In this guide, I will show you all the best places to photograph the July 4th fireworks in Washington DC.
Plus if you have never photographed fireworks before, I’ll give you some of my top tips to make sure you get your best shot.
So, let’s get crackin’… (pun intended)…
Independence day is the perfect excuse to enjoy the outdoors, eat some barbeque, and show off your patriotism. Or stay home all day in the air conditioning and watch the 1996 movie, Independence Day with Will Smith. LOL Either way you wish to celebrate, it’s my favorite summer holiday because I LOVE photographing the fireworks. They are always so beautiful and exciting to watch.
Since July is approaching quickly, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about where to shoot the fireworks around the National Mall and surrounding areas.
The fireworks usually launch from the edge of the Reflecting Pool near the WWII Memorial. With that in mind, there are multiple great locations to photograph them from. So here are the best places to shoot the fireworks in Washington DC with views of the memorials:
Views of the Washington Monument
Sitting in front of the Lincoln Memorial is a location I discovered in 2018. I figured with the massive firework attendance that it would be difficult to find a good spot in such a limited space between the Lincoln Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, but to my surprise, it didn’t turn out to be too bad. It helped that I was by myself shooting so I was able to squeeze into the second row along the edge of the reflecting pool. I was right in the center of the reflecting pool so it felt like the fireworks were taking off right in front of my face. I even felt shrapnel fall on me the entire time. It was so fun! LOL.
I 100% recommended this location as my number 1 pick of best places to photograph the Washington DC fireworks. However, if you’re going with a group of people, I’d recommend going as early as possible to get a good spot.
It’s funny the way that the city is laid out because while you’re walking around, you may not realize that the Washington Monument is actually on top of a little hill. I didn’t think it made that big of a difference for fireworks but sitting on the lawn around the Monument gives you a much lower perspective.
I captured this image in 2013 while the Washington Monument was still under construction. I figured the scaffolding could add some interest. To snag this spot, I got there 3-4 hours before the fireworks started but I was surprised that there was still plenty of room for a later arrival.
Had I gone a little further back and to the right a bit, I think it would have been nice to capture the fireworks directly behind the Washington Monument. Maybe something to consider in the future.