Social Media Social Media Spotlight

Social Media Spotlight: Faces of Edmonton

Faces of Edmonton is a new blog showcasing Edmonton's scenery, inhabitants, and stories.
Faces of Edmonton is a new blog showcasing Edmonton’s scenerey, inhabitants, and stories.

Faces of Edmonton

By Linda Hoang

Shayne Woodsmith finds a lot of people (himself included) take advantage of the city they live in.

“They don’t appreciate it for what it is,” Woodsmith says.

The 33-year-old writer and photographer – storyteller – hopes to change that with his new blog Faces of Edmonton.

The blog showcases “Edmonton’s scenery, inhabitants, and stories” – through photos and captions. It is inspired by the popular Humans of New York, but Woodsmith says what sets Faces of Edmonton apart, is his storytelling approach.

Each photo includes a caption, describing the subject from Woodsmith’s perspective – how they appeared before he approached, the conversation they had before he asked if he could take their photo.

There’s a girl wearing bright blue, sharing the memory of her happiest moment, a man who lost $300 at the casino, another who’s been in Edmonton just one month, looking for a job, and one man Woodsmith describes as sitting in the shade, “on the well-used steps of his house, drinking a soda, admiring the beans and peas that are his front yard. It’s 28 °C and sunny.”

“I really like to dialogue,” Woodsmith says.

“I find a lot of these blogs, it’s very journalistic, which is fine. But I wanted to be a character in it. I think it can be more evocative if the scene is set a little bit and if there is a voice behind the photo.”

An entry on Faces of Edmonton (http://facesofedmonton.tumblr.com)
An entry on Faces of Edmonton (http://facesofedmonton.tumblr.com)

Faces of Edmonton only launched in late July, but Woodsmith says he’s already received a lot of positive reaction – mainly from social media.

People have reached out to tell him they appreciate the city even more so when they read his posts and see his photos.

“‘I love Edmonton and I’m so glad you’re doing this to showcase it,'” they say.

To capture the images, Woodsmith uses a Nikon D5100. He deliberately walks to see what he’ll find.

“I just wander,” he says, something he did a lot of during his four months traveling in southeast Asia earlier this year.

“When I got back, I got into my car and I got back into car culture so I missed walking and I missed the slower pace and being able to really take in the surrounding of Edmonton so now I just wander around the street and sometimes I make a couple of loops around the same block because it changes every time I walk around, the people are totally different the next time.”

An entry on Faces of Edmonton (http://facesofedmonton.tumblr.com)
An entry on Faces of Edmonton (http://facesofedmonton.tumblr.com)

It can be a challenge, finding subjects who agree to have their photo taken, but now he’s got a process – assessing the person before he approaches, striking up a conversation first before asking for a photograph.

“Often now, I try to tell people why I want to take the photo. ‘You really look really good with that reflection there’ or ‘I like the way you’re holding your hands do you mind if I take your photo?'”

Humans of New York has garnered worldwide attention, with a following in the millions. It’s also been turned into a bestselling book.

Woodsmith’s not sure where Faces of Edmonton is headed (though a book wouldn’t be new territory for the published author).

Shayne Woodsmith, the face behind Faces of Edmonton.
Shayne Woodsmith, the face behind Faces of Edmonton.

For now, he just wants to see where the blog ends up. He’ll continue his deliberate walks, seeing who he runs into and what they have to share.

“I’m really enjoying it and learning about people and learning about Edmonton and learning about myself in the process,” he says.

“Edmonton has amazing people from all over the world, with great experiences and stories to tell.”

Follow Faces of Edmonton on:


Linda Hoang is an Edmonton blogger who writes about food, travel, lifestyle/events and pets. She's also a social media/digital specialist with a journalism background. Linda is in love with her city and loves exploring and promoting Edmonton and other places she visits with her husband Mike. Linda is also the founder of the Edmonton International Cat Festival (and has 2 cats herself, along with 2 dogs).

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  • Congratulations to my beautiful friend, stunning bride @razannea and her husband @eyadkamis!! ❤️ What a gorgeous wedding. The first dance on clouds ☁️ was incredible. 💕
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#eyadandrazanne #wedding #yegwedding #yeg #clouds #firstdance #radissonhotel #bride #beautifulbride #weddinginspo
  • Poke for days. 🐠🐟🐠
Alternate caption: Patio poke.🐠🐟🐠
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#yeg #yegfood #exploreedmonton #edmontonfood #edmonton #poke #pokebowl #pokeinyeg #onopokecoyeg #sashimi #fish #patioseason #tunapoke #hawaiianfood #OhSoONO
  • Cheers to the best time of year! ☀️🍹
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#patioseason #summer #yeg #yegwx #yegdt #edmonton #exploreedmonton #patio #yegpatio #yegrivervalley #views #bluesky #mojito #albertasummer #CBsummerparty #courtyardbymarriott #marriotthotel
  • I haven't had a really good, loaded potato skin in a long time. So comforting. 🙏🏻 This dish is part of @yourAGA's #ZincTapasTuesday - they're offering new menu items to coincide with their new free admission Tuesday (and Wednesday). I got to try some of the dishes tonight with some #foodfriends! My other favourites of the night was the duck breast and a killer pulled pork sandwich that's just $4! 🍔Thanks @chefdaveomar. 👌🏻
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#yeg #yegfood #exploreedmonton #edmonton #exploreedmonton #artgalleryofalberta #potatoes #potatoskins #yegdt #foodblog #foodlover #tapas #tapastuesday
  • Banh xeo, shrimp chips and pho on the patio at @phoboyvk with @kathytrinhle today! ❤️☀️ Banh xeo is a Vietnamese fried pancake with pork, shrimp and beansprout filling. It's delish. 🙌🏻 While in the area I also scouted out some more #IGWallsofYEG, planning the next #photowalk for #WhyteAve @oldstrathcona for early July! Stay tuned for details. 📸☺️
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#yeg #yegfood #edmontonfood #exploreedmonton #oldstrathcona #vietnamesefood #banhxeo #patio #saturyay #food #foodblog #edmonton #asianfood
  • Heading home to my furbabies (🐶🐶🐱🐱) after a jam-packed #SocialWest #socialmedia conference! 📱 I had such a great time speaking (THANK YOU to everyone who came to my session 🙏🏻) and loved soaking up all the great info from the other sessions. 🤓 Congrats on a successful second year, @mikesbloggity & team! 👏🏻 And thanks to  @neil_zee for this photo! 📸
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#conference #yyc #yeg #yegtoyyc #calgary #speaker #presenter #socialmediastrategist #yegcomms #yegagency #agencylife #edmonton
  • THIS CHAR SIU PORK BELLY FOIE GRAS BAO. 😍❤️🙌🏻🤤 Had such a great meal at @eatforeign tonight in Calgary with @kathytrinhle & @bonafidemediapr. Lots of good food. Lots of good conversation. I love #yycfood. 😋
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#yyc #capturecalgary #calgary #calgaryfood #porkbelly #pork #charsiu #bao #steamedbun #yeg #yegtoyyc #asianfood #foreignconcept
  • On my way to Calgary for a few days of @socialwest and *had* to stop at @petersdrivein for a 🍔 🍟 and 🍌🥛. 👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻
#SocialWest is the largest digital/social media marketing conference in the Prairies. I can't wait to learn from industry experts + present too! I'm delivering a session tomorrow on Instagram + Snapchat Stories! I call it, #StoriesTelling. 🤓🙊
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#yegtoyyc #yeg #yyc #reddeer #petersdrivein #burgers #milkshakes #roadtrip #explorealberta #socialmedia #socialmediaconference #lunch #thedriveinyoucantdriveby
  • I feel like poke has been allllll over my feed lately! Pronounced "po-kay," this traditional Hawaiian raw fish 🐠 salad, typically served with sauce over rice 🍚, has finally hit the Prairies. 🌾 Over on the blog (www.linda-hoang.com, link in bio), I review the new @OnoPokeCoYEG, which literally translates to "delicious poke." 😊  Delicious poke indeed. Pictured here 📸 is Ono's Original Ahi tuna poke bowl. Have you tried poke? Are you as thrilled as I am that we finally have great poke options in Edmonton?! 🙌🏻
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#OhSoONO #onopokecoyeg #yeg #yegfood #edmontonfood #edmonton #exploreedmonton #poke #pokebowl #ahituna #rawfish #sashimi #hawaiianfood  #foodblog #yegdt
  • This weekend @mikethyking & I had a great #staycation at the @deltaedmsouth! We love how this hotel is #petfriendly so @OliveAndArtie were able to spend the weekend with us too. 🐶❤️ We also had a great dinner at their 4404 restaurant. Looking forward to coming back here tmrw night for #IndulgenceYEG, a #yegfood & wine festival 🍷 taking place at the Delta. Tickets support the Junior League of Edmonton & I believe some are still available on their website if you want to spice up your Monday with basically unlimited food & wine! ✨
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#yeg #exploreedmonton #edmonton #petfriendlyhotel #dogsofinstgram #beagles #huskycross #weekend #deltahotel #marriott #furmom
  • I had so much fun guest judging @porkapaloozayeg's "Chop it Like it's Hot" mystery box challenge today with @divaqbbq & #TasteAlberta! 🐷🐔🍳😍 @ChefPaulShufelt & @ChefCowan came up with some really tasty dishes using bacon, chicken, asparagus and lentils. 👌🏻 In the end, Chef Cowan took the title 🏆, but it was a really close race!! Pictured here is Chef Cowan's fried chicken, lentils, and carrots dish topped with a fried egg. 🍳 Be sure to see these two in action again for Bacon Day - a charity event they put on each September. Follow them for details! 🐷 🥓
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#yeg #yegfood #edmonton #edmontonfood #exploreedmonton #putaneggonit #foodblog #tasteab #lentils #friedchicken
  • New on the blog 📸 #ExploreEdmonton's #InstagrammableWalls! I've put together a guide to #IGWallsofYEG - mural, graffiti, coloured, interesting textured walls around the city that make for great photo backdrops & add beauty to Edmonton. 💚 Check out the spots I've found at www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio) + let me know what spots I'm missing! Hope to host another #instawalk along these wall routes soon, but in the meantime, you can take your own self-guided tour! 🤗
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#yeg #yegdt #yegsa #edmonton #igwalls #livingwall #beauty #exploration #photography #photowalk #walkingtour #colouredwalls #walls #instagrammablewall

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