The Best Places to Take Grad Photos

Here are the BEST spots to take your U of A grad photos this year (with a few tips to help you get the best shots):

In Front of The Jubilee Auditorium

Photo Tip: Try to stand at an angle that will allow the Butterdome to serve as your background. After all, you didn’t take classes at the Jube, but I bet that you did write an exam in the Butterdome. Plus, it’s totally iconic!

Photo Tip: If you were ever a Listerite, then you likely have plenty of photos of the place on your phone… but it might be nice to have at least one cap and gown pic of you in front of the legendary residence.


Photo Tip: For the best shot of ECHA, cross the street and stand on the sidewalk in front of the PAW Cetre. If you time it just right, you might even avoid having cars in the picture. Alternatively, you can avoid crossing the street, and can instead stand by the controlled crosswalk closest to the Butterdome.

The Alberta Bear (It’s a Modern Icon)

Photo Tip: Having your photo taken with the Alberta Bear is one of the U of A’s newest traditions — so make sure you get your shot… which could be as epic as this one:

Photo Tip: Check out YouAlberta’s guide to posing for grad photos to see how you might be able to best pose in your gown — and check out Paige’s guide to getting the perfect Alberta Bear photo… you can pet it, ride it, hug it, stand beside it, run from it, etc.


Photo Tip: To get the best shot of PAW in your photos, stand on the sidewalk in front of ECHA.

The Presidents’ Circle

Photo Tip: Imagine yourself as one of the university’s founders and then pose with them… well, not actually them (for obvious reasons), but with their bronze facsimiles. The President’s Circle is one of the newest statues on campus, so mosey on up beside our first President, and pose as though you’re helping him and the first Premier pick out the perfect spot for the university.

St. Joseph’s College/Education

Photo Tip: St. Joseph’s College is one of the first buildings you would have seen if you rode the bus to campus each morning, plus it will make you look super collegian if you use it in as your background.

Photo Tip: If you’re an Education grad, you’ll definitely want a photo with the Education mural in the background. For the best shot, try standing on the sidewalk in front of Dent Pharm. (Just look out for the construction.)

The Admin Building

Photo Tip: The area around the Admin Building is perfect for lots of different shots — you can have a picture in front of the building, a shot standing beside one of the charming brick posts, a picture with the whale tale statue, or series of pictures in and around the two ponds that are nestled beside the walkway… but remember EVERYONE will want these shots. To avoid having lots of people in your background, consider making this one of your last photo spots.

Dent/Pharm and the Bus Loop

Photo Tip: With it’s brick work and masonry, Dent/Pharm stands out on North Campus, and if you can pose with it in the background, it will make your grad photos stand out too. For the best pic, try standing out on the sidewalk and ask your photographer to crouch down for an upward looking image.

Photo Tip: If you had class on North Campus, then at some point you must have found yourself in the bus loop. Posing along the tree lined brick street will create a cozy and totally collegiate look.

Alumni Walk

U of A Alumni Grad Photos

Photo Tip: Once you’ve crossed the stage you will be a member of the U of A’s Alumni community, so I would highly recommend getting a photo in the Alumni Walk… preferably with the Alumni Walk Plaque. (Note: This is a very popular spot for photos, so to avoid the crowds, you might want to leave it for one of your final shots.)

QUAD/Pembina Hall/CCIS

UAlberta Grad Photos in QUAD

Photo Tip: QUAD is massive, so there are plenty of places to take your photo. While you’ll want to capture some of the walking paths and gorgeous plant life, be sure to include some of the more iconic spots, like Pembina Hall.

Photo Tip: While in QUAD, consider heading towards CCIS to avoid having a crowd in your background.

Engineering QUAD

Photo Tip: Engineering grads might want to head to the iron ring (well, it’s almost a ring) over in the Engineering QUAD for at least one grad photo.

Bio Sci

Photo Tip: Most people tend to forget that the area behind Bio Sci (along Saskatchewan Drive) can be an amazing place to take photos. Not only will you have the potential of getting a great tree line in your background, but you might be able to get a great shot of the Edmonton skyline in your background too.


Photo Tip: Don’t be afraid to choose spots on campus that might be harder to recognize, if they provide you with a colourful and textured back drop. (Like the back of the Tory Turtle/Tory Lecture Theatre)

Photo Tip: Do try to include at least one piece of public art in your photos… and maybe even a provincial landmark, like Rutherford House.

Arts/Business Quad

U of A Grad Photo at Convocation Hall

Photo Tip: The Old Arts Building a.k.a. Convocation Hall is THE spot to take a grad photo. Seriously. “Convocation” is in the name of the building.

Photo Tip: If it’s chilly outside (and really, even if it isn’t), consider taking a few pics INSIDE Convocation Hall. The brick work and lighting combine to make for some dramatically stunning images.


Photo Tip: You’ll have to go to SUB to return your gown, so while you’re there, take advantage of the beautiful lighting and strike a pose.

Bonus Idea!

If you can find them, and if they’re willing… you should totally get a photo with your campus hero. #UAlberta18