Neil Colton Photographer: The Blog » Professional Lifestyle, Portrait & Travel Photography by Neil Colton

The Lincoln Memorial by Neil Colton Photographer

Join me in June for this exciting new workshop and photography tour set in the in the beautiful city of Washington, DC! 

The capital city of Washington, DC is one of the most photographer friendly and photogenic cities in the world. With broad, well lit streets, a low skyline and classic monumental architecture, Washington, DC is often compared to a classical European city. For travelers and photographers of all levels, Washington is a wonderland of photographic opportunities just waiting to be captured!

Spend the day capturing images of some of the most iconic architecture, museums and historic sights in the world. Whether you are a veteran photographer, a visitor or a traveler preparing for a trip, this photography walking tour is a perfect choice.

The day includes the iconic sites you know well,  plus a tour of the museums of the eastern area of the National Mall, located between 14th Street, NW and the US Capitol Building. Along the way, we will visit the National Museums of American History, The American Indian Museum,  I.M. Pei’s award winning East Wing of the National Gallery of Art and the stunning Smithsonian Castle.  The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Gallery is a  ‘must-see’ destination for any Washington visitor.

We will end our day with a will to the recently completed National Museum of African American History and Culture, one of Washington’s most compelling works of architecture and an exciting new addition to the national mall.

About Neil

Neil Colton is an award winning Washington, DC  based professional photographer. He began his photography career as an architectural photographer, working with some of Washington’s top architecture and design firms.  Neil has also worked as a photojouranlist and an editorial photographer. Neil’s background in photojournalism gives him an understanding of the power and the craft of visual story telling. His travel and documentary photography has been featured and published in The Washington Post, Elan’ Magazine and Professional Photographer, among others. Working with Neil, you will not only learn about the city and the sites you will visit, you will also learn how to create a photographic story of the day, with compelling images of some of the world’s most iconic and historic buildings and monuments.

 At the end of the day, you will have a new collection of wonderful images of the Icons & Museums of Washington, DC and the city that is home to them.

What You Will Learn

We will discuss both the technical and the creative aspects of travel photography, including:

  • Best gear choices for travel photography
  • How to photograph architecture on your travels
  • How to compose your images for impact
  • How to create extraordinary images from ordinary scenes
  • How to create compelling portraits of people on your travels
  • Creating a visual story of your travels
  • Quick and simple post production options
  • Creating a ‘sense of place’ in your work
  • Photographing people on your travels

Sites On The Tour

  • The White House
  • The Executive Office Building (one of the most distinctive and under appreciated works of monumental architecture in Washington, DC)
  • The Vietnam War Memorial
  • The Lincoln Memorial
  • The Korean War Memorial
  • The WW II Memorial
  • The Martin Luther King Memorial
  • The FDR Memorial
  • The Jefferson Memorial
  • The National Museums of American History, Natural History and the American Indian
  • The National Air & Space Museum
  • The National Gallery of Art & The East Wing
  • The Smithsonian Castle
  • The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden
  • The National Museum of African American History and Culture ( Just added. The newest museum and one of the most exciting works of architecture on the National Mall!)

“It was truly a great experience having you personally taking me around the city and teaching me excellent photography tips and insights from your considerable personal experience.”

Ian L.

Santa Monica, CA

Join us for this exciting day photographing the iconic sites, monumental architecture and award winning museums of Washington, DC!

Place: Washington, DC

Date: Saturday, June 24,  2017

Time: 9AM-5PM

Cost: $225.00

Contact Neil at for details and ask about the VIP Discount for Facebook friends and followers!



Another offering in an occasional series about travel and travel photography. This post features Arcadia Bluffs, one of the premier public links-style golf courses in the United States.


Portrait of golgers at sunst at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course in Arcadia MI.


Every photographer experiences a period of struggle, when the creative mojo disappears.

When my mojo went south, I went north to recharge my creative batteries in beautiful northern Michigan.  Spending quality time with friends and family was long overdue. After intense periods of work, with relentless deadlines and demanding clients, time away from the camera and clients was a welcome respite. But how to get those creative juices flowing again?  Unlikely as it may seem, I got my creative mojo back during a round of golf on one of the most beautiful and challenging golf courses I have ever set foot upon.

A place called Arcadia Bluffs.

From Wikipedia:

Golf Digest selected Arcadia Bluffs as one of the 100 Greatest Golf Courses in the United States in 2005. The course was ranked #10 in America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses list and #56 in the 100 Greatest Golf Courses list. In addition to the Golf Digest ranking, Golfweek magazine ranked Arcadia Bluffs at #24 in their listing of  The 100 Best Courses in United States.”

I am convinced that in the heart of every amateur golfer lies a belief, however fantastic, that one day, in one place, all those hours, days and weeks spent in toil on the fairways will coalesce into a near perfect round.

On this day, in this place, for a few brief moments, that happened to me, at a place called Arcadia Bluffs.

Arcadia Bluffs is a links course, in the style of the early Irish and Scottish courses.  Carved into the bluffs on the shore of Lake Michigan, it is at once awe inspiring and intimidating.  At its highest point, the links are sevaral hundred feet above Lake Michigan. The views from the elevated tee boxes are simply stunning. It is challenge enough to simply play this course, without the pull of amazing vistas to complicate your vision and your swing.

Now, to Arcadia Bluufs and that sublime day.


Portrait of Arcadia Bluffs golf course with golfers in the distance along Lake Michigan
Portrait of a golfer as he tees of at Arcadia Bluffs in Arcadia, Michigan.A gollfer tees of at Arcdia Bluffs Golf Coirse set against the brillaint summer Michigan sky.Silhouette portrait of a golfer teeing off toward Lake Michigan at Arcadia Bluffs in Arcadia, Michigan.Portrait of Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course against a brilliant blue Lake Michigan.Still portrait of a golf ball on a green at the Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course in Arcadia, Michigan.Candid portrait of a golfer putting at the Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course in Arcadia, Michigan.Portrait of one of the majestic greens on the Arcadia Bluffs Glof Course in Arcadia, Michigan.Portrait of a lone golfer planning his approach shot on a fairway of the Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course in Arcadia, Michigan.Portrait of the Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course in Arcadia, Michigan. bathed in late after Michigan summer sun.Portrait of a golfer driving his cart along the fairway as the sun sets on Lake Michigan at the Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course in Arcadia, Michigan.Action portrait of a golfer powering his way out of a bunker on the Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course in Arcadia, Michigan.
Candid portrait of a golfer chipping onto a green at the Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course in Arcadia, Michigan.Portrait of a golfer chipping onto the green as the sun sets on Arcadia Bluffs golf course in Arcadia, MichiganSilhouette portrait of a golfer putting on the back nine of Arcsdia Bluffs with Lake Michigan in the background.Portrait of golfers on the tee at Arcadia Bluffs golf course, with Lake Michiga in the background.Portrait of the setting sun on Arcadia Bluffs Gof Course in Arcadia, Michigan.Portrait of the course at Arcadia Bluffs as the sun sets on Lake Michigan.Portrait of three golfers on the back nine of the course at Arcadia Bluffs.Night portrait of the clubhouse at Arcadia Bluffs, as viewed from the 18th fairway.

About the water color. Lake Michigan is a blue like no blue I have ever seen.

That blue is real. I kid you not. I capture all images using the Neutral setting on my Nikon DSLRs. For you Nikon shooters that’s a setting below standard. By below, I mean less saturated. Nikon’s Standard setting ramps up the colors far too much for my liking. The colors in the Standard setting seem unnatural and over saturated, with too much pop. So, I choose the Neutral setting and add color and saturation as needed, in post productiion. I actually had to ramp down (decrese) the colors in many of these shots, because they were so powerful they seemed supernatural. A local resident started to explain why the lake was so blue, but he lost me at kelp.





The Lincoln Memorial by Neil Colton Photographer


Neil Colton Launches Washington, DC Photography Tours

I am excited to announce that I am now offering private photography tours of the beautiful historic city of Washington, DC.

My goal is to provide the most informative, inspirational and enjoyable photographic tours available in the Washington, DC area today. I began my photography craeer as an architectural photographer. Now, after working as a professional photographer in Washington, DC for over a decade, I am eager to share my knowledge of photography and the city of Washington with others.

To that end, I work alongside you throughout the day, sharing my technical and creative knowledge and the history of the iconic sites of this incredibly photogenic city. I believe this hands-on approach is the most effective way to connect with you and to teach the aspects of photography that cannot be learned online or in books. My workshops and tours are kept small and intimate to allow me to work with you directly throughout the day.

My photography tours focus on the historic sights of Washington, but I also offer tours of Georgetown, Adams Morgan, DuPont Circle, Capital Hill and the exciting new Southwest Waterfront. All workhops and tours are customized for you and your small group of up to 4 photographers.

I can guide you on tour designed by me or you may select the locations and destinations and I will write the itinerary, tailoring my instruction especially for you or your small group. 

“It was truly a great experience having you personally taking me around the city and teaching me excellent photography tips and insights from your considerable personal experience.”

Ian L.

Santa Monica, CA

For more Testimonials click here.

To arrange a custom tour, please contact me for availablity and rates.


About Neil

Neil’s professional photography experience includes architectural photography, photojournalism, travel photography, event photography, commercial lifestyle photography, editorial photography and portrait photography. Neil has created content for clients such as AirBnb, 500px and Source Media, among others. He has photographed awrad winning architecture for several of Washington, DC’s leading architecture and design firms. Neil has worked for international non-profit organizations, NGOs, newspapers and magazines. Neil is a former Professional Member of the American Photographic Artists (APA) and The American Society of Media Photographers.



Lifestyle portait of Sarah and Joe at McKenna Farm

Just a brief trip north of Washington, DC lies the historic City of Frederick, MD.

From the City of Frederic website:


Here, museums meet martini bars, scenic landscapes provide thrill seekers with adventure, and cutting edge cuisine is served up in Civil War-era buildings alongside unique specialty shops, galleries, museums, and theaters.

Located less than one hour from Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Gettysburg, the city of Frederick, Maryland is surrounded by mountain views, wineries, orchards and vibrant Main Street communities. Visitors can hike on the Appalachian Trail, visit Maryland’s largest brewery, and tour a battlefield all in one day.

This is Frederick County, where hip meets historic every day.

It is there, in the beautiful rolling hills and lush countryside of Frederic County, MD that you will find McKenna Farm, the country home and rural retreat of Joe Mckenna and Sarah Brennan. I spent the day there, recently, creating lifestyle and portrait photography content for the new McKenna Farms website.

About Sarah, Joe and McKenna Farms, in their own words:

Our Journey

In every city dweller, there are dreams of an escape to the country. But what happens when a city couple from D.C. purchase a 220 year-old farm house to try and live out their “Downton Abbey” dreams?

Well……that’s where our story begins and we can assure you that the execution of that dream has been far more difficult than anticipated; and our confidence often outshines our abilities and resources at every turn. But we find opportunity in every crisis and we are slowly mastering our new domain. We hope you’ll settle in and follow our journey from the Capitol to the Country.

The beginning. Like most city couples, we wanted to be part of the farm-to-table movement, eat locally, support smart farming, reduce our impact on the earth, etc. However, our participation stopped at our local farmer’s market because we didn’t have the time or the know-how to bring the country into our city lives.

We toyed with the idea of buying a little country house for years and when we finally did it, we imagined great weekend escapes with afternoons of skeet shooting and evenings of dressing-for-dinner. To our surprise, we quickly replaced those activities with eight-hour days in the garden and enough manual labor to make even the biggest outdoor lovers shutter. Somehow, and to our great surprise, we both became slightly addicted to a simpler lifestyle and all of the amazing things we were learning.

We had no idea just how happy we would be playing in the dirt, learning to grow our own food, raising animals, and bringing an old house back to life.  This is our journey from Capitol to Country.

Joe & Sarah


Portrait of Sarah in the garden at McKenna Farm
Lifetsyle Portrait of Joe building a stone wall at McKenna FarmLifetsyle Photography of products at McKenna FarmLifestyle Photography of Sarah at McKenna FarmLifetsyle Photography of Joe at McKenna FarmLifestyle Photography of the garden at Mckenna FarmLifestyle Photography of Sarah in the garden at McKenna FarmLifetsyle Photography of products at McKenna FarmLifetsyle Photography of a table setting at McKenna FarmLifestyle Photography at Mckenna FarmJoe & Sarah at the main house at McKenna FarmLifestyle Photography of Sarah and Joe at McKenna Farm
Mckenna Farm Lifestyle Photography Sarah






Lifetsyle photography has many different looks, from babies bouncing on their mother’s knee to golfers playing a challenging links course in northern Michigan to scenes of the urban life in the recently gentrified sections of Washington, DC. It is a genre that defies a simple definition. For the past few years,  I have been focused on creating images for commercial and editorial clients, through ad agencies, media companies and corporate clients. So, when Olga called to arrange a ‘lifestyle and portrait’ session, I was delighted. For years, I had photographed families and couples in the Washignton, DC area. Engaged couples, married couples, friends, lovers and the like.

I missed that.

Lifetsyle photography, with clients who are not professionals, can be a freewheeling, unscripted joy ride, with no director or creative consultant breathing down your neck. I choose the time, the place and the images I want to create. But Olga and Sergio are no ordinary couple. Either could find work in modeling, but together they make the work of photographing them seem like no work at all. As photographres say when the subjcets their lives this simple, ‘the camera loves them’.

For this session, I choose the Georgetown section of Washington, DC. Georgetown is that wonderful mix of historic and modern architecture, tony shops, bustling streets and an historic canal lined with former factories that hail from the industrial period, when Georgetown was a booming manufacturing center. Because of this, Georgetown is one of the most popular spots in Washington. My biggest challenge their is isolating the subjects from the crowds of tourists and residents that regularly fill the streets and alleys.

Somehow, we did that. In the end, we came away from the session with some great images. All thanks to Olga and Sergio.


washingon dc portrait photography olga and sergio
washington dc portrait photography olga and sergiowashington dc portrait photography olga and sergiowashington dc portrait photography olga and sergiowashington dc portrait photography olga and sergiowashington dc portrait photography olga and sergiowashington dc portrait photography olga and sergiowashington dc portrait photography olga and sergiowashington dc portrait photography olga and sergiowashington dc portrait photography olga and sergio

  • Anna - Neil, you’ve done a great job – the photos are absolutely amazing. You are a very talented photographer. I like the framing and the light, and the couple on the photos. Georgetown is definitely a very romantic place for a photo shoot.

  • Kvetka - Wow… What a great photo session! I love to see a couple so relaxed on the photos and so in love with each other. Georgetown is very recognizable and such a great spot for photography and at the same time the photos look as if it belonged just to Olga and Sergio! The light and the texture of the old walls, the canal with the shadows on the water and the walking path under the bridges – all looks just remarkable…

  • Irina - Beautiful photo session of one of the most beautiful couples I know!