Category Archives: Photography

TWS: K Vaughn Men’s Spring Collection 2018

K Vaughn Mens' Collection Spring 2018_tony_ward_studio

K Vaughn Mens’ Collection Spring 2018



Photography and Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018


K and I met at the Barnes Foundation for this recent collaboration. I couldn’t think of a better location dignified enough to represent his brand. I’ve seen K Vaughn in action over two decades as he solidly built his own brand from stem to stern, one stitch at a time.  This of course is no easy task. However, K Vaughn year after year lives up to the task of showering his customers with the best fabrics he can find between his haunts from Philly to New York.  This season Kevin’s mood reflect’s the weather; April still feeling like fall, thus his current mood.


To access more photographs of K Vaughn scarves, click here



Also posted in Accessories, Advertising, Affiliates, Announcements, Art, Blog, Current Events, Environment, Fashion, Friends of TWS, Gifts, Men, News, Popular Culture, Portraiture

Hilary Lam: March for Our Lives – Anti-Gun Movement


Photography and Text by Hilary Lam, Copyright 2018


March for Our Lives: Anti-Gun Movement


Less than one month prior to the anti-gun rallies that took place across the United States, 17 children and adults were killed in a school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In 2012, 20 children and 6 adults were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary school. And the deadliest school shooting in US history occurred at Virginia Tech in April of 2007, which led to the unfortunate deaths of 32 innocent lives.

The discourse on gun control laws escalated immediately after the most recent horrific event. Survivors of Stoneman Douglas High School voiced their concerns at a live-streamed town hall meeting with political representatives and members of the National Rifle Association less than a week later. At this moment, young and empowered teenage students openly confronted Senator Marco Rubio and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch directly. Pressing questions were asked and demands were made. The issue of NRA’s monetary donations to representatives, brought up a major concern over the role of incentives in altering gun control policies. Rubio did not state that he would turn down future NRA contributions. Another main concern was the ease in which citizens were able to purchase assault-rifles. Further restrictions and background checks for gun buyers are being demanded.

On March 24, thousands of people gathered in support of the student-run March for Our Lives rally. I personally attended the event at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia and was inspired by the number of parents who brought along their young children to this important event. It was reassuring to see my own community, students of all ages and residents of Philadelphia, united in efforts against another malicious attack on young lives due to the fault of guns being in the wrong hands. It was my first time experiencing a collaboration such as this one, and it is impossible not to notice the slogans and words expressed on the many posters. The energy, voices and actions of our youth is one that is so powerful and must be heard by all surrounding generations.


About The Author: Hilary Lam is a Graduate student enrolled in the School of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania. To access additional article by Hilary Lam, click here


Also posted in Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, News, Politics, Popular Culture, Travel, Women

Lilibeth Montero: National Dominican Student Conference



Photography and Text by Lilibeth Montero, Copyright 2018


National Dominican Student Conference


On March 23th- 25th 2018 I attended the National Dominican Student Conference in New York City. The conference featured speeches from famous Dominican’s like Orange is the New Black star Dascha Polanco and rapper Amara La Negra. The conference was designed to be an open and safe space for students of Dominican descent to discuss openly about the issues facing the Dominican community.

One of the main issues facing the Dominican community concerns their identity. After, 174 years the Dominican Republic continues to face the consequences of European colonialism. Once long ago, the Dominican Republic and Haiti were a single Island. But with colonialism, the Island was split into two creating a deeply divided society. Now 174 years later the Dominican Republic and Haiti remain divided. Today, the Dominican youth has accepted and embraced their African routes, however the older Dominican generations continue to deny their African ancestry. Older generations of Dominican people are incredibly racist to Haitians, and value lighter European features.  The students at the conference go by the name “Afro-Latinas” or “Afro-Latinos” embracing both their African and their latin American side. The Dominican community is struggling at finding an identity. Questioning if they are “black” enough, or “latin” enough.

Another aspect of the conference focused on mental health, a taboo subject in the Dominican community. For so long, Dominicans were forced to live in silence. The older generations of Dominicans for so long attempted to hide the sun with their thumb. The conversation was a passionate and heartwarming one.

The conference ended on March 25th with a Traditional Dominican breakfast. At the end of the conference, it was clear students felt empowered and left with hope. Hope to better their community, and confidence that other Dominican students are working hard to make a difference.


About The Author: Lilibeth Montero is a freshman enrolled in the School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2021. To access additional articles by Lilibeth Montero, click here


Also posted in Announcements, Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, News, Popular Culture, Student Life, Travel, Women

Grant Wei: Blinking Through Memories



Photography and Text by Grant Wei, Copyright 2018




On a warm morning, my grandmother opens the elevator door to give a warm embrace to her childhood friend, who had visited Beijing for professional reasons.

“How long has it been?” she exclaims. “Blink of an eye, and here we are.” She seats herself and her guest on her well-dusted couch from earlier in the morning. The TV had been left on, leaving a quiet rumbling of a CCTV news anchor to an otherwise quiet room.

Twenty years from their last reunion, my grandmother and her friend had much to talk about. But, at the same time, not much has changed. They still worked the same jobs as they did twenty years ago, still married to the same people, still had the same dulled idiosyncrasies they had when they were living in another form of government housing in Hunan.

They talked and talked, until she left. And then, they never had a chance to speak again.

We live our lives creating one memory to the next, letting some memories fade into nothingness as we make room for more memories in our life. It cycles. And cycles. And before you realize, you have lived your life without room to make new memories.

One moment, you are practicing violin in front of a mirror. The clothes you were wearing were the clothes that no longer fit on your cousin. Your haircut was… not cute. Nothing is quite on your mind because your stresses, in retrospect, weren’t really stresses at all. They were at the time. But grades, games, girls — why did you ever care as much as you did?


You got into Penn. It is, supposedly, the happiest moment of your life. But you are overwhelmed with the sensation that you don’t deserve to get in. You tell your best friends and your parents, giving them a quick call on the phone after storming out of the cafeteria during PMEA Regional Orchestra with tears in your eyes. You were happy then.


Now, you are writing about memories as if putting things down on a page could potentially free you from the cycle of blinking through your life. Things have happened to you. Friends were made and losts. Goals were realized and abandoned. But somehow, through it all, you still anchor yourself to the same memories that have created your identity.

And so it goes..


About The Author: Grant Wei is a Sophomore enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2020. To access additional articles by Grant Wei, click here


Also posted in Art, Blog, Cameras, Current Events, Environment, Health Care, Popular Culture, Science, Student Life, UPenn, UPenn Photography

Rongrong Liu: A Colorful Favela

Photography and Text by Rongrong Liu, Copyright 2018




Favela, in Portuguese, means a slum. Thousands of books and reports talk about these Brazilian shanty towns. There are 786 favelas in Rio de Janeiro. Each one has around 160,000 people. They live and die in these shady places because they cannot afford to live in the cities. If you type the word into Google, nothing positive shows up.They are said to be extremely dangerous and full of violence and drugs. However, after staying in Copacabana and Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro, I found most of the urban areas essentially not too different, so my curiosity drove me to take a tour to the inner side of Brazil.

The tour guide was born and bred in Favela. He is a self-taught English and German speaker. He receives thousands of perfect reviews on Trip Advisor and must be able to afford a good life in urban Rio, but he still chooses to live in Favela. With a curiosity about this person and the place for certain, we arrived after a half-an-hour drive. Within expectation, the town is not as prosperous as some coastal areas, but it has most of what cities have- restaurants, clinics, supermarkets, bars, and surprisingly, banks. Considered as neglected places by the government, favelas are not provided with any subsidies, hence they developed their own self-sufficient economy. It is true that “some people just give up at some point of their life”, as said by the tour guide, but at the same time “there are still people who strive to change their fate. I learned English and German. I have been a tour guide for 26 years.” It is hard to imagine that a person can still be passionate after sharing the same thing and showing people around the same place for 26 years. However, I guess he just wants to use his ability to tell the world the positive side of Favela.

I didn’t know how much words can tell about a real favela, but I believe the camera can. I recorded what I saw along the road. There are all those yellow stick figure graffiti everywhere on the walls, on the wire poles, full of happiness and hope. On my way visiting, which was around 3pm in the afternoon, three teenage girls with backpacks passed by. After communicating with our tour guide, the girls gave the most beautiful smile on their faces to welcome us as foreigners. They pinched my face, and gave me a big hug. I guess that was the warmest and the most pure hug that I haven’t received for a long while.


About The Author: Rongrong Liu is a Junior enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2019. To access additional articles by Rongrong Liu, click here


Also posted in Current Events, Environment, Friends of TWS, Music, Popular Culture, Student Life, Travel, UPenn, UPenn Photography