Is the Lincoln Memorial on your must-have list for your engagement session or the couples portraits portion of your wedding day? If so, you are not alone! That famous monument is one of the Washington, DC, area venues most frequently requested by our wedding and engagement clients for their couples portraits. It is not hard for DC wedding photographers to figure out why.
For starters, the Lincoln Memorial is easily recognizable by folks around the world as an icon of the Nation's Capital. If you want your wedding or engagement pictures to have a truly Washingtonian feel, it is obviously a great choice. Second, the Lincoln Memorial is testament to a towering figure in American history. It memorializes a man who guided the country through one of its biggest crises. So you and your beloved might select the monument as the backdrop for your couples portraits for reasons of personal significance. Third, the monument itself is an architecturally impressive structure and makes a beautiful and visually striking background for your wedding and engagement photography. Built to resemble a Greek temple, the Lincoln Memorial’s white facades, elegant columns and grand staircase are great for staging couples portraits. Those elements are beautiful but understated. That makes them an elegant background that keeps all the attention focused where it belongs: on you and your future spouse. Finally, the monument gives you a wide range of photographic options, meaning you get pictures with a different looks and feels. Your Washington, DC, wedding photographer can opt for sweeping, wide-angle shots that include all of the monument in the background. They can also give you more tightly focused images that use the beautiful white marble to make you and your intended stand out.
Another benefit for you is the Lincoln Memorial’s location in downtown DC. It is within a short walk of many other great locations for taking wedding and engagement photos. For example, the monument is a perfect spot from which to start a couples portrait tour of the National Mall. At the foot of the monument’s staircase is the Reflecting Pool, which offers several different options for stunning images. Your DC wedding photographers can go for another typically Washingtonian picture by posing you with the iconic shape of the Washington Monument simultaneously rising behind you and reflected in the waters at your feet. Or the focus can stay entirely on you and your future spouse. The photo your Washington, DC, wedding photographer takes can feature just a mirror image of the two of you as you embrace.
The Washington Monument itself is just short walk from the Lincoln Memorial. Given that it is a national icon, it is not surprising that it is another great venue for your wedding and engagement photography. Everyone and their brother knows that. The path between the two memorials, however, is a bit of a hidden gem. It is filled with very nice spots in which to take pictures you and your beloved. From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, you pass by either the Vietnam Veterans Memorial or the Korean War Veterans Memorial (neither of which is appropriate for wedding and engagement photographs) and into long, tree-lined walkways.
These two avenues are great places to take pictures, because the lines of the trees and the pathways frame you and your future spouse in a very visually pleasing way. We normally opt for the one to the left of the Reflecting Pool as you face the Washington Monument, because it passes through Constitution Gardens, a lovely little “park within a park” whose main attraction is a beautiful pond in the middle of which is a small island reachable by foot. Your DC wedding photographers can get pictures of you on that island either reflected in the waters of the pond or framed by the branches of a willow tree.
For this particular future bride and groom, we opted for a fairly simple approach for this engagement photo of them. We wanted to highlight the strong connection between the man and woman, so we chose a pretty neutral background. Because Washington’s monuments are so spectacular, they can occasionally distract the eye from the main subjects of an engagement portrait. To avoid that, we posed this couple on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The result is a photo with an elegant but understated backdrop that keeps the entire focus on the two people who will soon be married.
Please note that wedding or engagement photography at all of the memorials and monuments on the National Mall requires a permit from the National Park Service.
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