requires a $100 fee.
24. National Gallery of Art East Building
I am truly in love with these stairs! There is also other amazing modern art in this space..
25. St. John's Episcopal Church Ruins
I know this metro station doesn't look like much but I swear it looks just like Paris inside the arches!
There you have it folks! My complete list for under the radar bucket list locations in the DMV area! Let me know if any adventurous couples want to check these off this spring!