As a family photographer, one of my favorite aspects of the job is being able to bring my client’s special moments and meaningful relationships to life. While smiles, energy, and the openness of a family is what makes great pictures happen, the background definitely ties the photo together. A beautiful setting is undoubtedly a great way to add life to a photo, making it feel vibrant, enhancing details, and developing personalized ambiance.
The Washington D.C. area has no shortage of beautiful shoot locations, and the fall offers the perfect opportunity to take advance of the gorgeous area. In the fall, finding deep natural tones and an organic and picturesque setting is hardly ever a challenge. For fall photoshoot inspiration and a peak into some of my favorite shoots, I have listed my top five, plus one bonus, favorite fall photoshoot locations here.
- Rock Creek Park. This large, urban park is in the northwest region of metro D.C., but it feels miles away. Once submerged in the park it is hard not to feel like you are deep in the woods. Thick wooded areas, wide fields, and rustic walking paths provide ample opportunity for families to get embedded with nature for some seriously scenic fall pictures.
- Bishop’s Garden at National Cathedral. One of my favorite spots, this setting is ideal for family pictures. Throughout the year the foliage is consistently stunning, and the grounds strike a great balance between manicured but not overly polished. The result is a natural and fresh environment, with plenty of room for kids to explore, and lots of potential areas to carve out your own special spot.
- Mitchell Park. This local city park has a fun playground, but the best part for me as a photographer is the wide open field, the large trees that provide plenty of shade, the brick walls and walkways, and the lovely landscaped areas. The park is a nice size that isn’t too large to take advantage of all the different features that look great in photographs.
- The Franciscan Monastery. Tucked away in the Brookland neighborhood of northeast DC, the monastery is a picturesque location with a Byzantine style church surrounded by a arched portico and manicured gardens and walkways. This is a nice place to visit because it is far away from other touristy sites in the city and is doesn’t get crowded with visitors.
- A backyard. I often invite clients into my own yard for photoshoots, and love being able to capture families at their own home as well. A backyard can afford a variety of photo options, while providing an atmosphere that a child may be more comfortable with, particularly if it is their own space. In the fall, most D.C. families are lucky to experience the beautiful nature infused scenery around their own home, which can lead to very special atmosphere during the shoot.
- Baltimore Inner Harbor and Federal Hill. I’m adding a two-for-one extra location up in Baltimore. I don’t make it up to Baltimore very often for sessions, but when I do, these two great spots right near each other are the perfect places to meet up with families. Two of my favorite settings, the Baltimore Inner Harbor and Federal Hill areas are beautiful year round, but really shine in the fall. This seaport landmark manages to feel both industrial and polished. Brick walkways, historic light posts, and magnificent views of the urban landscape create a dynamic backdrop, and there is no shortage of vibrant trees, rich green grass, and foliage spotted landscape.
Do you have a favorite fall spot in and around the Washington D.C. area? Let me know in the comments below!