family of 5 plays in front of Lincoln Memorial at sunrise

July 1, 2021

Tips for enjoyable Lincoln Memorial sessions

I had the pleasure of holding two Lincoln Memorial sessions this past Spring. It was fun meeting families on the steps on a major monument in our nations’ capital. The beautiful white marble is vastly different than my other garden, lake, or field locations. I think the success of these Lincoln Memorial sessions was based off these two things.

mom and dad hold toddler daughter and snuggle her
family with 3 boys plays in front of Lincoln Memorial at sunrise
family sits together on large steps on Lincoln Memorial

Sunrise is key!

I know, I know it’s early. One of the sessions shown here started at 5:45am! But here’s the thing, sunrise gets you less people in the backgrounds and a lovely sunrise coming up over the Reflecting Pool. If you are a local then you know it gets crowded at the Lincoln Memorial quickly. Even at sunrise you will be surprised at how many tourists (and other photographers!) will be there. Nothing beats the sun rising by the Washington Monument, I promise!

family with toddler daughter on steps of Lincoln Memorial with Washington Monument in background
couple kissing at sunrise with Reflecting Pool in background
3 brothers together near Reflecting Pool

Be on time.

This goes hand-in-hand with the first tip, but it is oh so essential to your Lincoln Memorial session. Like all my outdoor sessions, I shoot at Golden Hour because it gives you the best light. The sun peaking over the tree tops and through the columns only lasts a short time. I then move down the stairs as the sun creeps higher to maximize that Golden Hour glow. I will make sure you have parking instructions and know exactly where we will meet to ensure we can start on time.

Black and white image of mother and daughter at the bottom of Lincoln Memorial
Husband kisses pregnant wife in front of Reflecting Pool
Dad with 3 boys on the large steps of Lincoln Memorial

Bonus: you get to capture your family at the iconic Lincoln Memorial!

One of the families shown here was moving out of state and had special memories at this memorial. They had lived in Northern Virginia for quite a few years and thought this would be a great way of remembering their time here. I think capturing your family on this lovely memorial is a perfect “goodbye” to DC.

family of 3 with pregnant mom at sunrise in DC
family of 5 on steps with entire Lincoln Memorial in background at sunrise