Category Archives: UPenn

Jingyi Sun: Black Appeal


Photography and Brand Concept by Jingyi Sun, Copyright 2018



Xiaonan_Chen_fashion_photography_Tony_Ward_Studio_Asian_classy_UPenn_student_fashionable_hat_earrings copy

Portrait of Jingyi Sun by Xiaonan Chen, Copyright 2018

About The Photographer: Jingyi Sun is enrolled in the Masters of Architecture program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Also posted in Art, Blog, Erotica, Fashion, Glamour, Models, Photography, Popular Culture, Student Life, Women

Amber Shi: Mix


Photography and Brand Concept by Amber Shi, Copyright 2018




When it comes to mix and match your clothes, there is no universal equation. The attraction of mixology lies in “clash beauty” where different elements of fashion, colors and styles are combined together to create a unique look. The brand concept revolves around several ideas, including “you are as beautiful as you are”, “bold and young”. In a world where conformity is widely pursued, being yourself and expressing yourself through your clothes becomes a bold but exciting idea.

Moreover, it doesn’t take a whole outfit to create this “clash look”. Even when you are wearing all black, adding some “pop pieces” can all of a sudden brighten up your whole outfit. Pop pieces are jewelry, scarves, belts, shoes, handbags or any small details that may represent your personality. Growing up in China, I was asked to wear the same uniform as everyone else to school every day. After coming to the States, I had more freedom to choose my own wardrobe and started to develop my own style. The most important aspect of “mix and match” is to be confident about yourself and be who you are. There is no standard of beauty of the choice of color when it comes to your personal brand, and you are as beautiful as you are.


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



Also posted in Advertising, Art, Blog, Environment, Fashion, Models, Photography, Popular Culture, Student Life, UPenn Photography, Women

Alexis Masino: Werk It

Photography and Brand Concept by Alexis Masino, Copyright 2018




Clothes made for women are either too restrictive or too casual. You can choose between professional garments or athletic wear. But what if you want both simultaneously? What if you want a wardrobe made for work and play?

That’s the goal of WERK IT: clothes you can wear anytime, anywhere, for any occasion. Whether you’re at work or at the gym, WERK IT garments are guaranteed to bend and twist any which way you need them all while maintaining a snug, comfortable fit to your body. Our line makes different styles of pants, blouses, and sweaters for professional, casual, or relaxation wear. And with an array of colors and designs, you are guaranteed to find something you’ll love.

Finally, there is a universal, nonrestrictive brand of clothing for women. WERK IT gives you the flexibility to do anything – literally.

WERK IT: For women on the move.


About The Author: Alexis Masino is a freshman enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2020.  To access additional articles by Alexis Masino, go here



Also posted in Advertising, Art, Blog, Erotica, Fashion, Glamour, Models, Photography, Popular Culture, Student Life, Women

I Wear: Tony Ward Erotica

I Wear Tony Ward Erotica

I Wear Tony Ward Erotica

To access Store, click here

Also posted in Advertising, Announcements, Art, Blog, Erotica, Fashion, Gifts, Models, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, Women

Karen Liao: A Fresh Perspective on Photography


Photo: Karen Liao

Photography and Text by Karen Liao, Copyright 2018


Book Review


Susan Sontag: On Photography


A Fresh Perspective on Photography


Susan Sontag’s On Photography is a highly complex, brilliant look at the development, meaning, and impact of photography on the world. The book is split into six chapters discussing various aspects of photography, and I wanted to tease out my thought processes and lessons learned regarding the relationship between morals, photography, and its effects. As someone who is currently approaching photography with a more documentarian mindset, I was shocked, but understanding of what Sontag brings to the surface about this type of photography.

Sontag starts out by describing photography as not only a “defense against anxiety”, but also “a tool of power”. However, what I’ve learned is that this tool of power does not work by purely illustrating; there are many more layers to its working. Sontag argues that photographs never purely reflect reality. Photographs will always be an interpretation of the world, because photographers impose standards on subjects of their photos. In addition, Sontag states that surrealism is pervasive and actually “the heart of photograph” because photography creates a different, designed reality that can be more dramatic than reality. She uses the examples of photographers such as Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and Ben Shahn being members of the Farm Security Administration photographic project in the late 1930s, and how they would take many pictures of the impoverished, but choose certain pictures that would support their own perspectives of what these subjects’ narratives should be.

In addition, we shouldn’t say that seeing a photograph will help us to understand the world more—we are simply accepting the image of whatever the camera records and having this picture fill a blank in our perception of the past and present. What’s created for us is an “exotic reality” that ranges from the bourgeois life to the poor. Photography, operating with its surrealistic core, can only collect information and bring an illusion of understanding. The camera simply makes the audience “a tourist in other people’s reality”. This ties in with the concept that Sontag brings up in later chapters about how the tendency to focus on aesthetics in photography, even in mediums that are supposed to convey distress, can neutralize the effect of the photo. She makes the harsh statement that as much as these photos create sympathy, they also “miniaturize experience, transform history into spectacle”.

All this criticism of the morals behind photography has made an impact on my thoughts as a photographer. My previous work in the class has focused on telling stories or bringing to light the issues that vulnerable populations deal with (mental health, chronic illness). For example, my chosen picture is a photograph of a dear, personal patient of mine in the hospital. As providers in healthcare, we are constantly reminded of our responsibility to be patient advocates, and I believed that this picture was powerful in the way that it photographed a real patient struggling with chronic illnesses. I wanted others to see her perspective and reality—to fight for people like her. However, Sontag’s passages have led me to understand that there are factors such as my interpretation and aestheticism, as well as the limited extent of photography to bring understanding, that inhibit me from spreading my complete message to my intended audience. Photos do not bring reality or full understanding. It was a bit disappointing at first, but I understand and agree with Sontag’s analyses. However, in the end, I have decided that it is still better to “fill that mental picture” with the “exotic reality” from photographs such as these than to never at all have exposed my audience to the pictures. There’s a risk-benefit evaluation in presenting these photos, but I believe that as long as I acknowledge the limitations of photography, the outcome of spreading this interpreted reality to others will still be better than nothing.

Finally, I wanted to end on a more positive perspective on photography. Sontag describes how the possession of a camera can evoke a feeling similar to lust. The possibilities of photography are infinite, and photographers are stuck in a cycle where the camera is both “the antidote and the disease”. Access to photography has given us awareness of the transience of everything, as well as the ability to capture all the fleeting moments. I don’t know how large of a part photography will play in my life as I advance in my career, but tasting the antidote has started the cycle for me.


About The Author: Karen Liao is a Junior enrolled in the School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2019. To access additional articles by Karen Liao, click here:


Also posted in Art, Blog, Documentary, Film, History, Photography, Popular Culture, Science, Student Life, Women