While many use it as a place to get where they’re going, some use Locust Walk as their runway. And Penn’s fashion photographers try to capture it.
For students interested in fashion photography, there's no better place to turn to than The WALK, Penn’s fashion magazine. The WALK allows for creative minds to meet each other and turn concepts into a fully formed product in the form of a website, a biannual print edition, and their street style blog, Seen on The WALK.
The editorial photoshoots that The WALK has are often full–day affairs with many participants involved including stylists, models, photographers, and, later, editors.
The process of a fashion photoshoot begins long before it is shot. For the photographers of The WALK, inspiration comes from everywhere. Firstly, mood boards are compiled that set the general tone of the shoot. From this, the stylists, photographers, and models have an idea of the mood they want to capture, and from there plan out the specifics, like the outfit, makeup, location, and lighting choices.
The Seen on The WALK tumblr is an extension of The WALK’s brand, featuring students with unique style being candidly photographed during their everyday routes. Photographing street style is different than editorial photography, as it is more spontaneous and does not come with the same type of guidelines.
Street style photographer Kiara Honma (C '18) says that each month, her team decides on a general theme, and then walks around searching for students who fit the aesthetic. While photographing her subjects, Kiara says she is able to learn about and then capture their individual style. The ultimate goal of the street style genre is to showcase personality just as much as clothing.
One of her favorite moments came when she was able to photograph Abby McGuckin (C ‘19) when she first launched her “Frame the Nip” t–shirt as part of a campaign to desexualize female bodies. By helping Abby’s idea come to life, Kiara was able to use her passion for photography to support a cause she believes in.
Kiara has been interested in photography and fashion for years, and has enjoyed finding a way to blend her two passions. As a STEM major, she doesn’t usually get the chance to use her creative side, so her experience on The WALK has been invaluable.
Her experience isn’t unique: many of The WALK’s most esteemed staff members aren’t planning on pursuing a career in fashion, but have found that their positions give them a much–needed creative outlet in a stressful environment. And even for photographers not affiliated with The WALK, Penn offers a Fine Arts course focusing on Fashion & Photography.
More than anything, Penn’s fashion photographers allow for students’ unique style to be seen and celebrated, all while give us all a little bit of inspiration for the next time we walk down Locust.