Cherished Family Memories: Tips for Picking the Best Spot for Stunning Family Portraits in Washington DC!

Connor McLaren Photography Connor McLaren Photography


Here, I share tips, stories, and inspiration.

Picking the Best Spot for Family Portraits in Washington DC
Picking the Best Spot for Family Portraits in Washington DC

Any Washington DC professional photographer will agree that choosing the perfect location is a key factor in enhancing the beauty and significance of family portraits. For those seeking photographers in DC to capture their special moments, the decision on where to have the photoshoot is crucial. While looking for a family photographer in Washington DC, these tips will guide you in selecting the best spot for your family's unique personality and style.

Explore Meaningful Places. Begin your search by considering places that hold sentimental value for your family. It could be your favorite park, the beach where you spend summer vacations, or even your own backyard – especially convenient for families with newborns. Meaningful locations infuse portraits with nostalgia and authenticity. Choosing a familiar place can also be beneficial for shyer kids, as they are more likely to participate when surrounded by the comfort of their favorite surroundings, such as a playground.

Embrace the Great Outdoors. Nature provides an abundance of settings that can serve as an ideal backdrop for family portraits. Lush green parks, serene lakes, majestic mountains, or charming meadows can create a picturesque canvas. Opt for natural light during the golden hour – just after sunrise or before sunset – to cast a soft, flattering glow on your family.

Match the Setting with Your Family's Style. Consider your family's personality and style when selecting a location. For a fun-loving and adventurous family, an amusement park or a playful urban setting with colorful murals might be perfect. If your family exudes a more classic and elegant vibe, consider historic buildings, botanical gardens, or a beautiful cityscape as a fitting backdrop.

Prioritize Accessibility and Comfort. Ensure the chosen location is easily accessible and comfortable for all family members, especially if there are young children or elderly members. Take into account factors such as distance, parking facilities, restroom availability, and other amenities that contribute to an enjoyable photoshoot experience for everyone involved.

Seasonal Considerations. The season can significantly impact the overall look and feel of your family portraits. Blooming flowers in spring, vibrant foliage in autumn, or a snowy landscape in winter can add a touch of seasonal charm to your pictures. Consider the season and its impact on the chosen location to ensure it aligns with your vision.

Plan a Pre-Shoot Visit. If possible, visit the location before the photoshoot date. This allows you to assess lighting conditions, identify the best spots for pictures, and discuss specific ideas or poses with your photographer. Familiarizing yourself with the location will help your family feel more at ease during the actual photoshoot, creating a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere for capturing beautiful memories.


The Lincoln Memorial features stunning architecture - marble columns and grand staircases create dynamic and visually interesting shots by providing a range of vantage points and angles to work with. The lighting can change dramatically throughout the day. Early morning and late afternoon are particularly popular times, since the golden hour light can cast a warm and dramatic glow on the building.

Washington DC also has awesome rooftop spots for photos! Here are a few: 

  • The View of DC: a rooftop bar; stunning views of the city skyline; good for capturing city lights at night
  • POV Rooftop Lounge and Terrace: located at the top of the W Hotel; great views of the White House and Washington Monument
  • Kennedy Center Rooftop Terrace: sweeping views of the Potomac River and the city skyline; perfect for sunset pictures
  • Watergate Hotel Rooftop: breathtaking views of Georgetown and the Kennedy Center

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