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. Burnside Farms

Burnside Farms also has sunflowers but amazing tulips as well! Again, the blooms depend on the season!

2. Springfield Manor

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! Springfield Manor also has lavendar in summer!

3. Hot Air Balloon

This one comes with a certain risk involved. If you rent private, it can also get pricey. HOWEVER, there are some balloon festivals (also here, here, and here) in the area and we could stay on the ground!

4. Boating & Canoeing

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! ALSO, would love to do the paddle boats at the Jefferson!

5. Mountains & Camping

Alright, this one is particularly for those outdoorsy couples. Ravens Roost is one of the places I have yet to explore!

6. Catholic University

True life, this actually has some of DC’s best cherry blossoms when they’re in season!

7. Retreat at Cool Spring

This should be higher on the list but I JUST heard about it this year! You need to see the interior of the Retreat at Cool Spring! It is arguably the most elegant venue in Virginia.

8. Manors

Although this one is a little closer to Charlottesville, you need to consider this if you are a classic romantic! Check out the Swannanoa website for more info! I would also love to shoot at Whitehall in Annapolis (you can rent a helicopter here), Highholdborne in Bluemont, Liriodendron Mansion, Clifton Mansion, Strong Mansion in Maryland and Glenview in MD as well!

Lastly, if you have a home with great natural light and style, I love an In Home Session!

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!


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