Hi! We're Steve & Jess. A newlywed couple who has decided to chase our dreams of traveling the world while still maintaining "normal lives."

About Steve & Jess

Join the tribe

Take Your Own Family Photos in Washington DC

This article will be a little different from our usual travel tips posts as I will be sharing how to get nice family or couple photos while in DC. This can be somewhat difficult due to the crowds, especially during the weekends or during the peak summer season. However, we were there on a weekend and in the summer so it is possible! We got some great shots so I’m sharing some tips on how to get memorable photos from your Washington DC trip.

Capitol Building, Washington DC

Things needed: Camera, tripod, and a remote or app on your phone to hit the shutter button. If you don’t have the latter you will just have to play the timer and run game which can work out just fine (and you’ll burn a few extra calories for the day haha). If you want to take a look at the gear we use you can find it here.

National Harbor Sunset Photos– Check your weather app to find out what time the sun sets and plan accordingly. There are many great spots to choose from at the National Harbor but we choose to stand right next to the water and have the camera shoot from behind us. This allowed us to get the beautiful sunset and Ferris wheel without the crowds of people that were behind us. From the picture below you would think we were all alone… not true at all. It was actually quite a busy night while we were there. It’s all about the angles!

National Harbor

Jefferson Memorial– Wake up early in order to get there by 7am. We were there from 7am-8am and only saw one other person who jogged on by and asked us to take her picture and that’s it! It was amazing to have the whole place to ourselves. Get a couple of shots in front of the memorial so you can see the grandeur and size of the place in your photos. After head up to the top and get a few different photos with the pillars in the background. For those with a creative mind, you can have a really great time finding different angles and perspectives! It also is nice to see the Washington Monument in the background. Unfortunately, the day that we were there it was quite foggy and we couldn’t get a great view of it.

Washington Memorial and Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool– After you are done taking pictures at the Jefferson Memorial run over to the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting pool and set yourselves up in front of the pool in order to see the water and monument behind you. It will be a bit busier by the time you get here if you went to the Jefferson Memorial first but it didn’t pose a problem as we quickly set up the tripod and took a few shots and then finished up.

Lincoln Reflecting Pool

Vietnam Veterans Memorial– Steve had relatives that fought in this war so we walked over there to view the memorial. We decided to get the classic reflection shot in order to always remind us that we are here because of those who fought to protect our freedoms. This has to be one of our favorite photos from our Washington DC trip because it carries more meaning to us.

Vietnam Memorial, Washington DC

Parking– For the Jefferson Memorial, Washington Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial we parked in one place and paid for three hours and just walked to all the sites which was only about two miles round trip. We parked along Ohio Drive SW which is metered parking. For the National Harbor we found a parking garage that was there and decided to park there as we couldn’t find any street parking in the area.

If you have any questions feel free to email me or comment below as I would love to answer them! Best of luck with your family photos!

Jefferson Memorial, Washington DC


  1. How to Take Incredible Travel Photos as a Couple -

    January 30th, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    […] If you want an incredible travel photo, sometimes you have to put in the work ahead of time. Find out where the perfect skyline shot is or the most beautiful beach is found. Google, Pinterest, and Instagram location tags can be your best friend when it comes to this. It’s also a good idea to not always go to the “Insta-famous” location. Mix it up and be creative! I wrote an entire article about our trip to Washington DC and how we took our own photos which has great tips on creating your own plan! You can find it here.  […]

Leave a Reply

join the tribe


You're in! Travel Inspiration Coming your way soon!

%d bloggers like this: