National Portrait Gallery Washington DC for Photography Sessions

Washington, DC is known for its grand spaces. Whether you want outdoor monuments or legendary indoor settings, our city has no shortage of areas to take fantastic portraits. If you’re looking for a unique indoor space with natural light and plenty of stunning architecture, I would love to tell you all about The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC and why it would be the perfect spot for your session. 

Pregnant woman smiles down to her bump in a white maternity gown National Portrait Gallery Washington DC

About The National Portrait Gallery Washington DC

National Portrait Gallery is a branch of the Smithsonian founded in 1962. The mission of the museum was to showcase portraits of historically significant individuals who have affected the culture and development of their time. The museum features pictures, paintings, new media, and performing arts to tell the stories of these individuals and their impact on the world. 

mother to be plays with her dress and twirls in garden

The museum is the only place outside the White House with a complete collection of presidential portraits, including the renowned George Washington portrait, “Lansdowne.” Today, the museum has over 23,000 pieces of media on display. 

Mother to be stands in front of white flowers in a marble garden bed wearing a white dress National Portrait Gallery Washington DC


The museum invites you to bring in cameras to capture this gorgeous space. The interior features an open courtyard. This area has an atrium roof allowing large amounts of muted natural light. The courtyard leads into various exhibits, all marked with entrances constructed with Greek revival architecture. 

mother to be stands in an ornate hall in a white dress National Portrait Gallery Washington DC

The polished tile mixed with the light and the background buildings is the perfect place to take portraits of any variety. Throughout the museum, the portraits are displayed on dark and moody walls, and grand staircases take you from one floor to the next. The building features iron balconies, Grecian columns, and exquisite details around every corner. The details make it the ideal space for a romantic photo session. 

mother to be looks down at her bump in front of trees in a garden National Portrait Gallery Washington DC

Specialty Areas

The Portrait Gallery shares building space with the American Art Museum. Because both offer free admission, you can easily switch from one room to another for your pictures. The art gallery features a beautiful open space with mezzanines marked by dark and jutting iron railings. The textures of this, combined with the high ceiling, make it a favorite spot for many engagement sessions. 

mom to be stands with her partner holding hands in front of large window

The American Art Museum also features The Electronic Superhighway. This piece shows the United States lit up with neon lights and television screens. The bright colors against the dark backdrop make for fascinating photos. The museum provides many gorgeous colors to give your session the right combination of fun and elegant pictures. pregnant woman stands in front of large stone carved doors to museum

While the spaces offer unlimited interior spots for your pictures, the limestone of the entrance provides a clean backdrop for the beginning of your session. 

Father to be kisses his pregnant partner in front of large window National Portrait Gallery Washington DC

National Portrait Gallery Washington DC

The National Portrait Gallery is one of my favorite spots in Washington, DC for pictures. Whether you’re searching for a space to take photographs celebrating your engagement or need a spot to take unforgettable family portraits, The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC has the perfect background. 

Mom to be stands on a stone path in front of ornate colonial stone building National Portrait Gallery Washington DC

mother to be stands in front of a classical painting National Portrait Gallery Washington DCI’d love to chat if you’re looking for a photographer to capture your session and deliver pictures you’ll treasure forever! I love getting to celebrate you and take portraits of every occasion. While specializing in wedding and engagement photography, I also adore being there for maternity and newborn sessions. Contact me today to find out more.

I'm a fine art wedding photographer
serving couples in Virginia, Washington D.C. and beyond.


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Let's get 'book dream wedding photographer' checked off of your to-do list! Once you have inquired, you can expect a response from me within 24 hours. I will send you a brochure packed with information on what a wedding experience with me looks like. I love to hop on a consultation call so that we can chat about your wedding day plans. If you decide that I am the PERFECT photographer for your Big Day, I will email you all of the information needed to book and reserve your wedding date. 

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