Picture-perfect graduation backdrops

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As graduation weekend is among us, the class of 2023 gets ready to put on their caps and gowns for their last hurrah. Photos are essential; luckily, our campus provides several stunning spots to capture the perfect graduation photo.

Royce Hall and Powell Library

Photo by Daily Bruin

Photo by Daily Bruin

First on the list is obvious but essential — the renowned Royce Hall and Powell Library stand tall as iconic landmarks on campus, offering some of the most iconic backdrops for graduation photos. Amid these magnificent structures, your graduation photos will radiate a sense of pride, accomplishment and beauty.

Janss Steps

Photo by Daily Bruin

Photo by Daily Bruin

As one of the most iconic places to snap a picture while popping champagne, the famous steps are an essential stop. Providing a glimpse of Royce Hall through the bushes, Janss Steps creates a picturesque setting that encapsulates the full beauty of the campus.

Inverted Fountain

Photo by UCLA Newsroom
•Campus Centennial Project 190407

Photo by UCLA Newsroom

As the home of one of the most significant traditions on campus, the Inverted Fountain is a great place to kill two birds with one stone. Before starting college, students are “Bruintized” by touching the fountain’s water. It is considered bad luck to come into contact with the water again until after one’s last final — making it a great place to snap photos and touch the water again.

Bruin Bear


Photo by Flickr

Outside of the J.D. Morgan Center, the Bruin Bear signifies our pride in our school mascot. Along with the tradition of taking graduation photos sitting on top of the bear, this fun spot is near Pauley Pavilion — the location of several graduation ceremonies — making it very convenient to stop by before or after the festivities. The iconic Bruin Bear is an essential stop for photos with friends and family.

Bruin Walk

Photo by Daily Bruin

Photo by Daily Bruin

A central pathway on campus, every Bruin has roamed Bruin Walk, making it an essential graduation backdrop. As the campus location with the most traction, it is a spot with significance and memories to all Bruins. Surrounded by greenery, this spot is a great place to get photos in a lush yet relevant spot.

Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden

The Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden has stunning outdoor appeal with unique sculptures, adding creativity and sophistication to your graduation photos. This location provides multiple angles and backdrops, from winding pathways to a lush atmosphere. This campus area is exceptional for graduation photos, as it has significantly less foot traffic than the other common photo locations.

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