If you like the idea of an engagement photoshoot at dawn or dusk, then you are not alone. A lot of couples in the DC area ask us about scheduling their session at those times of day. And we are happy to oblige! Before becoming DC wedding photographers, we honed our camera skills through nature photography. Our specialty while doing that? Sunrise and sunset photos! Almost every day for a couple of years, we would go out before dawn or dusk, set up our cameras and get pictures of the sun rising or setting.
That practice has given us the ability to take lovely pictures of a sky lit by a sunrise or sunset. And fortunately, those skills have transferred very nicely to taking DC engagement photos of couples like you! We know how to get you gorgeous, stunning portraits of the two of you embracing in front of one of the best scenes that Mother Nature can create. (Provided she cooperates, of course! But that is a different story for a different day.)
The time we put into nature photography also gave us a unique perspective on one of the age-old debates in DC engagement photography. Every Washington DC wedding photographer and couple wonder and talk about whether sunrise engagement photos or sunset portraits are better. They all seemingly have a different opinion on the matter. But in our experience, a lot of those opinions are guided by just one factor: biorhythms. If the person likes getting up early, then sunrise photoshoots are better. If they are more of a night person, then sunset engagement photos are the way to go.
The decision about when to schedule your engagement photo session is not so simple, though. We can tell you from experience that several other factors matter as well. Because as much as you value your sleep, the most important thing is you getting DC engagement photos you are going to treasure forever. So without further ado, here are some of the other considerations and our thoughts on which type of session is better for each one.
Arlington, Virginia, is a particularly awesome spot for sunrise photo sessions. It offers some especially glorious views of DC’s monuments. From the Netherlands Carillon on Arlington’s Potomac River bluffs, there are spots where the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and US Capitol line up perfectly. And at certain times of year, the sun rises directly behind them.
We should note that there are two places in or near Washington, DC, that have pretty reliably good sunsets. The first is the steps of the US Capitol. Though you can’t see the horizon from there, the corridor running along the National Mall and into Arlington National Cemetery does mean that there are not many buildings in your way. The second is the northern shore of Theodore Roosevelt Island. From there, you can sometimes get a gorgeous view of the sky as the sun sets over the Potomac River. But on balance, sunrise photo sessions in DC tend to deliver better looking backdrops.
Normally, that does not matter very much. We can usually start with some easy poses and shots to let you get more comfortable. Except, as it turns out, during sunrise engagement photoshoots. The problem with those types of engagement sessions is that the best skies are before the sun comes up. So we and you basically need to show up and be ready to get the money shots right out of the gate. During a sunset engagement photoshoot, though, the main event is not until the end of the session. That gives you, at a minimum, the better part of an hour to take some “practice photos.”
So if you have read this far, you have probably noticed that the sunrise vs sunset engagement photos score has ended in a 2-2 tie. That was a result that we partially intended. Because at the end of the day, there is no perfect answer to the question of which is best. Well, actually, we take that back. There is a perfect answer. It is whatever works best for you and your future spouse. Like we said, we will be there with our cameras ready to capture beautiful images of you no matter what you choose.
Location: Netherlands Carillon, Arlington, VA 22209.
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