Cloudy National Arboretum Engagement Session | Valerie + Shun

It was so great returning to the National Arboretum to photograph Valerie and Shun’s engagement! It was my first time meeting this couple in person after seeing their faces through Facetime in our first call together, and something I noted was how Valerie’s soft personality meshed so well with Shun’s goofiness. The way these two joked around with each other during the session was so endearing. They were also such troopers for sticking out through the gusts of constant cold wind that ripped through each of us for the 90 minutes we were at the location for!

If you are looking to get your engagement photos done at the National Arboretum, I would highly recommend paying the extra fee on top of the permit cost just to reserve a time slot after open hours (past 5pm). You get the entire place to yourself, without worrying about hogging a spot for photos for too long or worrying about hoards of tourists photobombing the background constantly since this is a popular sight to see in DC. When you reserve a permit here, you get to choose 2 other locations on sight on top of the actual columns, which is the main attraction here! (Here is the link to securing a permit.)

The couple opted for the National Columns, the Herb Garden, and the Asian Collection – all of which were gorgeous on its own. A security guard guided us from one location to another, which was also super helpful (don’t forget to tip them since they’re working over hours for you!). As we went from the columns to the Herb Garden, we saw a large cherry blossom tree still hanging on! We quickly got shots there with Valerie and Shun getting their exaggerated K-drama moment looking up at the blossoms together from beneath the branches haha. After the Herb Garden, we headed to the Asian Collection where you can see some elaborate, beautiful plants and unique looking trees to have in the background of photos!

The best and most talented photographer! We just finished our engagement shoot this past month, and it was a very fun experience. My fiance and I were pretty shy and awkward with poses, but Jasmine was amazing in guiding us and making us feel comfortable. From the start she has been so kind, very responsive and helpful. She is also helping with ideas and insight for our upcoming Chinese Tea ceremony, which I am so grateful for. We are very happy to have her as part of our wedding experience. 🙂

– Valerie V

The Journal

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