Photographer Kir Tuben knows her way around the cherry blossoms. Every year, during peak bloom, she packs her schedule with couples who want their engagement photos with that iconic DC backdrop, sometimes photographing ten couples in a week. Last year, we met at sunrise to catch Tuben—and many other photographers—in action. Along the way, she shared her four best tips for getting photographs amongst the blooms.
Tip 1. Arrive early.
“There’s already going to be hundreds of tourists down here taking their own photos,” Tuben says, “and you get the best light and also the least amount of people.” Try to go for sunrise, she says—that’s typically in the 6 or 7 AM hours in March—but if you’re not an early riser, shoot for 8 AM.
Tip 2. Dress in neutrals.
“The Cherry Blossoms are already kind of busy,” Tuben says. “So your best bet is to dress in pastels or a solid color.”
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Tip 3. Bring a friend.
If you don’t have a professional photographer, Tuben says, bring a friend or a tripod. “It would be ideal of course to hire a professional, but if it’s just the two of you, you definitely want a third eye to make sure that everything is where it should be, and that your tripod doesn’t get kicked over.”
Tip 4. Put your camera down and take it all in.
“These blossoms bloom once a year and they’re really spectacular,” says Tuben. “People drive or fly in from all over the globe, and it’s really important to sometimes put your camera down and actually look with your eyes.”