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The Jefferson Memorial

16 E Basin Dr SW,
Washington, DC 20242
Great for Portraits
and in our standard portraits service area.

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The Jefferson Memorial is a stunning and iconic presidential memorial located in Washington, D.C. The construction of this memorial began in 1939 and was completed in 1943 in honor of Thomas Jefferson, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence. The memorial is situated on the south side of West Potomac Park, overlooking the Tidal Basin, and is a beautiful example of neoclassical architecture.

The memorial is a popular tourist attraction in Washington, D.C. and is visited by millions of people each year. It is composed of a circular colonnade of Ionic order columns, a portico, and a shallow dome. The memorial is open to the elements and is 129 feet high and 190 feet in diameter. The statue of Thomas Jefferson inside the memorial, sculpted by Rudolph Evans, is 19 feet tall and weighs 10,000 pounds.

The Jefferson Memorial is a popular location for portrait photography because of its beautiful and serene setting. The memorial is located on the Tidal Basin, which provides a peaceful atmosphere that can be captured in photographs. Additionally, the memorial is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so photographers can take portraits at any time of day or night. Moreover, the memorial is free to visit, which can help save money on a portrait session.

Furthermore, the Jefferson Memorial is unique among Washington, D.C. landmarks in that it offers relatively easy parking options. Visitors can park in nearby lots or along the Potomac River, making it convenient for portrait sessions. As an added bonus, the walk to the memorial from the parking area passes by the George Mason Memorial, another excellent location for portrait photography. The George Mason Memorial features a bronze statue of the founding father and a serene, landscaped setting overlooking the Tidal Basin. Together, these two locations provide ample opportunities for beautiful and memorable portraits.

The memorial’s popularity however can also pose challenges for portrait sessions. As it is a popular tourist destination, one will need to share the space with other visitors during the portrait session. This can make it difficult to get a clear shot and to keep the subject’s attention. Moreover, the memorial can be crowded and noisy, which can impact the quality of the photographs.

Location Limitations:

Portraits are not allowed within the walls of the monument, and crowds will generally nullify this option anyway. Additionally, ongoing construction projects at the site may limit areas and angles suitable for portraits. It is also reported that parks operated by NPS require a permit for professional photography. We encourage you to obtain this permit prior to your session. In practice, the geographical size of these locations and the sheer number of visitors they receive, and the patchwork of land they account for, makes it unlikely you will be approached when performing low-impact activities (such as family portrait or engagement sessions). If you opt not to obtain a permit, be aware that you may be asked to furnish your permit, or leave if you have not obtained one.

The Jefferson Memorial

16 E Basin Dr SW
Washington, DC 20242
(202) 245-4715

Portrait Permits & Costs

Permit Required:
Permit Cost:
Portraits Service Area:

The Jefferson Memorial is in our standard portraits service area.


Event Bookings:
Location Type:
Best from:
Year Round

Parking info:

Paid public parking is typically available a short walk away in the parking lots on Ohio Drive, south of the Ohio Drive Bridge. Street parking may also sometimes be available southbound on Ohio Drive north of the Ohio Drive Bridge.

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Captured at The Jefferson Memorial

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Heads up! You will be required to obtain a permit to hold a session at The Jefferson Memorial. Please contact the venue for help obtaining your permit.

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