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Best on-campus spots for a photoshoot

From Old Main to the Sehome Arboretum, WWU’s campus is full of interesting photo opportunities

A shot of Old Main at golden hour. The building's Victorian Era architecture makes for striking images when caught at the right angle. // Photo By Lyra Montemayor

As summer gets closer and the sun starts to shine, it is the perfect time for an outdoor photoshoot. But where on Western Washington University’s campus should you go to take photos?

Sawyer Moss, a professional Bellingham photographer, has shot portraits at many different spots on campus. 

“Western’s campus has so many different buildings, there’s a lot of different vibes you can get out of a single location,” Moss said. “Old Main has that very classic academia feel, which is great for cap and gown photos,”

Moss also mentioned the inside of Miller Hall for its greenery as well as the glass panes in the Environmental Studies building. 

Just outside of campus, the Sehome Hill Arboretum has great trails to get some interesting and natural shots.

“The Sehome Arboretum is a great place to get those quintessential Pacific Northwest greenery shots, and it’s so accessible for folks living on or close to campus,” Moss said.

Finn Wendt, a recent Western graduate and photographer, also chose the arboretum as one of his favorite spots.

“It’s hard to beat the arb, it’s just right there, it’s got all sorts of twists and turns and trees. You’ve got the tower and the tunnel,” Wendt said. “It’s fun, you can just walk around in there for hours and find all sorts of good backgrounds.” 

Wendt said that the diversity of locations both indoors and outdoors on campus makes finding good photo opportunities easy. He said he likes to walk around and just find spots as he goes. There are areas tucked away on campus that people might not seek out at first.

“A lot of the time during the day, there are places where there’s just nobody around, so you can do whatever you want,” he said.

Western has a strong photography scene, so you are bound to find someone with a camera on a busy day in Red Square. In April, a new photography club began meeting every Tuesday. Their meetings include both photo outings and editing sessions. 

Adrian Heffelman, a third-year computer science student who runs the club along with four other officers, has been taking photos around Bellingham since they started attending Western. 

“We’ve been to Clarks Point, it’s at the tip of the Fairhaven area, and it’s near train tracks and a cliff area, it’s cool,” Heffelman said. 

Heffelman also mentioned Boulevard Park, another spot that the club went to, as one of their favorites. 

Whether it is the urban look of the alleyways downtown, the lush greenery of the Sehome Hill Arboretum or the academic buildings on campus, there is something to satisfy every photographer’s vibe.

Lyra Montemayor

Lyra Montemayor (she/they) is a campus life reporter for The Front. She is a second year student at Western and a visual journalism major. In her free time, she likes watching movies and spending time with friends. 

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