As a destination family photographer, I love traveling back to Old Town Alexandria VA for family photo sessions! I lived in Alexandria VA from 2017 to 2018, and while my time living there was short (my husband got a contract in France!), I always look back fondly at my time photographing families and couples in that charming and historic city.
I still travel back to Old Town Alexandria VA every Fall, so if you haven’t joined my client newsletter to receive updates on when I’m next in town for family photo sessions, join here!
By the sea is my favorite place to be. So, it goes without saying that family photos along the waterfront and lighthouse at Oronoco Bay Park are always a special treat! This is one of my favorite spots to photograph families in the afternoon, for those little ones that have an early bedtime during golden hour, as there is plenty of open shade in the summer and fall. If you have your kids take a nap right before, golden hour is absolutely gorgeous here with the rich filtered light streaming through the trees just before sunset!
A popular favorite among family photographers in Old Town Alexandria, VA…you’ll often see this place crowded with people during golden hour. But luckily, there are plenty of stunning locations to photograph clients here: the blue archway, fairytale-like gazebo, manicured gardens and the park right in front of the Carlyle House at golden hour is a beautiful spot for family photos! In the Autumn months, you may find scattered bunches of colorful leaves around the park, making a fun way to photograph the little ones.
I’ve photographed so many families here and always love to come back to this peaceful, charming spot!
By far, the most popular and crowded location for VA family photographers in Alexandria, and for good reason: Wales Alley in Old Town Alexandria makes for a stunning backdrop!
I love the way the light trickles down on the cobblestones, and the vines wrap around the historic red brick – so classic Old Town Alexandria!
If you have a golden hour photo shoot planned, be prepared to wait in line for others to finish up their sessions.
Also, side note: photographers, be nice to one another and don’t hog this narrow alley for an entire hour. With the growing popularity for family photos in Alexandria VA, I’ve had this happen to me during a shoot, and I had to practically beg a team of photographers to allow me 5 minutes. Family photographers learn to photograph quickly with children, so we can jump in there and be done rather quickly!
A favorite spot in the early morning, Wilkes Tunnel makes for some beautiful textures and soft light before the sun rises directly overhead. The textures on the stone walls make for some nice variation, and I love all the colors – greens, blues, oranges from the way the sunlight pours in. Wilkes Tunnel in Alexandria VA makes for an ideal meeting location for family photographers and their clients.
As a family photographer who is attracted to more cooler tones (blues and greens), Waterfront Park is a perfect spot for me in Alexandria VA. I love the boardwalk leading out to the boats (leading lines!) and the way the yellow lights flicker on at sunset. Founders Park is also just a few steps away, giving families the option to have a leafy park location in their session as well.
Waterfront Park can be tricky because you have to photograph at two specific times of the day: sunrise and sunset. The light can be unflattering at any other time of the day and the white boardwalk makes for a natural reflector, which can make lighting tricky for sessions at other times of the day. Otherwise, as long as it’s planned accordingly at those hours, it’s a beautiful spot!
A hidden gem that not many VA family photographers flock out to in Old Town Alexandria is Jones Point Park. The colors are absolutely marvelous in the Autumn and Spring, and the golden filtered light at Oronoco Park (just a few steps away!) during sunset makes a great second location.
While Windmill Hill Park in Alexandria VA doesn’t have much open shade (and can make it tricky for family photographers!), you can still make this beautiful location work in the early morning! Sunrise and early morning family photo sessions are ideal here, and the historic townhouses in the background make for some pretty classic Alexandria family photos. Plus, there are plenty of benches to make it easier for families.
While I used to live in Old Town Alexandria VA and now serve clients inNew England, I still frequently travel to D.C., Alexandria, and NYC every Fall. No matter where you are located, please be sure to inquire as I travel often.
If you are a client of mine or plan to be and you want to be the very first to know my availability and travel calendar in 2020, so that you can reserve your session spot, please subscribe to our studio’s updates using this link. I only send booking details and my upcoming availability to those HWP clients that sign up on this list.
Have some questions? Contact us by sending our studio team an email and we’ll respond within 24 hours.
Read my full guide to Alexandria VA here!
January 27, 2020
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