5 Best Spots for CU Boulder Grad Sessions

Two CU Boulder grads holding hands and raising bottles of champagne in celebration.

If you’ve ever stepped foot in Boulder and on CU Boulder’s campus, it’s no secret why it’s voted one of the top 20 most beautiful college campuses! As soon as we went to visit with our oldest daughter as a potential college to attend I think we all knew immediately that it was the one. I mean just go to a football game (if you can get tickets now!) and look at the beautiful Flatiron Mountains and see for yourself! So when you’re scheduling your CU Boulder grad sessions, the sky is definitely the limit, but there are some iconic spots I like to fit in to sessions for all my grads.

Ralphie Statue

Ralphie is even more iconic to CU Boulder than the Flatiron Mountains themselves! And before Coach Prime made his appearance, Ralphie was always the highlight of every football game. It only seems fitting to celebrate your CU Boulder grad session with Ralphie, or at least the statue of Ralphie.

CU Boulder graduate standing at the Ralphie bison statue.

CU Boulder graduate celebrating with the Ralphie statue.

Varsity Lake

I like this CU Boulder grad session spot for a couple of reasons. The bridge makes for a great symmetrical area surrounded by trees and the serene lake. The bridge provides an area for some movement as well, which if you know me you know I love!

I also love this spot because the bridge is a great color and contrast to the water and nature around it. Going across the lake provides such a great negative space image.

CU Boulder college graduate in cap and gown.

CU Boulder college grad leaning against a bridge.

CU Boulder college grad sitting on the bridge at Varsity Lake.

Farrand Field

Farrand Field is not only the place to be for homecoming and football activities, freshman welcome events, but also a great place to lounge on a warm afternoon, study or put off doing homework. It seems fitting that it’s a photo spot often requested by CU Boulder grads.

Fair warning from the photographer standpoint: this photo location will put your Photoshop skills to the TEST!! So many people and so many angles to try to eliminate all the people!


CU Boulder grad sitting on the steps of Farrand Field.

CU Boulder grad sitting on the steps of Farrand Field with his dog.

Norlin Steps

You know it’s a popular CU Boulder grad sessions spot when you walk up and there’s literally a line up of grads waiting their turn for photos. With that said, it’s a fairly seamless and quick spot and just so beautiful! Nothing screams college grad photos like a stately beautiful brick building with columns, steps. Take your wide angle lens because you’re going to want to capture the entire building with your grad. My only wish? That it was east facing so my grads don’t get blinded by the sun – haha!

CU Boulder grad standing on the steps of Norlin Library.

CU Boulder grad sitting on the steps of Norlin Library.

Chautauqua Park – The ultimate in CU Boulder Grad Sessions

This spot to me is just simply a given. Not only is this mountain spot drop dead gorgeous, but it’s only minutes from the CU Boulder campus, making it a great way to end not only your photo session, but your time at CU Boulder. Yes it gets very, very crowded during grad season, but luckily there is tons of space to work in and go around all the other groups and photographers.

CU Boulder grad at Chautauqua Park in Boulder.

Cu Boulder grad at Chautauqua Park celebrating graduation.

CU Boulder grad skipping through Chautauqua Park in Boulder.

Two CU Boulder grads popping champagne open and celebrating.

Two CU Boulder grads holding hands and raising bottles of champagne in celebration.



Bonus Locations

While the above locations aren’t the only spots chosen for CU Boulder grad sessions, they are definitely the most popular. I always ask grads what other locations on or off campus are special to them, or in some cases, they have a love/hate relationship with over their years in Boulder! Many will choose their major building or possibly a pretty tree near an often visited building. I put no limit on what is special to them during this momentous occasion! And if your roommate happens to have the keys to the balcony of the Business building for an epic mountain shot – even better – haha!

CU Boulder grad on the balcony of the Business building overlooking the Flatiron Mountains.

CU Boulder grad standing in front of the Biotech building on Boulder campus.

CU boulder grad standing in the sunset of a dogwood tree in the spring.


Looking to capture your own senior/grad session at CU Boulder and the surrounding area?! Reach out and we’ll get that scheduled!

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