How to find the perfect indoor winter family photography location in the Washington, D.C. area

It was a dreary winter weekend in Washington, D.C. and the perfect weekend to go scout a new indoor  family photography location.

I packed up my models (a reluctant toddler + husband) and we headed down to the National Gallery of Art East Building. Boy, did I hit the jackpot! This place has everything you could want in an indoor family photoshoot location in the Washington, D.C. area.

Here are the top 5 things to look for when choosing an indoor photo location for your family photography in Washington, D.C:

1) Light! Light! Light!
The number one ingredient to great photos is lots of light. The east building has tons of light due to large windows and a spectacular atrium.

2) Wide Open Spaces
Kids need lots of room to run around and have fun on my family photo shoots.  It's important when choosing an indoor photography location that there is lots of room for kids to just be kids. With that being said, it is also important to make sure you are not intruding on anyone visiting the location. The east building had lots of wide open spaces that allowed my toddler to run, jump, and have a great time.

3) Interesting Backgrounds
It's always important to pick an indoor location that allows for various backgrounds to spice up your photos. The east building has a vast collection of modern art and fantastic architecture which allowed for endless opportunities.

4) Avoiding the Crowds
An indoor location can have great light, tons of backgrounds and spaces, and lots of interesting backgrounds, but unless you want tourists in your photos, it is important to go during off peak hours.  If you are choosing a very popular location such as the National Gallery of Art East Building for your family photoshoot, it is important to get there very early. Getting to any major location as soon as it opens allows lots of "VIP" time before the crowds start to file in.

5) Ease of travel
Getting your family ready and on time to an on location family photoshoot is marathon event, so things should be as easy as possible when you finally arrive.  It is always important when picking a location that there is access to parking or public transportation. I typically book my shoots very early in the morning  and this usually allows for more street parking opportunities before the crowds come. Another bonus at the east building is that it has a COAT CHECK! The coat check put this location at the top of my 2017 indoor location list. Being able to check everything at the door will allow you to  relax and explore the location with your family and photographer.