Oh, the places you’ll go … to take graduation photos


Brian Bauer

The Alma Mater statue is located on the corner of Wright and Green streets and is the site for many memorable photos.

By Ava Traverso, Special Sections Editor

As graduation gets closer by the minute, it’s time to prepare for the annual social spamming of cap and gown photos. With most of your family members wanting a picture of you in your regalia, taking a good picture to give to them can be stressful. Every campus has iconic spots to take graduation pictures, and Illinois is no different. If you’re in a pinch and looking for some portrait spots, look no further. Here is the guide you need to take the best graduation photos.

Alma Mater

I had to start the list with the obvious choice, the Alma Mater statue. It seems like during every graduation season, there is an endlessly long line of students looking to take a photo in front of the statue. The hours waiting are for a good reason. Alma Mater is probably the most iconic symbol of the University, and having a photo with her would be a great way to capture your time here. Just make sure you get there early because tons of seniors will have the same idea!

The Alma Mater Mural at KAM’s

Even though it’s not the real statue, the mural of Alma Nater on KAM’s patio is almost as famous as the original. Instagram is constantly being flooded with photos in front of the site after nights out at the bars. A photo with the mural should be on the bucket list of every student and having one in your cap and gown would be even more iconic. Grab some friends and take graduation pictures with some blue guys, and it will give you photos you will keep for years after.

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The Krannert Center

The Krannert Center offers many beautiful sites for pictures, but one of the most prominent are the steps in front. The openness of the steps lends them to be a great option if you’re interested in taking group photos with your friends or family.

Japan House

One of the best things about having a spring graduation is that everything is in bloom, and the sites at Japan house are a beautiful example of this. With the cherry blossoms finally in full force, the trees are a gorgeous backdrop to all of your graduation photo needs. With the lake and the actual Japan House, there are endless photo spots on the grounds. Just make sure you wear good shoes because it can be a little bit of a hike.

A meaningful building to you

To make things more personal, take a picture at a site or a building that is important to your major. For example, I’m a student in environmental science, so I would take a photo at my major’s building, Turner Hall. Another idea is if you’re involved in a sport or a club, take a photo at a site that means a lot to that organization. For example, for sports, take a picture at your respective training site. Just make sure the site is something that is important to you!

Overall, graduation is one of the biggest moments of your life. Taking photos at meaningful sites will offer priceless memories to look back on for the rest of your life. Above all, try to take some time and smell the flowers this week. It’s not every day you graduate.

Ava is a sophomore in ACES.

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