Category Archives: Women

Justine McMinn: Developmental Psychology


Photography, Text and Video by Justine McMinn, Copyright 2017




I am currently studying Developmental Psychology. My professor, as a Social Psychologist, often takes a social approach to development and the different aspects of life that play a role. I created still lives to symbolize the different stages of development.

In developmental psych from Piaget to Kohlberg there are many different theories as to what each stage encompasses. I wanted to create what these stage—infancy to adulthood, according to my perspective and experience look like. My stages may not be the same as the person I sit next to in class nor one of my siblings, which is interesting in itself, because so many life experiences, exposure, or lack thereof, influence the way we develop and see the world.

My first stage is childhood. I realize this stage is crucial to human development. This is when the brain is really being formed and interactions with objects and people are essential to the development. It is a stage of exploration of sensorimotor skills, communication, colors, and shapes. It is when relationships are formed with family, which can dictate the way the person socially interacts with the world for the rest of their life.

My second stage is about being a teenager. This stage varies a lot depending on the person, as well as what their childhood was like. For me, being a college student, this stage involved a lot of educational development. This is where you learn to think about other people, their experiences, cultures, and the world as something bigger than yourself. In addition to that, it is a period of exposure to things new and the exploration of identity.

The third stage is adulthood. This is where responsibilities kick in. Of course, there are responsibilities as a teenager and young adult but this is where legally and socially you are completely responsible for all your decisions. At this point, most people are already well established in their identity. I used the mail, newspaper and keys to show the various things adulthood encompasses: bills, money to pay rent, work, keeping up with current events, and the coffee to symbolize how tiring that can be, but the need to keep going. Hence, the sticky saying “I’ll be home late” to show how to keep up on these things, sometimes sacrifice is necessary and as an adult that’s a decision you have to make. 

My last stage is elderly/death. I used the picture to symbolize the memorialization of the dead. The dirt to symbolize the way as humans we deal with death and the dead by conducting funerals and different rituals, which also differ depending on the person’s beliefs or religion.

Sometimes different groups of people have experienced trauma or different events that make their development and stages of life look drastically different. Whether it be they experienced the responsibility of bills earlier in life because of not having familial support or have a disability and their basic communication skills are delayed. My hopes are that this doesn’t suggest there is one way of life and how it should occur but rather show what I have seen or hoped to have seen in the development of myself and the people around me.



About The Author: Justina McMinn is a Freshman enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2021. To access additional articles by Justine McMinn, click here


Also posted in Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Photography, Popular Culture, Science, UPenn, UPenn Photography

Noel Zheng: “Untitled (Jolie Laide)”


Photography and Text by Noel Zheng, Copyright 2017


“Untitled (Jolie Laide)” A short project to realize the empire of fashion.


The fashion industry sells to all types of lifestyles through their shoots. Entering fall/winter, every year, coats become the centre around which the industries uses as a medium to captivate the public, and give the idea that they too can live a similar life—given they have the material item.

I set this shoot up to reflect an editorial “vibe”; the black and white seamless with two soft boxes were set up in attempt to reap the most stripped back of editorial shoots. In post-production, saturation was muted but vibrancy increased to achieve the same effect.

In terms of styling, I stripped all elements back so only the coat (or some other winter wear) would be the centre of the shoot. The models wore little more than the outerwear in attempt to critic the fashion industry—when all is stripped back, is the lifestyle sold still worthy of buying? Or rather—when all is stripped back, is the coat sold still worthy of buying? The simplicity of this shoot hinges between avant-garde and classic.

But of course, this industry has become so powerful that a “stripped back” non- flamboyant lifestyle is, in ways, still avant-garde. It exemplifies a term now trending: “minimalism”. Because I realize that in attempt to mute the toxic environment of ‘fashion sells’, I add to it.

This is what I mean when I say “the fashion industry sells to all types of lifestyles through their shoots”—because no matter how ugly, or how simple, or how kitsch one tries to make fashion, it is still—as Tyra Banks says—“Jolie Laide”.


About The Author: Noel Zheng is a Sophomore majoring in Architecture, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2020. To access additional articles by Noel Zheng, go here


Also posted in Architecture, Blog, Environment, Fashion, Glamour, Men, Models, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, UPenn Photography

Sharon Song: The Millenial Professional


Photography and Text by Sharon Song, Copyright 2017




Studies have found that Millennials exhibit a different set of professional values than previous generations. As Millennials enter the workforce, they seem to be less motivated by career advancement and more by personal values and aspirations. This new generation strives for lives that allow them to be their most authentic selves; ones that satisfy the ideals they’ve set for themselves. Interested in exploring this concept further, I decided to engage with the theme of “the millennial professional” for our second assignment.

In thinking about personal values and aspirations, I talked to the models about their career goals and how they may differ from their life goals. These models are all current seniors in Wharton, pursuing careers in finance, consulting, and technology. However, beyond just their careers, they seek fulfillment in other activities. Whether it may be going to the theater to enjoy a show or discovering a new artist at a concert downtown, these individuals define success in what they can accomplish and experience both in and out of the workplace.

This series of photographs aims to highlight the variety of layers, such as coats, jackets, and blazers, young professionals may wear for the multiplicity of functions they encounter every week. Each frame intends to convey both professional undertones and the unique styles and personalities of each millennial professional.



Portrait of Sharon Song by Karishma Sheth, Copyright 2017


About The Author: Sharon Song is a Senior enrolled in the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2018. To access additional articles by Sharon Song, click here


Also posted in Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Fashion, Men, Models, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, UPenn Photography

Ria Vaidya: Psychotic but Iconic


Photography and Text by Ria Vaidya, Copyright 2017




To be iconic is to be a symbol, and often with that symbol comes a streak of madness. From Karl Lagerfeld to Naomi Campbell to Kate Moss, being iconic has not always meant being perfectly in line with societal views. Some of the most iconic figures to date have not come without their baggage. This series aims to capture and illustrate a metaphor; this metaphor speaks for how clothes act not only as a style but also as a mask, in particular: the jacket. Jackets unlike other mainstream clothing items have the ability to add layers, or some might say extra façade. Throughout this series, the model modeled several different unique jackets that are very distinct from one another. Each piece could very well characterize completely different types of personalities yet the model executes each look thus portraying how fashion and style can change the perception of an individual. It can act as a barrier or as a gateway into their true self, regardless having the ability to create an identity for themselves. Fashion allows a person to camouflage into whatever and whomever they want. Inside they may be psychotic, but nonetheless, they can just as well be iconic.



Portrait of Ria Vaidya by Linda Ruan, Copyright 2017


About The Artist: Ria Vaidya is a Senior enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2018. To access additional articles by Ria Vaidya, click here



Also posted in Blog, Current Events, Environment, Fashion, Glamour, Models, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, UPenn Photography

Jessica Moh: Simple Combinations


Photography and Text by Jessica Moh, Copyright 2017




In this project, I chose to tackle the concept: “how many outfits can you make with a white shirt and denim jeans”. I chose this theme because everyday, I struggle with picking out an outfit, and end up eventually wearing a simple white top and jeans outfit.

I instructed all my models to only wear a white top and denim jeans to show that even such a simple outfit has so much diversity. For each model, I also decided to match their outfit to their personality because knowing each model personally, I knew how they would pose in each outfit. I chose to photograph my models in a studio because it was a controlled setting and all the attention would be put onto the model and the outfit. I did not want the lighting to be harsh but to look natural on the model.

As this was a fashion editorial, I wanted to solely focus on the fashion. A white shirt, whether a t-shirt or a button-down, is extremely versatile and can be worn for any occasion. Jeans on the other hand, are one of the most commonly worn clothing articles. I wanted to challenge myself to come up with ways to only work with two kinds of clothing items and to create as many outfits.

I think that a white shirt, depending on the style, can be very powerful. The color white is often associated with cleanliness and innocence. However, when it is paired with jeans or denim, a material that is made to look distressed and worn out, the white shirt is put into a different context. The contrast between something so simple and plain juxtaposed with ripped jeans shows how although two items that seem like they shouldn’t go together, work perfectly in unison. The simplicity of a white shirt contrasted against the holes and rips in jeans and denim give the outfit a composed yet effortless rugged and clean look.

If I could extend this project, I would challenge myself by only using a white button down and creating different outfits with that one shirt. I would end up manipulating or tying the shirt in different ways, breaking from the normal way of wearing a simple button down.



Portrait of Jessica Moh by Sharon Song, Copyright 2017


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




Also posted in Blog, Fashion, Models, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, UPenn