Sure, you’ll find plenty of monuments and historic buildings in Washington D.C., but a discerning eye looks for something special to capture in the frame. With a good photo, it’s not just about the history. Scenery, lighting, and mood all combine to create that perfect shot.
If you’re looking for a place to take that flawless photo, check out our top five unique photo shoot venues in Washington D.C. Plus a few photography tips to know before you go.
Tips for getting the perfect shot in D.C.
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Know your surroundings before you shoot
Most of the time, taking photos is a snap — find your location or subject, point, and shoot. However, because Washington D.C. is our nation’s capital and there are lots of important and restricted areas, sometimes, special rules apply to photographers and videographers.
For personal photography in public spaces, it’s generally fine to take shots as you please. If you plan on shooting near a monument or other important building or structure, however, you may want to check with local authorities to ensure that commercial photography is allowed. Knowing what will and won’t be allowed can save you a headache.
Finding your niche in D.C.
If you’re looking for a little inspiration or maybe just to meet up with other photographers and compare notes, there are a few great groups in D.C. that can help you connect.
Street Meet D.C.
Street Meet D.C. is the local branch of a photography meetup group that gathers photographers and models in urban spots chosen before each meetup. Once there, photographers network and practice shooting with models in urban environments. Even if urban photography isn’t your niche, this is a great way to meet the locals and explore the photography scene.
Walk With Locals
Another group that’s useful for photographers is Walk With Locals. Instead of a meetup, artists of all types gather and tour different areas of the city and talk about their trades. This is a wonderful opportunity to take scenic photos, learn a little about the city, and meet other artists — all while scoping out new photography spots.
Another meetup group, PortraitMeet D.C. is ideal for portrait photographers. This group gets together photographers and models and sets them up specifically with portrait photos in mind. This is a great way to add to your portfolio or just to meet new people.
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Unique photo shoot venues in Washington D.C. to give you that perfect shot
#1. Fostr Collaborative Studio: the perfect blank canvas
If you’re looking for a pure and clean space to take photos, family portraits, or single-model shots, Fostr offers a pristine white studio space for all your photography needs.
The studio is situated in the heart of Georgetown in D.C. and just blocks away from historic Georgetown University. Fostr comes fully stocked with a white backdrop, tables, chairs, and photography equipment.
#2. The BackRoom at Capo Italian Deli: an amazing party backdrop for photo shoots
Capo Italian Deli is loved by locals for its classic subs and eggplant parmesan. But this DC favorite has a secret behind the kitchen freezer door: an exclusive bar and event/production venue!
The BackRoom is perfect for photo shoots that need a little more atmosphere. Ideal for shooting nightlife scenes or birthday parties, The BackRoom at Capo Italian Deli has a unique charm that’s sure to take your shoot to the next level.
#3. 2622 Cafe: dark and intimate
If you’re looking for a space that’s a little more elegant or maybe even mysterious, then 2622 Cafe in Georgetown is for you. Offering dark walls and industrial chandeliers for a truly unique look, it’s a good choice for small gatherings for group shots or individual photo shoots.
Located right on the edge of Georgetown, the cafe offers a unique atmosphere and plenty of surrounding scenery. This is a superb spot to get some still photos, or go out onto the tree-lined back patio to take in some of the nature surrounding the cafe.
2622 serves up hot drinks and small snacks from Thursday to Sunday, so take this into consideration when booking.
#4. The Suites DC: a funky and artsy feel
The Suites DC is a retro-inspired, multipurpose venue complete with a full photography studio on-site. The furniture and decor look like something out of the ‘60s and ‘70s and make the perfect aesthetic to inspire any artist’s vision.
Located smack dab in the heart of downtown Washington D.C., it gives you plenty of creative space and amenities to do your work. You’re also just a walk away from some of the most iconic scenery in all of Washington D.C.
#5. Library at The Church of the Holy City: old-world charm with a serene ambiance
You can’t talk about unique photo shoot venues in Washington D.C. without at least mentioning The Church of the Holy City. Located in the heart of D.C’s Dupont Circle Historic District, the church is a multi-space venue for all types of artistic and media needs.
The church’s library features impressive natural light, high ceilings, period wood floors, and aged bookcases. The room itself has an almost stately feel to it. Photographers will note that there are doors leading to the outside courtyard, which offers breathtaking natural scenery just steps away from the chapel.
Being located in the heart of the historic district gives photographers tons of opportunities for inspiration from the surroundings as well. It’s an excellent option for any experienced or aspiring photographer.
Finding the perfect photo shoot venue in Washington D.C. — wrapping up
There you have it: our list of some of the most unique photo shoot venues in Washington D.C. We’re sure there are dozens more to choose from, but the next time you’re out looking, consider checking out one of our picks for yourself.