Library of Congress Engagement Photos

I love capturing engagement photos at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. I’ve shot multiple engagement sessions here and am constantly impressed by the epic scenery and consistently flattering light (all the making for an awesome engagement location spot).

Another sweet perk about shooting at the Library of Congress is that it’s free! Most DC engagement locations require a permit to be booked multiple weeks (in some cases, months) in advance. This makes planning a DC engagement session logistically more difficult. This location, however, is perfect if you’re looking for a simple engagement photography process or need some quick photos for your Save-The-Date cards.

The trick to maximizing the awesomeness of the Library of Congress for your engagement session is to go early. Weekends before opening hours are preferable and shooting outside the building is my personal favorite.

Going early in the morning allows more flexibility since there are fewer people around and generally much more flattering light. Speaking of light, photographing outside of and around the main building is key to having consistently great light because there’s no need to worry about sketchy indoor tungsten lighting.

In photography, lighting is everything so if we have good light we’ll be sure to get amazing images.

I’m going to share my top 5 favorite engagement photography locations at and around the Library of Congress. Let’s get started!

1) Epic Entrance

This spot is located directly above the main entrance at the front of the building by the Neptune Fountain on First St SE. This spot pretty much speaks for itself. It instantly captures some of the architectural beauty Washington DC is so well known for.

bride and groom holding hands and looking at each other during dc engagement photography session

Since the lighting is so even and flattering early in the morning, the portrait opportunities at this spot are unreal. One of my favorite pictures ever taken at this location was at the top of the stair set overlooking the Capitol Building.

bride and groom fun  silhouette image near the capitol building in Washington dc

2) Entrance Arch

As photographers, we actively keep our eyes open for natural framing elements. I remember location scouting the Library of Congress for the first time and when I saw this spot I was instantly hooked. The Arch provides a lovely natural frame that immediately grabs your attention. The spot is located right outside of where the main entrance and exit are found.

couple smiling at each other during engagement session at the library of congress

3) Independence Ave SE

I couldn’t think of a name for this spot so I just called it by the street it’s closest to. This spot is awesome because there’s a nice blend of greenery and architecture which provides a different look and feel. There’s a bunch of potential for timeless images here that I have yet to tap into!

groom looking at bride and smiling during engagement photography session
silhouette photograph of couple in washington dc

4) James Madison Memorial Building

I don’t know the full story here, but the James Madison Memorial Building is still part of the Library of Congress which means it earned a spot on this list. Rightfully so too! The front of this building provides a unique city feel which is essential to any DC engagement photography session. Am I right?

5) The Columns

I saved the best and my personal favorite for last. The columns are located at the James Madison Memorial Building and provide a beautiful scene for portraits of all kinds, especially couples portraits. What I really enjoy about this spot is that it doesn’t matter if it’s a rainy day or there’s harsh sunlight out because it’s a very controlled scene thanks to the natural covering provided by the building itself.

This is definitely the cherry on top of an already incredible location to have engagement photos taken.

couple laughing together during washington dc engagement session

Location Address

Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave SE, Washington, DC 20540

Let’s Connect

Are you and your partner interested in Library of Congress engagement photos?

You can see more of my engagement work on my portfolio page. If you’re ready to reach out, fill out the form below or contact me directly at to schedule your session!

Engagement Form

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