Best places to take pictures in Washington DC

Only in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., can you visit some of the most iconic spots in the country on a morning stroll around the city. ☕️  From the stately White House to local, hidden gems, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite places to explore and photograph. There’s always something new to do in this historic and stunning city, so read on for our top places to take photos in Washington DC, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a long-time lover of the capital. 📸

Photo: Justin in Washington DC for Flytographer. Harpreet and their family celebrate their babymoon trip to DC with family photoshoot.

1. The Lincoln Memorial

On the shores of the Potomac River lies one of the most famous spots in DC, the Lincoln Memorial. It sits picturesquely at the end of a long reflecting pool, and enjoying a sunrise on the iconic steps or between the towering columns is the best way to see this beautiful spot. ✨ Once you arrive, you’ll understand why it’s Flytographer’s most-booked route in DC. 

Photo: Elisenda in Washington DC for Flytographer. Terrance and their partner celebrate a pre-wedding trip with a couple photoshoot at the Lincoln Memorial.

2. Washington Monument 

Walk along the reflecting pool from the Lincoln Memorial and past the WWII memorial, and you’ll find the towering Washington Monument stretching into the sky. Built to commemorate George Washington, this historic monument is part of the expansive National Mall. You can’t have the DC skyline without it! Snap a photo here, at one of the most famous places to take photos in Washington DC, for your Instagram feed 🤳🏼

Photo: Elisenda in Washington DC for Flytographer. Kayla and their family capture memories in Washington DC with a family photoshoot in front of the Washington Monument.

 3. Tidal Basin

This man-man reservoir borders the National Mall and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, but the real stars of the show only make an appearance once a year for a couple of weeks … the cherry blossoms! 🌸 While you can find these beautiful flowers in bloom across the city during March or April (depending on the year), the Tidal Basin is a must-visit at sunrise before the crowds arrive.

Photo: Elisenda in Washington DC for Flytographer. Devin and their partner celebrate their engagement in Washington DC with a surprise proposal photoshoot at the Tidal Basin during cherry blossom season.

4. National Arboretum

Green space isn’t lacking in Washington, DC, but of course, we have some local favourites that are (literally) a walk in the park. 😉 Explore perfectly maintained pathways lined with florals and greenery, and snap a photo in front of the Capitol Columns. Other beautiful spots across the city include Meridian Hill Park, the US Botanic Garden, and if you have time, nearby national parks! 🌲

Photo: Elisenda in Washington DC for Flytographer. Joanne and their partner celebrate their trip to Washington DC with a couple photoshoot at the National Arboretum.

5. Smithsonian Garden 

There’s something to pique every interest at the Smithsonian Institution featuring 19 world-class museums, galleries, gardens, and a zoo! The most Instagrammable include the Smithsonian Gardens and the Kogod Courtyard inside the American Art Museum. Need some artistic inspiration to level up your photos? Head to the National Gallery of Art or the National Portrait Gallery. 🎨

Photo: Carol in Washington DC for Flytographer. Andrew and their partner celebrate their engagement in Washington DC with a surprise proposal photoshoot at the Smithsonian Garden.

Find the best things to do in Washington DC

Our local’s guide to DC includes the best places to eat, drink, see and do in the capital!

Washington DC Guide

Or, explore travel tips from Flytographer customers

6. Black Lives Matter Plaza

A more recent addition to DC’s lengthy history in the fight for racial equality is the permanent installation of the Black Lives Matter Plaza. This two-block strip along 16th street features all-caps letters in bright yellow reading the words “Black Lives Matter” leading to the White House, and bonus, it’s pedestrian-friendly! ✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿

Photo: Elisenda in Washington DC for Flytographer. Keisha captures their trip to Washington DC with a Modern Headshot photoshoot at the Black Lives Matter Plaza.

7. Library of Congress

Book lovers, unite! 📚  A list of the top places to take photos in Washington DC would simply not be complete without including the infamous Library of Congress. This library is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States and the largest one in the world. Spend a quiet afternoon in one of the many reading rooms, or simply explore the many intricately designed spots both inside and outside. It’s an equally perfect spot for both reading and snapping photos.

Photo: Elisenda in Washington DC for Flytographer. Kamalani and their partner capture their trip to Washington DC with a couple photoshoot at the Library of Congress.

8. Georgetown Waterfront

One of our favourite photo spots is the picturesque neighbourhood of Georgetown, with classic row houses lining the cobblestoned streets. Stop by Dumbarton Oaks to explore the historic estate, and if you’re keen for more charming streets, head to Dupont Circle. Don’t forget a Georgetown cupcake!

Photo: Elisenda in Washington DC for Flytographer.  Jana captures a trip to Washington DC with a Modern Headshot photoshoot in Georgetown.

9. Capitol Grounds

When in the capital, it’s practically mandatory to take photos of the absolutely stunning and expansive United States Capitol Building on Capitol Hill. It’s located within a 58-acre park, where the formal and regal lines of the building coexist seamlessly with the natural landscaping and winding, curved walkways. 🌼

Photo: Elisenda in Washington DC for Flytographer. Leslie and their family capture memories in Washington DC with a family photoshoot at the Capitol Grounds.

10. Old Town Alexandria

Just across the Potomac River in Virginia, Alexandria is worth the trek across the bridge for open-air cafes, locally-owned boutiques, and a Saturday farmers’ market that has been in operation for 260 years and counting. It’s one of Flytographer Elisenda’s favourite spots, and if you want more local tips for what to do on your next visit to DC, make sure to check out our local travel guide to DC.

Photo: Elisenda in Washington DC for Flytographer. Alessandra and their family capture memories in Old Town Alexandria with a family photoshoot.

Capturing memories in DC

Ready to capture some of the most Instagrammable places in DC? Book a shoot with one of our local Flytographers to easily capture the unparalleled beauty and history of the US nation’s capital. 📸

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