Washington DC is a confusing area to photograph. Between bureaucratic process such as permits for National Parks, understanding how the change of elevation affects the lighting during the day, and the variety of characters that you come across, no photography day is the same.
That being said, I have been fortunate to explore about every nook and cranny within DC. Some people prefer Georgetown, and the opportunity it provides for preppy, polished photos with the trees in the background. (Just be careful with the focal lengths.)
Other people might like downtown, which is fair.
However, for my photography style (portraits with a documentary flair), there is one area that serves as the best backdrop, SE DC.
We have two major bridges and a couple of minor bridges near the Potomac Ave metro station. However, the two best bridges in SE for photographs are the Fredrick Douglas Bridge and the 11th street bridge.
Along the waterfront, there are plenty of places that allow you to use this area as a major or minor part of your portraits. Both bridges have sidewalks, and there is the option to photograph nearby on the walking paths.
Alright, I am aware that Audi Field is off South Cap. However, I am going to keep it. I find photographing around Audi Field much easier than Nationals Park. There are murals around Audi Field, too, near the power station.
For Nationals Park, the sidewalk spacing around the third-base line is a bit narrow. So, I recommend walking around towards the outfield and near the first-base line for entrances.
Be careful, however, as the lighting is a bit tricky in the evening due to the building developments further southwest.
I have issues with Navy Yard, but there is no denying that this is Washington DC’s model neighborhood of modern architecture. Glass building after glass building, along with the Yards Park along the water make for a great photo spot.
Most of the better photography spots within Navy Yard are south of M St.
Additionally, every location mentioned so far are within a twenty-minute walk of each other.
Within Southeast, there are also a lot of small green spaces.
The Spirit of Justice Park is right off the Capital South Metro Spot, near the Cannon House Office Building. It is not busy despite being on Capitol Hill. And there are a couple of benches and trees.
If you are willing to walk, the Capitol, Supreme Court, and Library of Congress are about five to eight minutes away.
Anacostia Riverwalk Trail
Boths sides of the Anacostia Trail are great for photographs, and the best spots are over near Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Which is right near Kingman Island.
Every time I am on the Riverwalk Trail, I am amazed at how fast you can get away from the hustle and bustle of DC. There is no traffic or people, just water
RFK (I am counting it…)
Old RFK Stadium. Look, I get that RFK is technically right off East Capitol Street. But to me, it is as much engrained in Southeast culture as anything else,
- Barracks Row, Capitol Hill and Eastern Market
It’s not just a good place to eat dinner! The final great location for photographs in DC’s southeast quadrant is 8th St.
Some people refer to it as Barrack’s Row, as the Marine’s Barracks are located south. Other people might lump Barrack’s Row and Eastern Market all into Capitol Hill like I do. But this area has about everything.
It has the old, European style market that comes alive on Saturdays and Sundays. There are plenty of places to eat or grab coffee and walk around. There are numerous cute row homes, small streets, and the United States Capitol outlines the skyline.
Thanks for visiting!