Capturing the perfect Hop-shot

People on the Johns Hopkins wall sign

People on the Johns Hopkins wall sign

Johns Hopkins photographer Will Kirk offers insight on the most photoworthy spots across the university

The beauty of Johns Hopkins can’t be understated-with stunning views including Homewood’s Gilman clock tower, the dome on the East Baltimore campus, and architecture that looks good from every angle, Johns Hopkins campuses offer a bevy of Instagram-worthy spots.

It helps, of course, to know the iconic spots and hidden gems across the campuses, as Will Kirk, university photographer and alumnus, has discovered over his 20 years at Hopkins. The Hub asked Kirk for his insight on his favorite spots to shoot to share the wealth with the JHU community and beyond.

As always, start with the sunrise

...at the front porch of Gilman Hall, the centerpiece of the Homewood campus. According to Kirk, photographers aiming for this shot can get bonus points if they shoot from inside Gilman and include the Johns Hopkins seal in their photo.

To capture all of Hopkins’ spirit in a single photo

...head to the Nest at Homewood Field and join the fans cheering on Hopkins’ athletic teams.

For the best selfie spot

...go to one of the most beautiful libraries in the world (if we do say so ourselves), Peabody Library in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore. Frame your shot with the cast-iron balconies and make sure to get the skylight, too.

The most popular photo location on the Homewood campus

...the Johns Hopkins gateway sign. Strut across the sign for the quintessential Hopkins photo.

And the most underrated

...Homewood’s "other" breezeway, as Kirk calls it, is located between Mergenthaler Hall and Remsen Hall. When the sun pours into the frame, it’s a sign of a great shot.

Celebrate Hopkins through the seasons

...beginning with the stunning fall foliage, as seen from Homewood’s San Martin pedestrian bridge. Winding its way through the trees on the western edge of the campus, the bridge offers a worthwhile view year-round, but particularly when it’s framed by the changing leaves. Stepping off the north end of the bridge, resident hawks can typically be seen in the tall trees to the west.

When the snow falls

...go sledding from the very front of the Homewood Museum down to the Beach for the best results. An actual sled yields the best results, but innovative sledders are encouraged to use other means of (safe) transportation, including cardboard or baking sheets.

Take in the spring flowers

...which bloom across the campuses throughout the spring. While eager photographers are encouraged to seek out their favorite blooms, Kirk recommends the magnolia trees on the east side of Homewood’s Wyman Quad.

Celebrate Commencement

The iconic Johns Hopkins wall sign is the quintessential spot for Commencement photos on the Homewood campus, but the underrated star, according to Kirk, is the north portico of the Milton S. Eisenhower Library.

For the best view in East Baltimore

Capture the dome at Johns Hopkins Hospital from the path along the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center. While it’s stunning any time of day, the late-night views are especially worthwhile. Here, the dome was lit blue to honor health care workers at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Get the best golden hour view

...in the Hutzler Reading Room in Homewood’s Gilman Hall, also known as "The Hut." The famed arched windows where the light pours in were added in 1930, and they bear the seals of European printers from the 15th and 16th centuries, likely to signify the use of the room as a library space.

End the day with a stunning sunset

...back on Keyser Quad, where the Gilman Hall clock tower enhances the twilight view.

And round out the night

...at Homewood’s Brody Learning Commons, where the hushed tones of quiet study offer a peaceful late-night view of the atrium.

As a bonus, capture the squirrels

...on camera, of course. They’re all over the Homewood campus, but they especially love to hang out in the tree on the northeast corner of the Garland patio.

Johns Hopkins University

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