Though it might not seem like a good idea on the surface, a winter engagement shoot can lead to you getting some really beautiful photos of you and your beloved. In our careers as DC wedding photographers, we have done more of these sessions than you might think. Many couples choose to do their engagement photos in January, February or March. And we can tell you from experience that the photos from these winter shoots can be as good or better than ones taken at other times as year.
Normally, Washington’s coldest months of the year would not seem an ideal choice for outdoor pictures of you and your future spouse. Though not known for brutal winter weather, the Nation’s Capital can get pretty brisk in January, February and March. Snow and ice are realistic possibilities.
So why do so many DC-based couples schedule their engagement portraits during the winter? The reason why has mostly to do with scheduling. The average betrothal period for Washington couples is about a year. Any less than that can make your wedding planning a rushed and stressful process. Any more than that is longer than you might want to wait before getting married. And in our experience, most proposals happen in the summer or fall the year before the marriage celebrations.
With if you have gotten engaged during those months and want to get married in the summer of the following year, then your engagement portraits can logically be scheduled in the subsequent fall, winter or spring. Depending on how early in the year your proposal was, you might be able to schedule your betrothal shoot in September or October. DC wedding photographers like us can certainly create some magical images when the leaves near the Nation’s Capital change! The foliage in the metro area, particularly near the Shenandoah Valley, can be quite spectacular.
Spring is also a beautiful time of year in the Washington, DC, metro area. That makes it a similarly fantastic season for your engagement shoot. Washington’s famous cherry blossom trees bloom in the initial part of that season. Every Washington, DC, wedding photographer loves to do portrait sessions by the Tidal Basin when those white and pink flowers are all around. As the spring progresses, the weather gets nicer and nicer. The later portions of the season are some of DC’s pleasantest. The cold of the winter is long gone, but the brutal humidity of Washington’s summers has not yet set in.
The problem with spring engagement sessions is twofold. Scheduling them in the early part of the season can result in the same challenges as winter engagement shoots. Cold weather is often still the norm in the DC metro area in March. Unlike the beginning of winter, though, the early spring has little new snow. Instead, it has added unpleasantness of mud and slush. Having your engagement portrait sessions later in the spring will obviously produce much lovelier photos. The issue with planning your shoot during those months, however, has nothing to do with the weather. You might want to use your engagement portraits for the save-the-date cards that you will send to your wedding guests. Taking those pictures in the late spring can make it difficult to accomplish this in time for a summer matrimony.
That leaves the winter months as a very suitable period for doing engagement photo sessions, scheduling-wise. If you and your intended find yourself in that situation, please do not worry. Washington in the wintertime can be absolutely beautiful. The photos that your DC wedding photographers take can more than make up for having to brave the cold weather. Pictures of you and your beloved in a snowy forest can look like something straight out of a fairy tale.
That is what we love about the image of two future spouses featured here. We took it in the dead of winter in the woods in Arlington, Virginia. That suburb of Washington, DC, is filled with beautiful parks and green spaces that are ideal for couples portraits. In this particular case, we brought the fiancés to Four Mile Run, a creek passing close to the Washington and Old Dominion Trail. The latter is a popular running and biking path that runs from Shirlington to the edge of the DC metro area.
Fortunately, it had snowed in Arlington in the days preceding the engagement shoot. That fresh coating of powder transformed the park areas around the W&OD Trail into a winter wonderland. So we took this future bride and groom hiking through the woods to find the perfect spot for portraiture. Fortunately, we did not have to travel very far. We found a lovely location just a few meters from Four Mile Run. There amid the trees and surrounded by a blanket of snow, the fiancés embraced and pulled one another close. We snapped off multiple shots and came away with some truly memorable images. Those pictures are indeed a testament to what can be accomplished during a winter engagement shoot.
Location: Washington and Old Dominion Trail, Virginia.
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