There are a lot of cities that come to people´s mind when you speak about street photography like for example New York, Paris or Istanbul. Washington, D.C, however, seems not to be on the bucket-list of many street photographers. Nevertheless the city offers a lot of vibrant places which might be worth being photographed. With about eight million people in and around the city, you will find a mixture of culture and people there and of course a variety of interesting neighbourhoods.
Moreover, Washington, D.C. is a city with events attended by a million-plus-people, therefore it is very interesting for all kinds of photography, especially street photography.
Street Photography in Washington, D.C.: The best places to hit the streets
As Washington, D.C. is a very popular tourist attraction, there is always a lot going on there which makes it a paradise for street photographers. A very interesting spot can be found in the neighbourhood of Petworth but also the underground subway system is absolutely great for taking photos as it is beautifully architected and the light quality is sublime too.
Another perfect location is Union Station which connects Washington D.C. to Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore. It opens an immense variety of creative opportunities and is interesting for photographers who want to connect travelers, shadows and architecture.
Another area which can be explored by street photographers is Chinatown which is especially interesting in the early evening as shadows and lighting are very beneficial at that part of the day. During lunch time you should definitely go to International Square where a lot of foot traffic is going on and where photographers will find perfect scenes then.
Many photo possibilities can be found around Dupont Circle too. Go up Embassy Row, for example, where you will find consulates and embassies in extraordinary buildings and in the neighbourhoods there is a variety of colourful restaurants and shops. 14th and U Streets, NW are also interesting for street photographers as the area offers a lot of different clubs and theaters and colourful people too.
Another spot that can be recommended to street photographer is Union Market, a concept market with a lot of regional drink and food vendors and eateries. During the whole year a lot of seasonal activities and festivals take place their as well and therefore it draws thousands of people each week. You can also catch up with artists here or visit the popular Sunday farmers markets in order to get good photos.
Meridian Hill Park is also a spot where there is plenty to capture. It´s not far from the city´s hustle and bustle and so you will meet many locals there. Every Sunday the so called drum circle takes place here as well where drummers come together to play in the park, a tradition that dates back to the 1960s.
The best photo galleries for Street Photographers
Washington, D.C. is also home to many interesting (street) photo galleries which should be explored when visiting the city.
National Gallery of Art
Since the 1980s the National Gallery of Art has been presenting photography exhibitions and its collection has been grown to more than 16,000 works up to now. The exhibitions for example included Anselm Adams and Alfred Stieglitz as well as Walker Evans or Robert Adamson.
Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20565, USA
Corcoran Gallery of Art
The Corcoran Gallery of Art was established in 1874 and was one of the country´s first museums which exhibited photographs. Today it is home to over 6,500 photographs as well as digital works and videos. The Corcoran Gallery of Art also provides workshops and lectures and offers a shop and a café too.
500 17th St NW Washington, DC20006
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The Newseum has six levels and presents photographs which have for example won the Pulitzer-Price as well as memorable news stories.
555 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
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The Hirshhorn Museum is a platform for contemporary art and artists as well as photographic works with emphasis on the late twentieth-century.
Independence Ave and 7th Street, Washington, D.C., 20560
Street Photography Workshops and Courses in Washington, D.C.
If you want to learn more about Street Photography you should also take the opportunity to join a course or workshop taking place in the city.
Street Photography Workshops in Washington, D.C.
Street Photography at DC´s monuments: The photojournalist´s approach
Washington Photo Safari offers a four hours workshop which is taught by the well-known photojournalist Essdras Suarez who tries to help the participants to tell better stories with their images. The photos are taken around some iconic monuments like the Korean and Vietnam Memorials and you will also learn to analyze and observe human interaction and behaviour and to apply leading lines and the rules of composition. The workshop can be booked online and you can either take place in a group or private safari.
Leica Akademie USA
The Leica Academy USA wants to increase photographic knowledge and therefore offers experiential workshops in different American cities. The workshops are hold throughout the year and are taught by successful photographers who like to share their knowledge and expertise. The lessons combine theoretical background as well as practical training where students are able to put the practice into training immediately.
Don Becker Photography
Don Becker offers different workshops which take place in a rental studio as well as on location. He also has some „workshops on demand“ where it is possible to hold a workshop for a small group of people or for an individual. Most of his workshops last about five hours and are mostly taught at weekends.
Capitol Hill Arts Workshop
Capitol Hill Arts Workshop was founded in 1972 and provides different possibilities in the visual arts for people of all ages. Their activities include workshops, exhibitions, camps and classes with the aim of „building community through the arts“.
Chris Suspect Photography
Chris Suspect is a documentary and street photographer from Washington, D.C. who has already had exhibitions in Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom and in the USA. Furthermore he has won a variety of contests and has published book with the title „Suspect Device“ as well. He also teaches street photography in which students can build off their techniques and improve their visual language.
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Street Photography Courses in Washington, D.C.
Focus on the story
Focus on the story is an independent non-profit organization with the aim to support photographers as far as visual storytelling is concerned. Their work is organized around two areas: training and resources as well as speakers and exhibits. Moreover, they hold an an annual festival with various workshops, discussions and photo walks.
Capital Photography Center
The Capital Photography Center, which was founded by Marie Joabar offers a great variety of different photography classes. All their instructors are professional photographers who have a lot of experience in teaching too. Most classes are taught at weekends and they are quite small so that it´s possible to work with each person.
Washington School of Photography
The Washington School of Photography holds classes for hobbyists as well as professionals. Besides digital photography it also offers traditional print techniques.
Smithsonian Associates is a museum-based education programme that offers various cultural and educational programs. Each year they present more than 750 programs in a monthly calendar which includes courses, seminars and workshops. In the field of photography you can take part in different courses that include about four to eight sessions.
Sam D´Amico Photography Classes
Sam D´Amico offers group classes as well as private lessons on different topics and for all levels of photographers. He helps students to build on their basic techniques but also deepens their visual vocabulary and their sensitivity.
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