“They’re like little pink clouds on sticks.” – Saving Mr. Banks
You guys! Cherry Blossom season is coming SOON!! I grew up in Michigan where when you saw your first Robin that meant that Spring was on it’s way. But here in the DC area, when you get Cherry Blossom predictions, that for us, means Spring is here. It has to be the prettiest time of the year in the DC area. So many locations and opportunities for photos.
I love a good cherry blossom session and only take a limited number at a time because there are a lot of logistics that goes into planning for a cherry blossom session.
With that, I have a few tips I’ve learned over the years that might hep you with planning for your cherry blossom session.
I tell all my couples that we will start planning once we hear about first predictions of the blossoms, but as you all know, weather can be really unpredictable and the blossoms may be pushed back by a week. So be flexible. Also, if you want to make sure you get your portraits done on a clear day with no rain, you really need to be flexible.
Plan to go very early.
The best time to do a cherry blossom session is at sunrise. The tourists won’t be out (as much) at sunrise. You will still run into A LOT of people, but it won’t be as many as you would see during the day light hours. All of the other people you will see during a sunrise session, will be other couples with their photographers which honestly, is better because we are all trying to respect each other and stay out of each other’s photographs. Plus, you’ll need to find parking. There are limited spots available at the parking lots on Ohio Drive and I’ve watched them fill up so fast. Sometime, I will even get there 45 minutes early just so I can get a parking spot. If you live in the city or not too far across the Potomac, take an Uber.
Dress Warm or bring layers.
It’s going to be cold. VERY cold. So dress accordingly. Bring a warm jacket you can take on and off in between photos. If you plan to wear strappy high heals, bring warm shoes like Uggs that you can slip on an off easily as well. Some days may even get really really windy, so plan on it being very cold.
Bring your dog, but..
Bring your dog! But if you do, bring a third person/handler to take your dog. Your dog won’t be in every single photo, so having someone to hand them off to would be helpful so you can enjoy yourself and focus on being in the moment with your fiance.
Choose colors based off the scenery.
Dress to match the scenery. So wear pastels and spring colors. Don’t wear heavy colors like black or brown because it won’t blend in with your background.
Cherry Blossom sessions run longer.
A cherry blossom session takes longer than a regular session. A regular session with me is up to an hour, with cherry blossoms, it’ll be up to two hours because we are walking to all the different spots, sometimes waiting for another couple and their photographer to get done with a particular spot and waiting on people to move out of the background. And if you want some iconic photos (like the one below), we have to make our way through the crowd to get there. So plan on cherry blossoms taking a bit longer than regular session.
Talk about other cherry blossom locations.
If you want to do cherry blossoms, but don’t want to fight the crowds at the Tidal Basin, we can talk about other locations too. There’s a short walk behind the Lincoln that tourists don’t go to and I haven’t seen other photographers there yet. We can also try different parks that might have their own blossoms.
Be in the moment.
Most importantly (and this goes with every session), be in the moment with your person. Enjoy your time together. Laugh and embrace. Don’t worry about the crowds or how cold it might be. Don’t worry about where your hands will go or where you should look. I’ve got you covered there. Just enjoy the moment.