Campus Profile: Siobhan Whipp '16

Siobhan Whipp, a senior at UNC, might be the friendliest photographer, student and fitness instructor this campus has ever seen. In the time she is not taking photos or teaching students how to complete a proper  squat and bicep curl, she is studying political science.


Age: 22

Hometown: Charlotte, NC

Major: Political Science

Minor: Education



HC: Why did you choose your major?

SW: I chose my major because I really love both the political and policy-making process. For me, it is so interesting to see how decisions become law and the ways governments work together. I also love education and the policy interests behind the system.


HC: You are a fitness instructor at the SRC, what classes do you teach?

SW: I am! I teach many classes: lower body conditioning, muscle cut, cycle, bootcamp and an ab class.


HC: What made you want to become a fitness instructor?

SW: I wanted to become a fitness instructor because I think that physical fitness is integral to a person's overall well-being. I really started my process of becoming an instructor because I wanted to know how to teach exercise correctly and safely. I want to be able to create a fun environment that allows people to workout safely and effectively. Working out should be fun and motivating, and I want to get women comfortable lifting weights and feeling strong.


HC: What is your favorite class at the SRC and why?

SW: My favorite class is lower body conditioning. It is a fast and exciting class that is only 45 minutes long but has a ton of really great leg workouts packed into one. I love being able to motivate and push people to succeed, and because the class is one of the shorter ones they are more likely to push themselves as well. I also really love teaching muscle cut because we get to use barbells, and it's so wonderful to see people who haven't used barbells before get excited about them, look confident using them and feel strong.


HC: Does being a fitness instructor help you to live a healthy lifestyle?

SW: Yes, definitely! I really try to stay healthy for myself and my participants. If I cannot do an exercise safely or effectively, how can I teach someone else how to do that exercise? I have to be physically fit and healthy to do my job well. It has been nice having a job in college that keeps me active, on my feet and interacting with people.




HC: You also run your own photography business, how did you get into photography?

SW: I do! I got into photography many years ago when I took classes at a studio in downtown Charlotte. The classes were three hours long and for adults, but I was there as well. I learned a lot from those classes and continually shot from there. My business grew very organically out of that, and I am so proud to say that I will be a full-time wedding and lifestyle photographer after graduating in May! If you want to follow all of my crazy adventures you can here:


HC: What would you tell others who are trying to start their own photography business?

SW: I would tell anyone who is trying to start their own business at all, I would tell them that you have to be passionate. You have to be prepared to spend a lot of time and energy working towards your particular goal. It is not easy to start anything, and it is going to get frustrating and tough, but keep going! I would tell someone who is trying to start their own photography business that you might not exactly know what your style is in the beginning, so you have to shoot a ton, figure out what you love and keep shooting that. I would also say that you must be kind to people. There is a vulnerability that is found when you are in front of a camera, and as a photographer you must realize this and respond accordingly.


HC: How would you describe your time at UNC?

SW: Well spent and well educated! I honestly feel like I learned so much here, and I feel so blessed to have been able to go to such a great school. There are so many motivated and smart people here who are working on amazing projects all over the place. Just talking to people around campus is always so interesting because everyone has their own really cool idea, project or cause that they are working towards.

Although she will be graduating soon, she said she has enjoyed her time at UNC. Siobhan has an exciting future ahead of her with her own photography business. If you ever need a photographer for senior photos or a special event, you know where to look.