January 30, 2019
I am often asked during the booking process what my favorite shooting locations are in the DMV. My answer is usually…many!
Besides flower farm and at-home sessions, the rest of my portraits are taken at locations of your choosing. It can be hard narrowing down the right outdoor space for your shoot because there are so many to choose from in the greater DC area. I frequent my favorites year after year, so I thought it may help to have them all written in one place to see which suits your style and session vision!
Manassas Battlefield – Manassas, VA | A large space with grassy fields, old wooden fencing, historic houses, stone bridge, lots of sun and pretty fall foliage. One of the busier portrait locations in the area, especially during peak fall season.
Downtown Middleburg – Middleburg, VA | A quaint downtown area filled with cute brick-faced shops, cobblestone and hanging signage, a local hometown vibe with quiet side streets.
Great Falls – Great Falls, VA | These falls are a must-visit for those who have grown up in the Northern VA area, and the park makes for a lovely portrait spot. The VA side has dirt walking trails, climbing rocks and easy access to the impressive view of the rapids! A $5 entry fee per car required.
E.C. Lawrence & Cabell’s Mill – Centreville, VA | Located directly off Route 29, Cabell’s Mill is an old stone historic house surrounded by small walking trails and a pond. Easy to get around with young children.
Meadowlark Botanical Gardens – Reston, VA | A gorgeous botanical garden with seasonal blooms located near Wolf Trap. Really large with a wide variety of backdrops including a pond, tree-covered trails, and flowers galore. Reservation and $25 photo fee required.
Frying Pan Park – Herndon, VA | A lovely little animal farm with a large red barn and walking paths around fenced-in pastures home to horses, goats, bunnies and more. A fun spot for young kids to play while getting photos taken!
Nottoway Park – Vienna, VA | Large park in Vienna home to a mustard yellow historic house, open grassy sports fields, graveled paths and a playground. Pretty pastel blooms in Spring!
Wolf Trap – Herndon, VA | Well-known concert venue also open to hiking and portraits. Behind the stage is an open grassy field leading to a few wooded walking trails, streams and bridge at the bottom of the hill.
Seven Oaks Lavender Farm – Catlett, VA | A personal favorite! Locally-loved pick-your-own lavender farm. I host my Field & Farm portraits here each June where we use the farm’s many backdrops including the lavender field, wide open fields, surrounding cow pastures, white shed, chicken coop, hay bales and more. Click here for our Field & Farm 2018 recap!
Rady Park – Warrenton, VA | A really beautiful small, wooded community park in the quiet side streets of Warrenton. Surrounded by rolling hills and a wooden fence, their wide variety of seasonal blooms make this location perfect for portraits any time of year. Lighting falls great at sunset.
48 Fields – Leesburg, VA | A gorgeous wedding venue and portrait location in Leesburg. Their venue is a romantic all-white barn with light wooden doors surrounded by fields of tall grass and working barns. Really beautiful for engagements and couple sessions. Reservation and a $25 photo fee required. Click here for a stylized family session with the Simpson family!
Burnside Farm – Haymarket, VA | A rotating seasonal flower farm, Burnside is well-loved for their “Holland in Haymarket” tulip event in Spring and sunflowers in late Summer. Reservation and a $50 photo fee + admission required.
Wollam Gardens – Jeffersonton, VA | Another favorite! Wollam Gardens is an 11-acre working seasonal flower farm and wedding venue home to a unique variety of annuals, perennials, herbs and shrubs. Flowers are grown throughout their farm in fields, greenhouses, and hoop houses. $50 photo fee per session required. Keep a lookout for our shoot weekends here throughout the year!
Whitehall Estate – Bluemont, VA | Elegant wedding venue in the rolling hills of Bluemont, Virginia. Lovely white building with green shutters, surrounded by greenery, hills, open fields, white and stone barns, a swing. Perfect for engagement sessions.
Green Spring Gardens – Alexandria, VA | A hidden gem located in the busy streets of Alexandria. Large expanses of gardens with countless blooms and a wide variety of color. In the center sits a tall, historic brick and black-trimmed house, behind it a large duck pond, gazebo and walking trails. Pretty at any time of year, but Spring is my personal favorite with the azaleas and viburnum in full-bloom!
Fort CF Smith Park – Arlington, VA | One of my most-used parks, especially in the Fall. A great central location for many of my Arlington/Alexandria families, manicured grass lawns surrounded by uncut wildflower borders, large mature oak trees. Fort CF Smith is compact with a good variety of backdrops, great for young kids with their little legs!
Old Town Alexandria – Alexandria, VA | Old Town’s charm is a timeless favorite. Bricked walks, cobblestone streets, colorful homes, a covered walking tunnel and seasonal foliage. Really the perfect engagement spot for DC couples getting married in the city, but you can also make it fun for family sessions using the docks and some of the fun colorful murals and fountains near the water! Click here for Molly and Brian’s Old Town engagement session!
Snead’s Asparagus Farm – Fredericksburg, VA | A family-run sustainable Christmas tree and asparagus farm located in Fredericksburg. Photo backdrops include seasonal plants, a beautiful wooden barn, open fields and more. $20 photo fee plus $5 admission.
Downtown Fredericksburg – Fredericksburg, VA | Downtown Fredericksburg has lovely blocks of bricked buildings, quaint shops, vintage signage and courtyards. A great option if you want a historic downtown feel without the city crowds!
James Madison University – Harrisonburg, VA | A location near and dear to my heart! JMU’s campus sits in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. Their large quad, stone archways, fountains and kissing rock make gorgeous backdrops for both senior and engagement photography. The campus was my home for four years and my photography courses had me shooting all over campus – I know every inch of the grounds!
Ratliff’s Blueberry & Christmas Tree Farm – Broadway, VA | A seasonal family-run tree and berry farm about 30 minutes North of JMU off 81. Tucked away off the main road, their rolling fields provide a natural and uninterrupted backdrop for portraits. Great during the Christmas season – and I would love to shoot here during peak blueberry season!
The Monuments & The Mall – Downtown, DC | The Mall and surrounding area is home to classic portrait locations like the Lincoln Memorial, reflecting pond, Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin. All really lovely at any time of year, but does get crowded, especially in peak seasons like the Spring Cherry Blossoms. The Jefferson is particularly lovely during winter when its huge holly bushes are sporting their festive red berries! Click here for photos from my DC holiday session with Heather & Eric!
Rock Creek Park – Downtown, DC | While I actually have not shot here yet, I drive by all the time and it comes up a lot when brainstorming location ideas. Really large and beautiful DC park space with trails, bridges crossing streams, climbing rocks. A great variety of natural backdrops and big enough to bypass large crowds.
Dumbarton Oaks Park – Downtown, DC | Another hidden city gem, located close to Georgetown. Dumbarton Oaks is a historic estate home to a museum and gorgeous botanical garden and surrounding park space. Extravagant flower beds and oak trees. Click here to view a beautiful fall maternity session at Dumbarton!
Great Falls – Potomac, MD | The Maryland side of Great Falls is my preferred side to shoot on during the holiday season. A white historic home with green shutters (decorated for the holidays with green garland and red bows) sits beside the canal and towpath. Harder to get to the falls on this side, but the path and canal make for a really gorgeous backdrop no matter what time of year. A $5 entry fee per car required.
Glen Echo Park – Glen Echo, MD | This is a really fun and unique shooting location! An old 1900’s DC amusement park turned into an arts and cultural center. The park’s structures are still standing, so in the background of your portraits sits a vintage carousel, old park signage and colorful buildings. Fun for themed family sessions with bold pops of color!
Butterbee Farm – Pikesville, MD | Another flower farm favorite! Beautiful seasonal farm hidden in the side streets of Pikesville. The views from the farm are rolling corn fields…and rows & rows of rotating flowers. Butterbee has greenhouses filled with plants and endless fields for frolicking. A $100 photo fee required. Click here for photos from my recent visit to Butterbee!
Kenwood – Bethesda, MD | Love the cherry blossoms but hate the DC crowds? The Kenwood neighborhood in Bethesda offers you another option! This neighborhood is famous for its cherry blossom-lined streets and gorgeous homes. While it still gets crowded during peak blossom season, it is a great option for viewing the blooms without a trip into the city! Parking is limited. Click here for the George family’s portraits here this past Spring.
Cylburn Arboretum – Baltimore, MD | As their website suggests, Cylburn’s 200-acres is an urban oasis in Baltimore County. Walk through their gorgeous gardens and wooded trails and see their hundreds of seasonal plants and central historic stone mansion. Free to public, dogs welcome. Check out my visit to Cylburn this summer here!
Hope this list helps you narrow down your options! If there are any places that we’ve shot at together that I forgot to add to the list – leave a comment below!
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