7 Steps to Planning the Perfect Engagement Session


HEY - I'm Sam!

I'm a wedding photographer who is obsessed with love and capturing love stories. (and is also obsessed with her dogs).  If you’re ready to run around fields, laugh and create photos that don't feel stiff and posed, I'm your girl.


May 3, 2024

Downtown Washington, D.C. is a beautiful and historic location that serves as the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable engagement session. With its iconic landmarks, busy streets, and beautiful scenery, it offers endless opportunities for stunning photos that capture the love and excitement of this special time in your life. If you’re considering a downtown D.C. engagement session, here’s your ultimate guide with 7 steps to planning the perfect engagement session.

1. Choose the Right Time of Year

Washington, D.C. experiences all four seasons, each offering its unique charm for an engagement session. Spring brings cherry blossoms in full bloom, while summer offers long days and lush greenery. Fall showcases vibrant foliage, and winter provides a cozy atmosphere with potential snowfall. Please take a look at the weather and scenery you prefer when choosing the time of year for your session.

2. Scout Locations

Downtown Washington, D.C. is filled with iconic landmarks and hidden gems that provide stunning backdrops for engagement photos. Some popular locations include:

  • The National Mall: With its iconic monuments and expansive green spaces, the National Mall offers endless photo opportunities.
  • The Tidal Basin: Known for its cherry blossoms in the spring, the Tidal Basin is a romantic spot for engagement photos year-round.
  • Georgetown: This historic neighborhood features cobblestone streets, charming architecture, and the picturesque Georgetown waterfront.
  • The Kennedy Center: The rooftop terrace of the Kennedy Center provides panoramic views of the city skyline and the Potomac River.
  • Capitol Hill: With its neoclassical architecture and Capitol Building backdrop, Capitol Hill offers a classic D.C. setting for engagement photos.

Be sure to scout these locations beforehand to find the best spots for your shoot and to obtain any necessary permits or permissions.

3. Coordinate Outfits

Coordinate your outfits to complement each other and the backdrop of downtown Washington, D.C. Consider the style and color palette you want to convey, keeping in mind the season and location of your shoot. Opt for outfits that are comfortable and make you feel confident, and avoid busy patterns or logos that may distract from the main focus—you and your partner.

4. Hire a Professional Photographer

Invest in a professional photographer who specializes in engagement sessions and knows the ins and outs of shooting in downtown D.C. A skilled photographer will not only capture beautiful images but also guide you through the process, helping you feel relaxed and natural in front of the camera.

5. Plan for Transportation

Washington, D.C. can be bustling with traffic and pedestrians, so plan for transportation to and between your chosen locations. Consider hiring a car service or using rideshare apps to ensure a seamless experience on the day of your shoot.

6. Consider Timing

Timing is key when planning an engagement session in downtown D.C. Consider scheduling your shoot during golden hour—the hour before sunset—when the light is soft and flattering, casting a warm glow over the city. This time of day will provide the most stunning lighting for your photos.

7. Relax and Have Fun

Above all, remember to relax and have fun during your engagement session. Let your love and excitement shine through, and trust your photographer to capture the magic of this special moment in your lives. Downtown Washington, D.C. provides the perfect backdrop for a memorable engagement session that you’ll cherish for years to come.

By following these tips and planning ahead, you can ensure a stress-free and unforgettable engagement session in downtown Washington, D.C. Whether you’re strolling through the cherry blossoms in spring or enjoying a cozy winter afternoon, the nation’s capital offers endless opportunities for beautiful photos that celebrate your love story. I hope these 7 steps to planning the perfect engagement session helped! to check out a recent engagement session I did in downtown Washington, keep scrolling.

To see more of my work, click here! To book with me, click here!

Kind Words

“We have used Sam for fall photoshoots, our engagement shoot, our rehearsal dinner, and our wedding. She is an absolute dream to work with. Samantha is professional, timely, creative, supportive, and all-around the best out there. She goes above and beyond her role as a photographer even to fix my hair and veil throughout the day.” Olivia and Nathan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HEY - I'm sam!

I have learned that I love to capture the emotion and the connection between people. I love capturing love, capturing the giggles, the snuggles, the kisses. Snatching it all into a frozen frame for you to enjoy later. I couldn't be more thankful that I get to tell love stories of all kinds for my career. And I cannot wait to tell yours