Underrated spots to take your UC Berkeley graduation photos

The inside of a fast food restaurant is empty.
Daniel Kim/File

With only a little over a month left of school, graduation season is already upon us. If next month is your last month at UC Berkeley, you may already feel the pressure to find the perfect photographer and outfit for your grad photos — which we all know is highly consequential because what else would you blazon across all of your social media accounts for the next couple of months? Even if your academic year won’t be ending with “Pomp and Circumstance Marches,” it’s never too early to start thinking about your future Facebook profile picture and what you’ll be forced to send to all of your distant relatives. To take a little weight off your chest, here’s a narrowed down list of all the most noteworthy spots in Berkeley that make for the perfect photo backdrop.

Main Stacks Library

Having your photo shoot inside Main Stacks is the prime way to convey an example of expectation versus reality. While all your friends may be flocking to the prettiest parts of campus, there’s no backdrop that can represent your four years as an undergrad here more accurately than the inside of the library. All the times you spent searching for a seat, sneaking in boba and cramming in course captures will be encapsulated with one background. There’s no better way to turn the chapter for the next stage of your life than by turning to Main Stacks.

Taco Bell

Kill two birds with one stone by taking your grad pics while you grab your favorite late night snack at Taco Bell. We all know how long the line can be on a Saturday night, making an impromptu graduation photo shoot the best solution to pass the time. Plus, a location such as Taco Bell will really show all your friends and family what a “Baja Blast” college was.

A frat party

The Campanile, Doe Library and Sather Gate make for spectacular backdrops that truly showcase the beauty of the UC Berkeley campus, making them the go-to spots for grad pics. Taking your pictures at any one of your typical frat parties deviates from the norm in the best way possible. With the blasting of “Wonderwall vs Tremor (Remix)” and the continuous chanting of “Seven, seven, seven…” in the background, your grad pics will prove that your four years in college were quite the party!

During your last midterm

What better way to say “see you… never” to the hours spent toiling over assignments and tests than by taking your graduation pics during your last exam at Cal? Your photographer doesn’t need to tell you to smile twice because you’ll naturally beam with joy at finally being finished with schoolwork. That is, unless you decide to go to graduate school…

On Sproul

When we say Sproul, we don’t mean capturing Sather Gate. While that would make for one pretty picture, using Sather Gate has become all too common these days. Spice up your Sproul photo shoot by capturing the several students who flyer on a daily basis and the tons of tables set up to promote various student organizations. You might not be interested in consulting or pre-med, but you’re interested in capturing the day in the life of a Cal student — so bring on the flyers, the Boosted Boards zipping by the ASUC campaigners and oh-so much more.

Aren’t you tired of the same three locations being highlighted in all the graduation pics? Break away from the status quo by using one of these uncustomary spots, which is guaranteed to add a little pizzazz to the momentous tradition. You’ll only get the chance to be an undergrad once, so why not go out with a bang?

Contact Erika Lee at [email protected] .