Explore Washington D.C.

Photographer E. Brady Robinson Talks about D.C. and FotoWeekDC

The photographer and arts advocate chats about FotoWeekDC, what she loves about D.C. and capturing the city’s good side.

E. Brady Robinson has an eye for artists. For her book “Art Desks”, she captured the essence of creative professionals by focusing her lens on their workspaces, in the process, revealing much more than a simple desk and chair.

As the chairwoman of FotoDC, an organization that supports photographers, she zooms in on fellow pro shutterbugs through events like FotoWeekDC, which papers the city every November with stunning stills. She recently chatted with us about the event, why she’s in love with D.C. and her travel style.

E. Brady Robinson
E. Brady Robinson (©Matthew Kleinrock)

What can people expect to find at FotoWeekDC?

Truly a citywide festival, FotoWeekDC is the largest visual-arts event in the District yearround that celebrates world-class photography of any genre. Visitors can expect to see a range of diverse and dynamic exhibitions, events, projections, installations, film screenings and lectures.

What neighborhood do you like to explore?

I’ve lived in NoMa (North of Massachusetts Ave. NE) for five years. There’s so much going on there. I enjoyed living across the street from Indigo restaurant and being able to walk to Yoga District on H Street and to the National MallUnion Market rocks. I also love Capitol Hill and biking to Eastern Market on the weekends.

Union Market exterior
Union Market (©Jason Rosenberg/Flickr, Creative Commons)

As a photographer, can you suggest some great photo ops in town?

The Tidal Basin in the spring trumps most photo ops in the city. However, my personal favorites are shots of the U.S. Capitol at night and the street life of H Street NE.

Tips for capturing D.C.’s good side?

Lighting is everything. Avoid shooting midday when the light is harsh. Instead, head out during sunrise and “golden hour” in the evening. Use the full frame of your viewfinder, and get close to your subject. Pay attention to how you frame your composition, and try all possible angles.

What do you love most about the city?

Where do I begin? I am in love with D.C. It’s international. It’s not as overwhelming as New York City. It comes with the perks and amenities of a large metropolis, yet has a chill vibe. It’s rich in arts and culture. Its location makes it easy to drive out to the country, and National Airport is just a hop, skip and a jump across the river.

Favorite day trips?

Hands down, the Virginia wine country. I love Boxwood Estate Winery and Tasting Room in Middleburg. I also hike the trails of Sky Meadows State Park in Delaplane and go antiquing in The Plains.

Boxwood Winery from the air
Boxwood Winery (©Jim Hanna)

What’s your travel style?

Light and spontaneous. I like to explore cities on foot and by bike with my camera. I try to get the local vibe and check out neighborhood restaurants with advice from the locals.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Croatia’s Paklinski Islands, the Greek islands (by boat of course) and a return to Capri someday. There’s a theme—I love a good beach.

Most cherished item from a trip?

Photographs of course, from the air and on the ground. I’ve collected textiles from Chiapas and Michoacán, Mexico; jewelry from Centro Histórico in Mexico City and coffee from Chiapas.

Where are you going next?

The Mayan Riviera. My husband and I are building a house in Puerto Morelos, Mexico, and plan to live there part of the year. Next year, I plan to host yoga and photography retreats there. Stay tuned!

A spread from photographer and FotoDC Chairwoman E. Brady Robinson's book, "Art Desks" (Courtesy E. Brady Robinson)
A spread from photographer and FotoDC Chairwoman E. Brady Robinson's book, "Art Desks" (Courtesy E. Brady Robinson)