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  • Writer's picturePaper Birch Collective

Best USC Graduation Photo Spots & Tips

Updated: Sep 22, 2023

USC is such a beautiful campus for grad photos, We love the vintage architecture as well as all of the luscious gardens around the school. If you are not familiar with the campus we have shot hundreds of sessions so we would love to be your guide. Throughout the years, we've been able to discover all the best locations and unique angles to make sure your grad photos stand out!

A few of our favorite spots around campus include Tommy Trojan, Mudd Hall, Bovard Auditorium, Steps of Troy, the Rose Garden, and the Traveler Statue. At the end we included some tips & tricks that we have gathered and believe are good to know for your next visit there! We hope you find this blog helpful!


📍Tommy Trojan

Located at the heart of campus stands the statue of the famous bronzed Trojan warrior, Tommy Trojan. Sculpted by Roger Noble Burnham, this iconic statue is a symbol of the university's fighting spirit and a classic grad photo location.


📍Mudd Hall

Home to the USC Dornslife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences’ School of Philosophy and the James Harmon Hoose Library of Philosophy, Mudd Hall is a cherished landmark designed after a medieval Tuscan monastery. Mudd Hall is located on the southern edge of USC's University Park campus. These gorgeous arches make for a beautiful photo backdrop.

FUN FACT: the famous clock tower is 146 feet tall!


📍Traveler Statue

Located right across from Tommy Trojan in Hahn Plaza is USC’s official school mascot, Traveler. This statue is modeled after a white Andalusian horse and considered a symbol of ancient Troy. Traveler is also a tribute to the noble white horse that appears with a Trojan warrior at USC home football games.


📍Bovard Auditorium

The Bovard Auditorium is full of rich history as this popular venue has hosted speeches and performances for over 100 years. A popular grad photo spot loved for its beautiful Romanesque Revival style is a great location to show off USC's architectural beauty. The extremely-detailed central arc is one of the most common spot for graduates to capture some portraits.


📍Steps of Troy

Only a short walk from Tommy Trojan and located at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center lies the Steps of Troy. Engraved on the steps are the 5 virtues that embody the spirit of USC: “Faithful, Scholarly, Skillful, Courageous, Ambitious." These words listed on the steps reflect the virtues of the Trojan family, one that you are part of for life.


📍Exposition Park Rose Garden

The Rose Garden is located across Exposition Blvd from USC’s campus. Even though this gorgeous garden is not technically part of USC's campus as it belongs to the City of Los Angeles, it is a wonderful graduation photo shoot backdrop and just a short walk from campus. This beautiful rose garden features a variety of colorful roses and looks especially amazing at golden hour.


Graduation Photo Shoot Tips & Tricks
  • Book as early as possible!

  • Don't book on ceremony days

  • Wait times at photo locations during grad season

  • You can save spots in line at photo spots if you have a group

  • Aim to shoot 2-2.5 hours before sunset

  • Remember to bring all grad regalia, costume changes, and any desired props!


Looking for a graduation photographer? Look no further! We offer the highest quality award-winning images, not to mention unlimited photos, all of which will be edited before being sent in full resolution.



Contact our team at Paper Birch Collective

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