Women have played a predominant role in my life ever since I was young, as I was raised by my grandma alongside a younger sister. Growing up as a teenager in the city surrounded by unique female characters has inspired me to preserve the unique aspects of girlhood through photography. The women in my life that I consider to be friends and family are especially important to me, having shaped my being, and continue to inspire me in many ways, especially in art. Insecurity comes naturally for many of us, as there are so many responsibilities when it comes to being a girl. There are set expectations on how to act, how to dress, and how to present oneself to the world. There is such an emphasis on being the perfect woman. Through these images, I hope to offer others a glimpse of what it means to be a girl, what it feels like to be young and to be carefree, and how there is so much more to being a woman than fixing yourself for others. While photographing with a sense of intimacy and rawness in mind, I wish to reflect the uncertainty and precariousness of what it means to come of age.
Nadine Zhan is an artist from Brooklyn, New York. She currently studies fine arts at Fiorello H. LaGuardia high school. She was always drawn to art as a child and picked up photography in her middle school years, starting out digitally with casual street photography and amateur portraiture. Upon entering high school, she picked up analog photography and her passion for the medium flourished. Her love for movies has been a primary inspiration behind her art and she has developed a strong eye for composition through years of studying her favorite films. Nadine is an editor and contributing photographer of LaGMag, LaGuardia’s literary arts magazine, and was a director of photography and editor on two short films. Nadine has participated in the New York University Future Imagemakers program and is a current student in the International Center of Photography Teen Academy Imagemakers program.