Top 6 Engagement Photography Locations in Northern Virginia | Arlington, VA Photographer | Bakerture Photo & Video

Picking the Most Fitting Engagement Location

Whenever I schedule an engagement shoot I let the client have a significant input.  My goal is to have the engagement photography location somewhere special to the two of them.  Whether it be the place of their first date, first kiss, favorite park or museum --it really can be anywhere.  Usually at first the client comes up with an idea immediately or their not really sure.  If they have a place in mind, great, if not, what I do is send them a list of locations in the area that will get ideas flowing.  After I send the location list they typically have something come to mind that would be fitting for their shoot.

Top 6 Engagement Locations

  1. Old Town: Alexandria.  Beautiful neighborhoods with cobblestone streets.  Masonic Temple that has a DC monument feel.  Waterfront that overlooks DC.

  2. Winery: Leesburg.  There are so many to choose from...here is a list.  Great scenic views and plenty of wine.  

  3. Bull Run Park: Manassas.  Pack a picnic to enjoy.  Try and catch the blue bells blooming in the spring.  

  4. Restaurant location of first date.  Prep for a nearby secondary location outdoors.

  5. Great Falls National Park: McLean.  Beautiful landscape view of the Potomac and plenty of scenic trails.  Be sure to go early am due to crowds.

  6. Port City Brewery: Alexandria.  If your couple is into beer this is your place.  

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Timing is Key

Once we have selected a location I set up our engagement shoot at the golden hour for photography, which is 1 hour before the sun goes down.  I use this site to determine sundown.  The golden hour is the time when the sun is not as brilliant and illuminates everything perfectly for pictures.  I like to meet 1.5 hours before sundown.  Usually this is the first time I'm meeting my client so it allows us to meet, chat a little before shooting and subdue the butterflies.  Nervous clients do not go over well with pictures.  Once I feel the clients are comfortable only then do I pull out the camera.  

Most times we do not get to pick the season in which we shoot since the client typically has a deadline for creating their "save the dates" but my favorite images come from spring and fall.  The foilage is spectacular at these times.  Although, pulled off properly, a snowy wintery shot can look phenomenal as well.

Top 6 Engagement Photography Locations in Northern Virginia Winery
Top 6 Engagement Photography Locations in Northern Virginia

Tips for a Great Engagement Session

Lastly, I give my clients a few tips for a great shoot.  Since I primarily use natural light for engagement shoots I preach "please be on time".  I not only say it, but I let them know why they should be on time.  If we are shooting 1 hour before sunset, time is not on our side. Once the lamp goes out the shoot is over no matter if we have finished or not.  Next, I ask that the couple wear something that is comfortable and casual.  It is best that their outfits compliment one another - not identical but go nicely together.  If their will be significant walking and your client is planning to wear heels, I suggest bringing flats to walk from point A to point B.  We do a lot of shoots in the city where typically there is significant walking involved and you would be surprised how much time this saves as well how much the client will appreciate your recommendation.  Lastly, as a nice added touch to the shoot I ask that the clients bring a prop.  Something that represents their relationship.  It could be anything!  A favorite record, football, pooch, or even starbucks coffee if you can't live without it.  

Top 6 Engagement Photography Locations in Northern Virginia Great Falls
Top 6 Engagement Photography Locations in Northern Virginia

Steven Baker

Bakerture Photo & Video, 1210 S Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA, 22204, United States