With a big snowstorm potentially hitting the DC metro area this weekend, we’re reminded of how much we love it when that happens! Sure, the traffic jams and closures can be a pain. But engagement photos in the snow are really awesome! For starters, pictures of you and your future spouse in a snow-covered city are absolutely beautiful. They also definitely stand out from the rest. (At a minimum, there’s usually a good story involved. Especially if you have the good fortune to take them during the occasional memorable blizzards that bear down on the DMV!) And finally, snow engagement photos are a lot of fun to take – both for you and for us! Engagement photoshoots in the snow often devolve into snowball fights or end with someone laughing after they’ve tumbled into a snowbank.
We’ve been lucky enough to have engagement sessions or weddings during many DC snowstorms in the past few years. Including one during the famous Snowmaggedon of 2016 and another in the huge blizzard of early 2019. As a result, we have a good idea of where the best places for engagement portraits in the snow are in the DC metro area. Here are a few of our favorites:
The Middle of New York Ave NW in Downtown Washington DC
Big snowstorms in the Nation’s Capital tend to shut the city down. Though that can be inconvenient in a lot of ways, it’s great for getting truly unique engagement photos. With fewer cars on the streets of downtown Washington DC, for example, you can pose for your portraits right in the middle of some of the city’s most famous streets. Which is obviously not possible on days with normal traffic!
One of our favorite streets for this kind of snow engagement photo is New York Ave NW. In particular, the stretch that runs from the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church to Apple Carnegie Library. For those couple of blocks, the thoroughfare is wide and open, with many interesting things lining the lanes on either side. The street also slopes slightly upward as it runs northeast, making you stand out in the frame a little more.
Scott’s Run Nature Preserve in McLean VA
Along the banks of the Potomac River just north of Washington DC is a great spot for outdoorsy engagement photos. Scott’s Run Nature Preserve in Northern Virginia is awesome for hiking engagement portraits, if you and your future spouse like the idea of a more active photoshoot.
If more contemplative pictures are better suited to your tastes, Scott’s Run Nature Preserve also has a placid pool tucked closer to the Potomac. The huge rocks overlooking it are great for cuddling with your beloved in peace and tranquility. That location is also ideal for snowy engagement photos when the entire area is blanketed in white. As are the various hiking trails running through the woods. After all, nothing says romantic winter portraits like a couple posing in the forest as snow falls softly around them!
The Sides of the Lincoln Memorial
Like the idea of snow engagement photos but don’t love the prospect of being cold and damp? One of Washington DC’s most famous landmarks has the perfect spot for you. The landing at the top of the steps of the Lincoln Memorial runs all the way around the outside of the chamber housing the late president’s statue. The sections on either side are essentially open (except for the iconic columns). For that reason, they offer gorgeous views of the Washington Monument in the distance.
Those open-but-covered areas are also perfect for engagement photos with snow falling all around you. The flakes will be clearly visible in the pictures, but the canopy of the Lincoln Memorial will keep you and your future spouse dry (and relatively warm).
(Please note that engagement photoshoots at the Lincoln Memorial require permits. If you’re interested in doing a session there, we’re more than happy to help you acquire one!)
Grant Circle in Northwest Washington DC
The circles created by DC’s unique layout are among the city’s most distinctive features. A lot of the most famous ones, though, are not great spots for engagement photos. They tend to be flat, crowded and sometimes relatively featureless. In other words, they aren’t conducive to engagement portraits that stand out, snow or no snow.
Grant Circle, on the other hand, is an awesome place for engagement photos in the snow. Tucked away in Northwest DC, it is one of the lesser known traffic circles in the Nation’s Capital. That means it’s relatively crowd-free, so you and your beloved can fully embrace the quiet and solitude of a snowy day. More importantly, Grant Circle has a huge tree in the middle of it. That gives the spot a nice nature-y vibe, adds a distinctive element to the portraits and helps keep the two of you a little warmer and drier.
The Washington DC War Memorial on the National Mall
Though not as flashy as the other memorials and monuments that line the National Mall, the DC War Memorial is a superstar when it comes to weddings and engagements. It is one of only three places on or near the Mall that hosts wedding celebrations. And its gorgeous marble dome adds something distinctly beautiful to any portraits taken under it.
The dome is also part of what makes the DC War Memorial an ideal spot for snowy engagement pictures. Like the canopy over the sides of the Lincoln Memorial, it keeps you relatively dry while the snow falls around you outside. Perhaps more importantly, the structure allows for some hauntingly beautiful night portraits. We can pose you under the dome, use the curved white marble to illuminate the area behind you (turning you into a silhouette) and take a picture with snowflakes drifting down in the foreground. The resulting images will be the kind you will never forget!
(Like photoshoots at the Lincoln Memorial, engagement sessions at the DC War Memorial require a permit from the National Park Service.)
Like the idea of an engagement photoshoot in the snow but worried about how to stay warm? Click here for some helpful tips for what to wear for a winter engagement portrait session.
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