The best places to take graduation photos (other than Lillis)
As seniors begin winding down their last few weeks of school, many decide to head out into Oregon’s spring weather to take graduation photos. Donning green caps and gowns, grad photos are a time to capture the excitement and nervousness that comes with becoming a University of Oregon graduate and entering the workforce. While it’s almost obligatory to take a celebratory photo in front of the giant yellow “O” on the Lillis Complex, there are many other spots both in and out of Eugene to take photos that you — and your proud parents — will cherish forever.
Your freshman dorm
Bring your college years full circle by taking grad photos outside of your freshman dorm hall. It’ll bring back plenty of memories, especially if you take a moment to eat dorm food afterward.
Hayward field has hosted many historic events, including multiple Olympic Trials, but can also serve as the backdrop for any soon-to-be graduate’s photos. A favorite spot for students to keep in mind is in front of the gates entering the field.
Along the Willamette River
There are multiple spots in Alton Baker park to get photos with the Willamette River in the background. For many students, the river has been a peaceful spot to relax on a warm summer day.
Owen Rose Garden
Also located along the Willamette River, this picturesque garden spans an eight-and-a-half acre area and contains over 400 varieties of roses. Though located in the Whiteaker community, the Owen Rose Garden is worth the trip off campus to get stunning grad photos surrounded by the budding flowers.
The lawn behind Knight Library
While the benches and blooming trees in front of Knight Library are an obvious choice for grad photos, don’t forget to head around back as well. The bright green field is perfectly framed by the library, giving your photos a prestigious feel.
The path to Autzen Stadium
Relive the walk to football games by taking grad photos on the path to Autzen. The looming stadium and giant yellow “O” will ensure that your pictures capture the essence of sporting events at UO.
The education buildings
The education buildings are a hidden gem when it comes to photo opportunities. Located next to the Knight Library’s back lawn, this small brick courtyard is a beautiful spot throughout spring.
If you’re looking to add an outdoorsy-feel to your photo session, head up Spencer’s Butte. The impressive views over the city make for a stunning background.
For students seeking a short getaway, the coast is a great place to go for senior photos. Florence is just under an hour and a half away; or you can drive further to the famous Thor’s Well at Cape Perpetua. Be warned though, beach winds could easily take your grad cap away.
A local winery
Lane County is home to lots of excellent wineries, and luckily for college seniors, many of them have gorgeous views surrounding their vineyards. Sweet Cheeks Winery and King Estate Winery are just two options for beautiful photos, as well as a celebratory graduation wine tasting.
Your department’s building
After years of work, seniors deserve to celebrate their many accomplishments within the walls of their department’s building. It is only fitting to have your photo taken in or outside of the building where you worked so hard on your major classes.
The Duck statue
Located just outside of the Ford Alumni Center, this statue is perfect for making the transition from a current student to a UO alumnus. Every duck deserves to have a photo with The Duck before graduating.
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