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Where to Take the Perfect Graduation Photos

Although none of us really want to talk about it, graduation weekend is right around the corner. Graduating from Penn State is something that most of us seniors aren’t looking forward to, but it is also something we must do, and something that we will never want to forget.

Ever since freshman year, I’ve been told that taking pictures during graduation weekend is harder than finding a seat at Café on a Friday night, and that this is something that must be done in advance. As emotional as it might be, the weeks leading up to graduation are the time to go buy that cap and gown (you can do it!) and head to the best spots on campus and create those permanent graduation memories.

This can definitely be a very stressful time, so I compiled a list of places to stop by as you go through your photo shoot.

The must-go places:

1. Nittany Lion Shrine

This one’s probably a given, and will also probably have a line no matter when you go, but it is essentially a tangible representation of Penn State itself. Make sure to get a few shots next to the Lion’s head (put your cap on him for one too!) as well as the classic sitting-on-the-lion’s-back photo that you probably took the day you got here four years ago. There’s a reason the Lion Shrine is one the most photographed spots in Pennsylvania!

2. Old Main

Old Main has a few great shots to offer. First, be sure to get a few on the steps and by the green globe. Then, venture on up the steps to where the columns are. If you have a few people, poke your heads out from one column each and take the photo from the side for a cute group shot. Then, head down to the lawn and make sure to get one at an upward-facing angle with the building behind you. If you’re with a decent photographer — in other words, not your grandmother and her disposable Kodak — try to get them to capture you jumping in the air on the lawn, too!

3. Joe Pa Statue

This is self explanatory. Imitate his pose, and get one with yourself and him on the right side and his name on the left.

4. The Pennsylvania State University sign

There are a few of these, but the best one is located on the corner of Porter Road and Park Avenue. There are a few rocks that form steps right at the end of the words, which makes for a great photo location. If you’re feeling adventurous, climb up onto the sign for a few more! In theory, this is a great place for a “jumping” picture, but the sign is a little higher than it looks (I may or may not have learned this the hard way), so just jump up and land back on the sign.

5. Your College

If you’re graduating from Smeal, snap some shots in the atrium and with the Businesswoman statue outside. Musician? Head over to the music building. IST majors, make the trek over to the bridge. The building of your college is probably one of the top spots on campus at which you spent most of your time throughout these four years. And after all, your degree is kind of important at this point, as is where it came from.

In case you need some more ideas…

-Your freshman dorm

-Your favorite bar

-The Palmer Art Museum (the one with the giant paws by Forum)

-The Hintz Center duck pond

-The Library/Patee Mall

-The steps in front of Eastview Terrace

-The BJC

-The Creamery

-The Arboretum

-Your Fraternity house/Sorority floor (if applicable)

Did you take a your graduation pictures and find a spot we forgot? Let us know in the comments! 

About the Author


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