A family asked me to photograph their annual ladies’ holiday tea at the Willard Hotel in DC. I had never been to the Willard at Christmastime, and wow, the decorations were beautiful! I took some candids of the women (and girls) at their tea in the very elegant hotel restaurant, and then I took family portraits with the Christmas decorations. It was a gorgeous place to take photos!

      Photo tip:
      Christmas lights are usually appreciated at night, but I love to take photos of people with them in the day time. Position the people several feet in front of the lights — the farther away the lights, the larger they look in the background. Then use the natural daylight to light the people’s faces, and a wide aperture to blur out the lights in the background. It’s an easy way to get beautiful holiday photos.

      While I was there, I also took photos of the phenomenal gingerbread Jefferson Memorial that the Willard’s pastry chef created.

      And the final photo of the day was a selfie with my friend Raquel! We wore opposite shirts that day, ha!

      I’d love to photograph your family, too. Take a look at my Families and Kids portfolio, and then contact me if you’d like to chat about it.

      Related posts:

      Reston family portraits at Lake Anne: Fall colors and holiday lights!

      Reston family portraits at Lake Anne: Why choose fall or Christmas when you can have both?

      Family portraits at the Lincoln Memorial — with a boy named Lincoln!

      Jingle on the Lake: Santa’s arrival by boat at Lake Anne Plaza

      The Reston Holiday Parade: The best local way to kick off the holidays

      Sparkling Christmas scenes at Reston Town Center and Lake Anne

      Silver Bells, Silver Bells, It’s Christmastime at Reston Town Center

      Charlotte Geary


      Lifestyle, event, and portrait photographer with a vibrant, joyful style and 17 years of professional experience.

      Located in Reston, Virginia near Washington, D.C. and available for travel.