Are you and your fiancé(e) looking for a place in the Washington, DC area where you can have interesting, unique and different engagement photos taken? If so, then we would recommend the National Portrait Gallery and the American Art Museum, two of the best venues for getting those sorts of images in the Nation’s Capital. Co-located in the old U.S. Patent Office building — an elegant National Historical Landmark near DC’s National Mall — and a part of the extensive network of Smithsonian museums, these two venues offer something for art lovers, something for those who appreciate the offbeat and most importantly, something for couples who want great spots for beautiful engagement pictures surrounded by elegant portraiture or unique works of art.
The museums also appeal to couples with a playful side who like having some fun with their engagement shoot. That was something that we really appreciated about these lovely spouses-to-be. The two Smithsonian-sponsored cultural repositories are filled with private nooks in which two lovers can cuddle, long corridors that draw the eye to fiancés in love and art installations through which wedding and engagement photographers like us can capture really beautiful images of our clients. In other words, there are a lot of opportunities to get creative with engagement photography there, and we loved that this couple was game for everything we suggested!
We started in the National Portrait Gallery, a DC-based museum whose mission is to tell America’s story through the faces of those who have shaped and defined its history. We took the couple up to a long, luxurious, two-story hallway on the top floor of the building. The future spouses first posed in the middle of the corridor for some dramatic wide-angle portraits. We then ducked into one of the many gallery rooms adjoining the main hallway and took some photos of the couple cuddling and admiring one of the portraits displayed within. From there, the fiancés went up to the second floor of the chamber. We captured some gorgeous images of them embracing in a portico that opens to a spacious atrium at one end of the hallway. Before they came back down to the main floor, we took some additional photographs of them framed in an open window in the wall. That’s where we produced this beautiful image of them lovingly touching foreheads.
Afterwards, we proceeded to the American Art Museum half of the building. The country’s first museum dedicated uniquely to the preservation of American art, the institution celebrates artists and works that speak about the American experience. It also aims to represent the incredible diversity of our nation and its artists by displaying contemporary crafts, modern folk and self-taught art, American impressionist paintings, African-American art, Latino art, New Deal art, works from the Gilded Age and video games. We got some lovely images of the couple near some of the larger installations. Our favorites featured them posing beneath a painting with lines resembling the letter “M.”
We finished the engagement session in the Kogod Courtyard, the highlight of a recent renovation to the building. Occupying the space between the two museums, the courtyard has a beautiful, undulating window canopy that allows plenty of natural light to illuminate the space. We took a few wide-angle pictures of the couple there and then departed, vowing to come back as soon as we could!