Light Table: The Philo Project

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Jennie: The Philo Project

 

 

Photography and Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2017

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THE PHILO PROJECT

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During my second year of teaching Photography classes at the University of Pennsylvania in 2012, I was asked by members of  the universities Philomathean Society to lecture about my involvement in erotic photography. Founded in 1813, Philo is a student run literary society located atop College Hall in the heart of campus life.  A small group of  Philo members asked me to be photograph them in the nude as part of their learning experience regarding  this controversial genre of photographic history. The photographs were taken in the halls of the society where traditional adornments contributed to the classically composed imagery. Photographs from the series are now part of the societies records and notes.

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Paul: The Philo Project

 

 

Posted in Art, Blog, Documentary, Environment, Erotica, Friends of TWS, Light Table, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, UPenn, Women

Dad: Happy Father’s Day

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Milt Ward: Elkins Park, Pa. 1955

 

 

In Memorium

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Milt Ward: July 30th, 1917 – October 31, 2003

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Photo: Self-Portrait by Milt Ward at home in the fall of 1955, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.

Posted in Announcements, Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Family Legacy Project, History, Men, Popular Culture, Portraiture

Jean Ward: July 9, 1920 – June 10, 2017

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Jean Ward: July 9, 1920 – June 10, 2017

 

 

Eulogy by Gina Cimino

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JEAN WARD: JULY 9, 1920 – JUNE 10, 2017

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Just yesterday morning, June 10th, 2017, at 6:00 AM, My Family lost a Mother, a Grandmother, a Sister, a Sister-in law, an Aunt, a Godmother, and a Friend. I am honored to represent My Family, The Wards, and Trasatti’s, in paying tribute to my Aunt and Godmother, Jenny Ward.

For so many reasons, and in so many ways, Aunt Jenny left a permanent mark upon my life. I’m convinced that whatever I am, whatever I am to become, I owe it to all those who have left an imprint on my life: my parents, yes, who gave me life; my Aunt Rita, too, who enriched my life, and Aunt Jenny who refined, and one might even say, defined, my life.

I am not sure if I totally understood this as a child, but as an adult looking back, I realized that many of the values I hold for myself were shaped by watching my Aunt Jenny’s life, and benefitting from that life. She taught me to Love and Accept all people of every age, color, ethnicity, gender, nationality, religion, status, ability, sexual identity, and/or country, no matter who they are, what they do, or who they Love! 

She embodied the spirit of parenthood, as she raised and loved her three children, Mark, Dwight, and Tony, unconditionally. Everything she did was for her family. As a woman, she was a pillar of strength, courage, and determination. As a Mother, she dedicated her entire life to her family.  She will always be remembered for her never tiring, and never-ending love, she so effortlessly gave to all of us!

She was a gracious host, she was a phenomenal cook, and she always made you feel welcomed in her beautiful, cozy home. I remember so many weekends, as we would pull up to her driveway, you could hear the sweet sound of the saxophone, as she played her jazz albums on the stereo, mixed with the scent of her delicious food, cooking on the stove. Aunt Jenny always understood what really mattered. It was being with her family that mattered! Now, she was not perfect. Was she stern? Yes! Could she speak her mind? Yes! Could she put you in your place without uttering a word—with just one look? Oh, Yes!

However, she also possessed something that is so unique—and sadly, it is growing increasingly unique: She had a servant’s heart. She spent her life taking care of her family, and therefore, “Her Life”, was a life of, “True Sacrifice”.

Too often, we measure success by how much money one makes, but the truth is we must measure our lives by God’s plan. Therefore, I define success as fulfilling the purpose for which God called us, and I believe with all my heart, that my Aunt Jenny fulfilled that purpose. I believe with all my heart, her life was an “epic success”. When you look at her Sons, you see her success; when you look at her Grand Children, you see her success; when you look at me, you see her success. Therefore, she still lives. She has left a legacy that will not die.

I spent a good bit of time with Aunt Jenny over the last few years, and as difficult as those times were, they were, oddly, some of the most precious times God allowed me to have. It was a time of personal healing, and bonding; it gave me a chance to talk with her, to laugh with her, to enjoy pictures of family with her, and very often, just to sit there quietly. It allowed me an opportunity to remind her of how much I Loved her, and I “Thank God”, for that opportunity. Some people do not get that opportunity. It is something I will always cherish, and I know God had a plan—and He worked it, as only He can. I cannot say I understand it all, because I do not, but I trust Him.

As I end, Aunt Jenny may have departed this life, but her legacy lives on. It lives on in the lives of so many; it lives on in me, and among the most prominent of those lives, is the life of my Aunt Jenny, for she is the one who “Shaped my Values”.

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Last Hours With My Mom, Jean Ward: Rest in Peace

 

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Posted in Announcements, Art, Blog, Current Events, History, News

Rebecca Huang: I’m Most Afraid Of…..

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Photography and Text by Rebecca Huang, Copyright 2017

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I’M MOST AFRAID OF…..

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When most people get asked what they are most afraid of, they usually relate it to spiders, ghosts, or heights. Most people do not think how it relates to the bigger scale picture with in the world, because it seems to be far above them and they do not have much say in it, so it is something that does not relate to them much. However, I think that everyone definitely has an opinion as to what they know about current politics and do apply to how it affects them. It is just that every day little issues come to overshadow over the bigger scale issues since those are more immediate and we have a say to them.

Therefore, for my assignment, I decided to ask people from a variety of backgrounds what they were most afraid of in terms of current US politics, in specific with Trump as president. Some decided to give a more personal response in how it directly influences them in terms of ethnicity and culture, while others decided to give a broader fear which would affect everyone in the world. Some of the answers they gave could also be foreseen through just knowing what they are involved in at Penn as well, while the others were surprising and it actually in a way helped me get to know my models more as a person. I think through this way of asking people just around not only me, but also other Penn students what in politics scares them, helps make a stronger statement in protesting and raising awareness for some issues. Especially since we all interact in about the same general Penn community so these small collection of issues may apply to a greater collection of us as well.

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About The Author: Rebecca Huang is a freshmen enrolled in the College of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2020. To access additional articles by Rebecca Huang, go herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/rebecca-huang-see/

 

Posted in Blog, Current Events, Documentary, News, Photography, Politics, Popular Culture, Student Life, UPenn, UPenn Photography, Women

Debbie Williams: The Naked Truth

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TWS: June 2017

 

 

Photography by Tony Ward, Copyright 2017

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FEATURE ARTICLE: THE NAKED TRUTH

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Text by Debbie Williams, Copyright 2017

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I met Tony Ward in the 90’s, which I would probably say were my modeling heydays,  but to be frank, I have been dragging my 15 minutes of fame out over my lifetime.  I don’t remember how many times Tony and I have shot together, but I think it’s about five times by now. I like the way he sees art in the human experience.  As we shot our latest session,  he reminded me of one instance that made me completely uncomfortable.  I shot a scene with his wife Sandy.  I remember her wearing lingerie,  and me feeling like I wanted to find the closest exit.  When we shot the other day,  he mentioned that shoot,  and said it implied girl on girl action.  I don’t remember her touching me. I don’t think she did,  but I know that I didn’t like it.

Before you judge me, understand that I grew up with a sibling (and other loved ones), who are gay. The funny thing is, some people think that just because you are comfortable with a person for who they are, how they are when they are gay, that you must also be gay. Not so. I have even lost friends who were lesbians, because I just wanted to be friends.  I have also lost male friends that way. Maybe the fact that I wasn’t allowed to date until I was in college helped me to be a better friend,  because I couldn’t do anything else.  My mother said,  “You have straight “A’s”, and you are going to keep them”. I was the smart girl. You know,  most likely to succeed.  A nerd. I didn’t really think about being pretty,  except for cheerleading, gymnastics,  ballet, oratory, or an occasional talent show until I was a teenager.  I always loved clothing and shoes, but being raised by my mother was tough at times.

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I was raised first in my family’s AME church,  then the Pentecostal church,  which wasn’t really big on encouraging women’s outward beauty, so modeling (and acting) isn’t looked on as a good thing.  Jesus said in Mark 16:15-16King James Version (KJV)

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
It is sad, but there’s are entire groups of people who are not being ministered to because they are models, actors, athletes, dancers, artists, Personal Trainers,  gay, etc., because someone has written us off as not “good enough” for Heaven. Yet, the Bible says in Matthew 7,

“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall bejudged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerestnot the beam that is in thine own eye?…”, and in Romans 1 (which pretty much covers all of the bases) says in verses 30-32, “30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” King James Version (KJV) and in Proverbs 11:9 KJV, it says, “ 9 An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.”  and in Proverbs 26:20-22King James Version (KJV)
“20 Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
21 As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.
22 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.”

I am not telling anyone that he or she has to create The Gospels According To (fill in the blank), in order to carry out their mission as a person of faith,  but I am saying that there is a wonderful little verse in John 3:16 KJV that speaks volumes, 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

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When each of us goes before the altar of God, we can’t take our Mother’s faith, or our Father’s prayers. We go before God as we are -who we are. It is up to God to fix whatever​ needs to be fixed, and to heal what needs to heal. We often do ourselves, and others a major disservice, when we try to “play God”.
I thought about how I might explain away my reasons for doing this photo shoot, and feeling so free to dismantle this time. Other photographers have asked me to go completely nude before (when doing a nude shot would have been much easier to explain), and I didn’t do it. So why now, you might ask? Because, I want to let go.
God knows, I am not trying to promote Naked Sundays at the church. Oh, please don’t. This shoot allowed me to let go of some of my fears.
In 2011, I had kidney failure, a stroke and was diagnosed with Lupus. At first, I couldn’t talk, and could barely walk, see, hear, read, write, reason or remember. No one had to tell me I was dying. I could feel it.  It was a definite life changer for me.

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The specter of death had a profound effect on my way of seeing life. For years, I have been in the ocean, trying not to make too many waves, while at the same time, trying to make a difference.
If you don’t make waves, you don’t make a difference. I can’t sit around worrying about what everyone is going to think about the choices I have made. I may not have that kind of time. I have to choose, and keep things moving.
I am always covered up under makeup, clothing, jewelry, degrees, titles, religious beliefs, family honor, motherhood, politics, responsibility…stuff.
I just want to be free.

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It’s funny that Tony asked me to talk about the 2016 election. I decided to run for the US House of Representatives again after receiving a very encouraging letter from President Obama. I ran for this position against Congressman Bob Brady in 2004, on the ticket with President George Bush, Jr. I had a lot more votes in this election, but it was pretty brutal. I don’t think many candidates, or many Americans for that matter, came out of 2016 unscathed. It is now May of 2017, and now that I look back on it, I would have made some different choices.
Aside from getting hacked, and I was and still am a Republican, I felt the environment was toxic. I was not angry or disappointed on November 9th, after the election was over. I was relieved. Little did I know that there would be lingering questions about what happened during the election, and what was happening to me. I mentioned I was hacked. That happened pretty early in the campaign, but I was completely floored when I received an email on December 20th, which is the day after the election results were certified, saying someone from Russia changed the information on one of my financial accounts. Afterward, there came threatening emails, ones that sound like bribes, emails about bank accounts, credit cards, and websites that I didn’t set up, etc. It has been a long, drawn out nightmare.
Have you ever watched a “B movie”, where someone is killed, but they use the entire fifteen minutes of fame to die. You know, the kind of scene where you find yourself telling the person, “Oh just die already”! Yup, election 2016.

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Even though that election was far from normal, I joined the others who were in support of Mr. Trump, because I didn’t want the party to be ripped apart. I was asked to lead Women For Trump, and African Americans For Trump, which I turned down. Quite frankly, I was waiting for the moment when I felt like he knew more about world events than I knew. I didn’t have a huge staff, or any money, so I had to study, write my own pieces, come up with my own slogans, design my own literature, etc. I had to work. I didn’t have the luxury of being lazy.
What should have been a pivotal moment for me was when the Billy Bush video came out. After hearing it, I wanted to walk away, but my name was already on the ballot, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I took a semi break for a week, and did an interview with the Philly Voice, where I opened up about the election. I also spoke up for Hillary Clinton in that article, but that part never made print. I had my issues with Secretary Clinton, but I believe she really wanted, and deserved to win.

It’s hard. I met Mr. Trump September at a meeting with Ministers in Philadelphia. I was asked to appear on MSNBC for an interview with Joy Reid later that evening. I was willing to speak in support for Mr. Trump from that day forward, but when the Billy Bush video came out, it hit me like a load of bricks, especially because I ended up moving out of the apartment I was renting because the landlord touched me inappropriately. Talk about tragic irony. I was hoping for a better, stronger America, and though the lines are blurred, I have not stopped hoping.

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All Right Reserved.  Copyright 2017

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Cover: Debbie Williams photographed in Brooklyn, New York on May 18, 2017

Body Suit: Moda International

Earrings: Dream Plus

Metal Necklace: Dream Plus

Makeup: LA Colors

Nail Polish: Broadway Nails

Dress: Nicole Miller Collection

Lingerie: Calvin Klein

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Posted in Blog, Covers, Current Events, Documentary, Glamour, Photography, Politics, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Women