This is what V asked me when she reached out about getting wedding portraits photographed in Washington DC. Originally she wanted one of the locations to be Lincoln Memorial but after some scouting and research, we confirmed the unfortunate fact that Lincoln Memorial won't be too photogenic for awhile due to major renovations. If I had to choose the "Big Three" for quintessential DC architecture, I would say Lincoln Memorial, US Capitol, and Jefferson Memorial (in no particular order!) So we decided on the latter two.

What's so special about dc?

V will be visiting DC from a different state for me to photograph her wedding portrait. She was in DC briefly during an internship and the city left such an impression on her that she knew she had to take wedding photos here. DC means many different things to different people and I love how it can be someone's destination for wedding photos.

interracial wedding portrait at US Capitol
Couple in traditional Vietnamese wedding outfit, Aoi Dai, at US Capitol
Couple wearing red Aoi Dai for DC wedding portrait in DC
Couple wearing red Aoi Dai for DC wedding portrait in front US Capitol
Vietnamese wedding photography in DC
Vietnamese wedding portrait at US Capitol
Vietnamese wedding portrait at US Capitol

Wedding Photography at US Capitol

I joined V & fiancé C early on a Saturday morning right after the sunrise at the US Capitol for our first wedding portrait location. Coming here early is great for two reasons: 1) no crowds = more privacy and romance and 2) lighting is optimal (the main US Capitol backdrop faces East and will get the morning light early - and that morning light is very bright, trust me.)

We had some fun warming up to being photographed at the Capitol steps and the corridor. Walking and moving around really helped the couple loosen up and V showed her silly face at C for an extra dose of fun. I love the striking red Ao Dai the couple wore for the US Capitol and the reminder that cultural diversity is a strength.

Vietnamese wedding portrait at Tidal Basin DC wedding photographers
Vietnamese wedding portrait at Jefferson Memorial columns
Wedding photography at Jefferson Memorial
DC Wedding photography at Jefferson Memorial with Vietnamese bride
White Aoi Dai dress at Jefferson Memorial
DC wedding photographer Jefferson Memorial
Interracial wedding portrait at Jefferson Memorial
White aoi dai dress at Jefferson Memorial
Happy bride and groom at Jefferson Memorial


Jefferson Memorial was the second and last location for this wedding portrait session. It was actually also under renovation but there was enough space to work with. There are a few areas at Jefferson Memorial to create dramatic and memorable images: 1) the ledge above Tidal Basin overlooking the Washington Monument, 2) between the columns, and 3) on the steps to the memorial. For this location, the bright morning light actually worked really well between the columns to create interesting shadows to add dynamic to the images.

Things to do after a wedding portrait session in DC

For V&C, their plan was to have a delicious brunch and hit up a few museums while they are in Washington DC.

Getting your wedding portraits taken is a fun experience but it can also be a little tiring. So I definitely recommend having some fun plans afterwards to unwind and reflect on your experience - and get excited for your photos!