Cherry blossoms lure photographers looking for the perfect shot

Visitors take pictures and socialize among the blooming buds. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)

A gift from Tokyo in 1912 at the Tidal Basin has transformed into a four-week event across Washington, D.C., and neighboring communities in Maryland and Virginia. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)

A row of cherry blossoms hangs along the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)

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Peak bloom for the cherry blossoms arrived Monday, but before it did, the blooming “puffy white stage” is still bringing out photographers trying to capture one of D.C’. s most beautiful scenes.

D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Watch said the very warm temperatures of the past several days have rushed things along. While many trees are still budding, plenty of them are picture perfect.  



The National Park Service determined that 70% of the blossoms reached the “puffy white” stage this weekend. That’s the penultimate stage before “peak bloom.”

“Peak bloom” arrived Monday afternoon, the Park Service said in a tweet.

Monday morning saw professional and amateur photographers alike flock to the Tidal Basin right after sunrise.

“I think this is great. I usually come before or after peak to avoid all the people,” said professional photographer Stacy Smith Evans. “You get the golden light coming from over here, so it usually shines on the blossoms.” 

She was joined at sunrise by dozens of other photographers and even those just looking to take some shots on their iPhones.

Michael Fahler describes himself as an amateur photographer.

“Definitely worth taking a taking a look at — it’s not as pink but definitely lots of the big bursts of white and there’s a few greens to have the backdrop, so it works out really nice,” Fahler said. “Got the early sunrise and gotten reflections so it went pretty well.”

The Monday morning sunrise also brought people taking advantage of the beautiful scenery to take graduation pictures, family photos and even wedding pictures, including Jay and Charisma who got married in February.

“So I figured this is one of the most more beautiful places and we wanted to be stereotypical,” joked Jay.

“Pretty much!” laughingly added Charisma. “Because we are unique just like all the other weddings going on right now.”

They got hitched in February — 2/22/22 to be exact.

Smith Evans who’s based in Northern Virginia offered some tips for any amateur photographer that want to get the best shot of this year’s blossoms. She said get there early in the day to avoid crowds in the background and to take advantage of the good lighting.

“Definitely do a variety of shots. I usually do wide angles and then I use a portrait lens for close-ups,” Smith Evans added.

Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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Light from the sunrise shines on a branch of cherry blossom tree near the Tidal Basin in the early morning on March 25, 2022 in Washington, DC. According to the National Parks Service the cherry blossoms reached peak bloom a couple of days ago, which has attracted large crowds to the National Mall area. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

The U.S. Capitol Building is seen behind the blooming cherry trees, Thursday, March 24, 2022. in Washington, (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

A couple share a hug by cherry trees that are in full bloom around the Tidal Basin in Washington, Wednesday, March 23, 2022. Annual National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the original gift of 3,000 cherry trees from the city of Tokyo to the people of Washington in 1912. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

An woman walks during the rain day, amid cherry trees that are in full bloom around the Tidal Basin in Washington, Wednesday, March 23, 2022. Annual National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the original gift of 3,000 cherry trees from the city of Tokyo to the people of Washington in 1912. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

People pose for pictures amid cherry trees that are in full bloom around the Tidal Basin in Washington, Wednesday, March 23, 2022. Annual National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the original gift of 3,000 cherry trees from the city of Tokyo to the people of Washington in 1912. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

Laura Gingrich, left and Matthew Poetzinger swing dance to celebrate their engagement under Yoshino cherry trees that are in full bloom around the Tidal Basin in Washington, Tuesday, March 22, 2022. Annual National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the original gift of 3,000 cherry trees from the city of Tokyo to the people of Washington in 1912. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Blossoms are seen along the Tidal Basin at sunset, Monday, March 21, 2022, as the trees reach their peek bloom in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Nicole Vargas, 16, of Maryland, has sweet sixteen photos taken next to cherry blossoms on March 21, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

People under the Cherry Blossom trees take pictures, Monday, March 21, 2022, as the trees reach their peek bloom in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

People under the Cherry Blossom trees, Monday, March 21, 2022, as the trees reach their peek bloom in Washington.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

A woman takes a picture of the Cherry Blossom trees at sunset, Monday, March 21, 2022, as the trees reach their peek bloom in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Admirers of the trees are urged not to pick its delicate pink-white blossoms. (WTOP/John Domen)

The cherry blossoms in D.C. have hit peak bloom. (WTOP/John Domen)

Some of the trees are over 100 years old. (WTOP/John Domen)

A special tree crew makes sure that the trees are healthy. (WTOP/John Domen)

A row of cherry blossoms hangs along the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. on March 21, 2022. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)

A cherry blossom tree is see along the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. on March 21, 2022. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)

Visitors take pictures and socialize amid the blooming buds on March 21, 2022. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)

Roughly 3,700 cherry blossom trees adorn the National Mall. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)

A gift from Tokyo in 1912 at the Tidal Basin has transformed into a four-week event across Washington, D.C., and neighboring communities in Maryland and Virginia. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)

Roughly 3,700 cherry blossom trees adorn the National Mall. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)

Roughly 3,700 cherry blossom trees adorn the National Mall. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)

Cherry Blossoms are visible behind a member of the Secret Service on the South Lawn of the White House before President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrive in Washington, Sunday, March 20, 2022, after spending the weekend in Rehoboth Beach, Del. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Dancers with the Washington Ballet, including ballerinas Tamako Miyazaki, right, and Victoria Arrea, center, change out of their tutus after an official photo shoot for the dance company at the Martin Luther King Jr., Memorial, Friday, March 18, 2022, as the Cherry Blossom trees along the tidal basin continue to head toward this year’s peak bloom in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Cherry blossoms are seen in Lower Senate Park on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on March 20, 2022.  (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

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