Being Wedding Photographers in Washington DC and its surrounding areas can be both a gift and a curse. There are a plethora of Engagement photography opportunities within minutes of each other. Whether you want to have an elegant editorial style session, an industrial feel, or enjoy the gorgeous parks and monuments, there's a look for everyone. However, there are many factors that can sway what locations you may want to use for your engagement photos. Let's look at 3 of these factors and talk about some tools that we use to help our brides and grooms.
Is a Photography Permit Needed?
Home to many monuments and national parks, wedding photography in Washington DC seems like a dream! However, many of these parks and national monuments have restrictions and permit fees for photography use. Fees can range anywhere from $50 - $200. Some places may not have a fee, but have strict guidelines. For example, if you want to shoot outside of the Library of Congress, then you must make a request to the U.S. Capitol Police. If shooting inside the Library of Congress, then they ask that you limit your time to 1 hour that's not within the 10:30am - 3:30pm timeframe and that there is professional equipment outside of camera and lens used. Every monument, museum, and park has different guidelines for Engagement Photography in Washington DC. Luckily, we at RS Weddings have made an extensive list of these locations and their photography guidelines.
Tourist Foot Traffic
More than 25 million tourists come to the National Mall area each and every year. Anywhere between 20 and 30 million people visit some part Washington DC on a yearly basis. That's a lot of people potentially in photo bombing or standing in the way of your Washington DC Engagement session dreams! So what can you do about that? Well there's a couple of options.
The first of which is to try and avoid them as much as possible. If you can, try to schedule your Washington DC engagement sessions during the school years--especially the early parts. Also, aim for the early morning times. It sounds a little far-fetched but Washington DC engagement photography thrives just before sunrise.
The other thing that couples can do is embrace the crowds in their Washington DC engagement sessions. Photographers can use what's called a long exposure to capture the movement of a crowd around a couple. Sometimes, passers by will even want to partake in the occasional photo bomb.
Ever-changing Construction Areas & Events
Anyone who lives anywhere near the DC area knows that construction is just a way of life. The landscape is ever changing, new buildings and roads are being built at what seems like a daily place, and there's always some sort of maintenance being performed on just the structure you wanted to use for your location. The only ways to truly be prepared for these things is to research the location on the internet for scheduled maintenance or physically scout the location a few days prior to the shoot. However, even just looking at only your location may not be enough. DC has events or permitted protests daily that could not even be mentioned in the vicinity of your engagement session and yet could still pose a problem for couples. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS have a backup plan.