Best photoshoot location: Kogod Courtyard inside the National Portrait Gallery

Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo

The courtyard often serves as the venue for formals and dinners and hosted the GW Gala last spring.

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Location: Inside the National Portrait Gallery, 8th and G streets NW

Located in the heart of the National Portrait Gallery, the Kogod Courtyard is a common place to lounge or study. But it’s just as good for a photo shoot. The wavy patterned glass roof allows natural light to shine into the courtyard, which makes for great natural lighting – especially midday when the sun shines directly through the glass ceiling. You won’t have to worry about wind, rain or any of the natural elements getting in your way because the courtyard is completely covered. Designed like a Roman atrium, the canopied space houses natural greenery-like trees and foliage, and it is surrounded on four sides by the National Portrait Gallery’s building walls. The Greek Revival-designed architecture in this museum provides a picture-worthy background for photos while still offering a natural feel. The space is so popular that it often serves as a venue for formals and dinner events and even served as the spot for the GW Gala last spring. Unfortunately, the National Portrait Gallery and all other Smithsonian museums are temporarily closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But when it opens back up again, grab your camera and a friend and take pictures at the Kogod Courtyard in the National Portrait Gallery.

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