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D.C. Bars For Washingtonian Magazine

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Washington, DC - Ambar (Kyle Gustafson)

Earlier this year I got a call from the design director at Washingtonian Magazine asking me if I wanted to shoot some bars for their annual Best Bars feature. I gladly accepted the assignment and was handed a list of 9 D.C.-area bars that ranged from Alexandria to D.C. and all the way up to Frederick, MD. Shooting bars in low light is a challenge in itself, but I also quickly figured out that I would have to figure out how to make empty bars look like they were happening places in addition to trying to find a photos without a majority of people checking their phones. The other major challenge for this assignment was the timeframe. I had 12 days to shoot 9 bars. I should also mention that it snowed twice during that time period, which does not make for packed drinking establishments in the D.C. suburbs.

Frederick, MD - The WIne Kitchen (Kyle Gustafson)

Alexandria, VA - Vermillion (Kyle Gustafson)

Arlington VA - Eatbar (Kyle Gustafson)

Silver Spring, MD - Jackie's Sidebar (Kyle Gustafson)

My big takeaway from this assignment was that it’s impossible to be a fly on a wall in a small drinking establishment when you have a big camera like a Nikon D3. Everyone stares at you while you’re working and that doesn’t make for candid photos. The next time I do something like this, I’ll rent a FujiX100s or something similar so I can be a little more incognito, because people just freeze when they see an SLR.

Washington, DC - Ambar (Kyle Gustafson)

Washington DC - Napoleon Lounge (Kyle Gustafson)

Frederick, MD - The WIne Kitchen (Kyle Gustafson)

Arlington VA - Eatbar (Kyle Gustafson)

Alexandria, VA - Vermillion (Kyle Gustafson)

Arlington, VA - Galaxy Hut (Kyle Gustafson)

SEE THE FULL PHOTOSET: Head over to my archives to see the full photo set from this assignment.
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