Though we consider ourselves DC wedding photographers, Arlington, Virginia is technically the place we call home. It is located just across the Potomac River from Washington, making it an integral part of the metro area. Because it is primarily a residential suburb, it lacks a bit of the Nation’s Capital’s flash, perhaps. But in our experience, it is filled with great locations for engagement shoots and couples portraits.
Washington, DC, is clearly famous amongst photographers and tourists for its many monuments and museums. And not without reason. DC wedding photographers like us love using iconic Washington landmarks in our portraiture!
That Arlington is home to some equally fine tributes to American history and culture is perhaps not so widely known. For example, the United States Air Force Memorial is a beautiful monument to the sacrifices of America’s airmen and women. The structure sits on a river bluff in that DC suburb. From that vantage point, it overlooks the Pentagon, Arlington Cemetery and downtown DC. The memorial’s visually pleasing design is beloved by any Washington, DC, wedding photographer. It is one of the most unique and eye-catching structures in the Washington metro area. Three arcing metal spires curve upward from its center and are visible from miles around. They are meant to evoke memories of the legendary Air Force Thunderbirds performing their signature “bomb burst” maneuver. Those steel spires look great in both closeup shots and wider-angle engagement and wedding photography.
The U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial (or Iwo Jima Memorial) is another iconic monument that resides in Arlington. Like the Air Force Memorial, it also doubles as a fabulous location for a photo shoot. It is situated on an even higher river bluff, giving the area an even better view of downtown Washington. The vista is better still from the Netherlands Carillon, a bell tower located next to the Iwo Jima Memorial. From that spot, the US Capitol Building, Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial line up a neat row. Every Washington, DC, wedding photographer knows that this configuration makes for some of the best sunrise photos in the area. In front of the Netherlands Carillon is a garden filled with tulips in the spring and chilies in the fall. The former in particular are great for adding a splash of bright color to photos of fiancés or newlyweds.
Arlington’s charm as a location for engagement and wedding photography is not limited to its monuments and memorials. The DC suburb is also home to many parks, rivers, bike trails and other green spaces. For fiancés and newlyweds looking for portraits amid the beauty of nature, Arlington is a lovely choice. There are literally dozens of great options within a few miles of downtown Washington.
This particular bride and groom preferred to have that sort of a naturalistic feel in their engagement photos. Though their portrait session was in the dead of a DC winter, they still wanted some green in the images. To get that, we took the couple to Quincy Park, a nice space between Arlington’s Ballston and Virginia Square neighborhoods.
Quincy Park offers DC area fiancés and newlyweds lots of shaded nooks amid the tall trees that dot its surface. It is an ideal location for very intimate portraiture that focuses on the couple’s faces and highlights their connection. That is obviously the approach we took when capturing the image featured here.
We asked the groom to lean against one of Quincy Park’s numerous trees. We then had his bride-to-be nestle into him with her back to his front. Though she was tall, he was even a bit taller, meaning he could bring his arm over her shoulder. She then grasped his hand with hers, creating visually pleasing lines through the frame. We then asked him to lean his head towards her and nuzzle her with his nose.
To spice the picture up a bit, we decided to take it from a more creative angle. Fortunately, Quincy Park has two baseball/softball diamonds that are handily furnished with multi-tier bleachers. So we climbed up on the ones closest to where we had posed the couple. From there, we had a cool downward line of sight with regard to the fiancés. Not only did this make the resulting picture more interesting, it also helped take some distracting elements from the background. The outcome was a lovely, romantic and intimate photo!