Photo Finish

Photo Finish - Where to get the perfect graduation shot

Photo Finish

By Julia Faherty | Updated Dec. 1, 2017

On Dec. 15 and 16, family and friends will join together to celebrate the accomplishments of this year's graduates at Georgia Tech’s Commencement ceremonies.

As the big day approaches, students will be looking for places to take commemorative pictures in their graduation gear. Luckily, Tech offers a variety of picturesque spots for great photo opportunities. Atlanta also provides numerous iconic locations for photography, if students are interested in going off campus for the perfect shot.


These nine locations are great for classic Tech graduation pictures. To make the photos unique, consider bringing along some props — a sign with 2017 written on it, a RAT Cap from freshman year, white and gold balloons, or an object that signifies an extracurricular or social activity.


For amateur photographers, trying to capture decent graduation shots can be overwhelming. Georgia Tech Photographer Rob Felt offers a few tips for improving the outcome no matter what skills or equipment you have:

  • Don’t fight the sun.
    Don’t mix shady areas with sunny ones. Use the side of a shady building for nice group light.
  • Don’t get too close.
    To get a photo with a building or monument in the background, don’t get too close to it — literally put it in the background.
  • Don’t overwhelm the crowd.
    When taking group photos, only use one camera at a time to avoid people looking different directions.


Remember to take pictures at locations on campus that held special significance. These pictures can provoke fond memories of Tech for years to come.

  • Greek houses.
  • School and college buildings.
  • Freshman residence halls.
  • In front of the Ramblin’ Wreck (try catching it at the President's Graduation Celebration on Dec 15).
  • Anywhere with Buzz.
  • Location of a favorite club’s meeting.
  • Hangout spots:
    • The Student Center.
    • Starbucks.
    • Highland Bakery.
    • The chairs outside of the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons.
    • The Campus Recreation Center.


  1. Jackson Street Bridge
  2. Piedmont Park
  3. Atlanta BeltLine
  4. Atlantic Station
  5. A favorite off-campus study spot  be it Amélie’s, Octane, or Sublime
  6. Atlanta Botanical Garden
  7. Centennial Olympic Park
  8. The Swan Coach House at the Atlanta History Center
  9. The Fox Theatre


The final photo that students must take to commemorate their graduation from Tech is a selfie with Buzz; or, if you can manage to find him before Commencement, President Peterson.

Congratulations to the Class of 2017!


Writer: Julia Faherty
Creative Director: Melanie Goux
​Sources for images: Nolan Alexander, Jenna Armstrong, Russell Apple, Sierra Bailey, Matias Molina Bishop, Jordan Elizabeth Carroll, Andrés Castillo, Tiffany Davis, Brandon Miller, Davis Mitchell, Brandon Oliver, Terri Panfel, Kelly Regnery, Vett Vandiver