Top 5 Places to Shoot and Explore in DC

I’ve been a little bit of everywhere around this little (big) city and have come across a lot of hidden gems which I just absolutely love to utilize for everyday shoots. Some near, some far. But overall, they really are beautiful places to check out. If you’re a photo fan like me, let me know what you think of these spots. If you have your own that I’m missing, share the wealth! Maybe we could even schedule a joint shoot there.

1. Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

I went here for the first time a few months ago although I’ve lived in DC for 4 years (I know, I know, I’ve been missing out). Upon initially walking in, there is so much to see and explore that you can basically end up staying on the first floor your entire visit. The lighting is dim but with the right settings anything is possible. Especially if you’re going for a more dramatic melancholy feel to what you’re shooting.

But, as you hit that second floor, literally, a whole new level of photographic opportunities is open to your disposal. With so much space and lighting, the Modern Art exhibit is a photographers dream when it comes to general shooting and portrait photography.

2. The Lincoln Memorial

There is so much opportunity here that basically whether you’re doing event photography, portraits, sports or just nature photography the possibilities are endless. My number one suggestion with shooting here would be to come early. Everything in sight seems to glimmer around the wee hours of 7 am -9 am. From the steps of the Lincoln memorial, to the pillars, to the amazing view over to the Washington Monument, this is a spot you could shoot at for days and discover something new every time.

3. U-Street

This entire strip is a work of art. I kid you not. From 7th – 15th street and beyond, the art that fills the walls and back alleys of U – Street brings so much vibrance and soul to the streets. My recommendation would be to start at 14th and U and just work your way around. Busy nights are always the best for capturing the essence of this space.

4. The Tidal Basin and everywhere else that has Cherry Blossoms

It’s about that time for my favorite time of year again, Spring time! With a peak bloom of March 23rd – 25th were only a few weeks away from Cherry Blossom season in DC. The Tidal Basin is famous for the Cherry Blossom festival that happens every year where thousands flood in to get a few quick flicks of these beauties. One of my favorite things to do is to shoot through the flowers. It creates a beautiful aesthetic and girls seem to love the color these create as both a forefront and a background for photos.

5. Gallery Place Chinatown

Lastly, one place that I absolutely adore is Gallery Place Chinatown. The night life on this side of town and just how well-lit and wonderfully crafted the architecture is over here makes this (for me at least) one of the most iconic spaces the city has to explore. The Friendship Arch in Chinatown is a space I’ve explored for a brief moment but I definitely have big plans to expand my portfolio with this spot in the near future. There are so many painted murals on the crossways and the live music and street entertainers always are a site to see.

Also, there are a lot of shops in the Gallery Place which are all connected with these enchanting lights. You may be able to catch them if you’re around when the sun goes down. I ended up passing by them on a way to a shoot and was instantly captivated by them. Definitely a must see!

If you end up checking these out let me know! I’d love to hear what you guys think of these spots!

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