Jesse Halpern: Porches of Philadelphia

Photography and Text by Jesse Halpern, Copyright 2018


Porches of Philadelphia


The spaces we occupy are a reflection of ourselves. For this project, I sought to capture snapshots of what people in different neighborhoods in Philadelphia chose to decorate their porches. The porch is very prevalent in Philadelphia residential architecture, and its function is really a transitional space from city to home. It reflects who the person is that inhabits that space to friends that visit and passersby. The different textures of these spaces embody the textures of the individuals who inhabit the spaces but also of the city itself. I photographed at night to showcase of the different elements of the porch the inhabitants wanted to showcase with night lighting.

I went to three separate neighborhoods, West Philadelphia, South Philadelphia, and Haddonfield, a suburb of Philadelphia. I separated my final portfolio by neighborhood. In these photos there are common threads through all three neighborhoods as well as differences that begin to emerge. I do want to continue this project and through the accumulation of more images from different neighborhoods, I think the similarities and differences between neighborhoods will become even more pronounced.

I approach theses spaces as a passerby would on a side walk. Too close to the building and walking quickly I would only really be able to take not of what’s in ample lighting and that’s usually only one object or a collection of object. The view I choose in each photo is dictated by the obstructing railing that I usually opt not to show and instead focus on what I can see behind it.


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


This entry was posted in Architecture, Art, Documentary, Environment, History, Photography, Popular Culture, Student Life, UPenn.


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