It's way more fun when you can yell at your best friend / by Amanda Liew



A few months back, all the seniors at Penn were required to take graduation photos. Unsurprisingly, nearly everybody's turned out hilariously horrible (shoutout to those of you who can actually rock the cap and gown pose!). After endless pestering from her mom, my best friend, Janet (or as I like to call her, JChowder), begrudgingly asked me if I'd be willing to take some senior portraits of her. I was ECSTATIC. Not just because she's my best friend, but because here was this prime opportunity to turn her (unwillingly) into the glorioussss model that I had envisioned! In other words, she was my puppet and had no choice in the matter.

You see, Janet and I are total opposites: I'm a hopeless romantic, way too Type A sometimes, and pride myself on being an early adopter. Janet's way more realistic when it comes to relationships, really chill about a lot of things, and always complains she doesn't know how to use her iPhone. We're so different that my friend Christy actually came up with a "Janet-Amanda Spectrum" for our group of friends. The theory goes that if the average of any two people on the spectrum comes out to somewhere in the middle, they'll be really good friends. Considering we're the ends of the spectrum, we average perfectly to the center: BOOM! Best Friends For Ever.

One of the things that I realized from this photoshoot was how important it is for there to be a comfortable relationship between the photographer and subject. Janet pretty much dreaded this entire photoshoot, but I was able to make her climb in bushes and try weird poses. Even better, I got to yell at her the entire time: "JANET. You're NOT SMILING. SMILE HARDER! No, I know how you smile, and that's FAKE. Do it again or else I'll make you stay here for hours!" I know she absolutely hated it, but in the end it was totally worth it! True, I had to delete about 50% of the photos because she was either making an unhappy face or fake smiling, but the rest are golden! So, I present to you, my wonderful and beautiful best friend:

_DSC0149 _DSC0134 _DSC0159 (1) _DSC0166 _DSC0220 _DSC0076 _DSC0057

As an English & History major, Janet also wanted some pictures with Bennett hall. It was really different shooting indoors without a tripod, but I still love a lot of these shots!

_DSC0238 _DSC0247 _DSC0278 (2) _DSC0305 (1)

And finally, only a fraction of the many annoyed/unhappy/sad Janet photos that I have:

_DSC0184 _DSC0213 _DSC0094In all reality, though, my friendship with Janet stems out of the deepest love for each other. There are few people in the world who understand me so well. Even though we're so different, we stretch and pull to meet each other whenever the other needs it. She's always excited and happy for me no matter how dumb of news I share with her, and she supports me in nearly everything I do. She's been my rock and my go-to person for what seems like forever. I can't imagine my life without her, but I'm glad that never needs to happen. I know for sure, we'll be balancing each other out until the days when we're retired and finally look like we're 30 (gotta love those youthful Asian genes!). I can just imagine myself trying to teach Janet how to drive a hovercraft, but she's only just figured out how to take a screen shot on her iPhone 4. She'll write the novel about the grand Notebook-level love story of my life, and I'll force her to adopt a small fluffy animal and admit it's kind of cute. In the end, though, no matter where we are, we'll be together. Love you, JChowder!