They got into town the evening before our shoot from Athens Greece (read: landed mere hours before our early morning wake up call) just in time for me to photograph their sunrise engagement session with the cherry blossoms! I mean, if that isn’t a testimony to how dang loyal + carefree my #hspcouples are, I don’t know what is!!

This shoot marked two firsts for me: my first sunrise engagement session and my first time shooting at the tidal basin with the cherry blossoms! I know what you’re thinking, “Hannah you have lived in Northern Virginia your whole life…HOW on earth have you not photographed the cherry blossoms before?!” I am just as shocked as you are, friend!

Truthfully it intimidated me hearing stories from countless photographers who had a poor experience dealing with the massive crowds of tourists while shooting at the tidal basin. Do I even need to mention city parking?!…I loathe it. Seriously GIVE ME  ALL THE CROWDS over parking in the DC hahah

When Paige inquired for her engagement session I did research out the wazoo so I could go into this with a strong game plan <– LOL I wish you could hear the seriousness with a splash of sass in my tone as I refer to this as I would a war zone 😂

I reached out to friends, read countless blog posts, even went downtown to scout out exactly where we would be shooting the morning before at the exact time as our sunrise session the next day…perhaps it was a little much but it completely put me at ease and helped my first session there go as smoothly as possible the next day.

Now this WAS my first rodeo 😂 and I am clearly not claiming myself as an expert just yet, however there were a few things I would highly recommend if you find yourself in the same boat I was in before this session and you are wondering “where do I even begin!?” Here is what I would recommend:

#1: shooting permits

As soon as I booked my session the lovely Caity Kramer shared some awesome tips of advice via her blog post HERE, along with info on permits! Having a shooting permit is SO important and something you want to submit weeks prior to shooting! You can find all the park permits info HERE and chat with Elizabeth (aka the permit queen) who will help you take care of this all!

#2: Weekday sunrise sessions

Breezing into the city before the AM traffic rush with no one else on the road is a sweet and glorious feeling!  It made me *only* want to visit the city at 5am! hahah This is also the best time to shoot with the cherry blossom with the least amount of people (aka massive crowds of people)

#3: Driving/Parking

Abby Grace who shoots dc sessions pretty regularly gave me the advice to allow at LEAST 1.5x the amount of time that Google calls for because parking can easily eat up time.  I found a parking lot across from the Jefferson Memorial that was an easy 8 min walk and I only had to pay around $2 on their parking app.

Alright, that’s all I’ve got for you this time around but I hope you found this post helpful and it gives you the confidence + peace of mind you need to tackle your next DC adventure, friend! now for the good stuff…


Meet Nick + Paige & sweet baby Scarlett

 this day…making me strongly consider becoming a morning person🌸🤗 <–


oh how I love that sweet paige smile!!

I thought this was such a fun perspective

gahhhh <3 so good


if you enjoyed this you may also love:

Spring Old Town Senior Experience

Adventurous Couples Session

Adorable Georgetown Sweetheart Session




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