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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  • Theme parties are SO much fun! 🎉💖 Celebrated our friend @rezwananana’s birthday in #90sStyle tonight: with overalls, fanny packs, ring pops, pins, scrunchies and crimped hair!! (You can’t really see the crimp in the photo though but I was pretty happy with it lol)
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#90sparty #90sfashion #90smusic #ilovethe90s #grewupinthe90s #90sbaby #edmonton #exploreedmonton #yeg #yegfashion #throwback #tbt #flashback #ootd #wiw #happybirthday #birthdays #fannypack #bopit #alberta #90s
  • Last summer one of my favourite food vendors at the Sturgeon County Bounty Festival was #SavioursCafeBistro! They are a small, family-owned Ethiopian restaurant/cafe in @cityofstalbert. Today I finally made it out to try their restaurant with @tjpollmann! We got hands on, sharing the delicious vegetarian injera platter with beets, chickpeas, red lentils, salad, and cabbage + spinach & chicken with caramelized onions and garlic! 🤤 We also had their chicken soup, which was real tasty. 💖
Really nice little spot.
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#stalbert #saintalbert #stalbertfood #yeg #yegfood #edmonton #edmontonfood #exploreedmonton #injera #ethiopianfood #ethiopian #shareplatter #handson #eatlocal #chicken #spinach #chickpeas #redlentils #saturyay #lunchtime #foodblogger #foodlover #sturgeoncounty #sturgeoncountybounty #culinarycookout #explorealberta #flatlay
  • The last time I posted about the delicious and super affordable $11 five piece chicken set with two sides and a drink from @seoulfriedchicken, I didn’t realize they were closed for vacation and a lot of you messaged me and said you tried to go and were sad to find out they were closed lol. SO, I’M SORRY 😭😂💖 BUT! I’m happy to say they are no longer on vacation. 😄 I had a lovely lunch with @heyvanessaleigh there today! THE PESTO MAC AND CHEESE IS MY FAVOURITE MAC AND CHEESE EVER. I could eat it every single day. 🤤😍🤤😍🤤
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#yeg #yegfood #seoulfriedchicken #edmontonfood #edmonton #exploreedmonton #friedchicken #koreanfriedchicken #pestomacncheese #macncheese #pesto #lunchdate #whyteave #oldstrathcona #koreanfood #yegdeals #whyteavenue #whyteavefood #damngoodfood #foodblogger #foodgrammer
  • Frosty eyelashes, hair and hats: evidence of our winter hike in #JohnstonCanyon #BanffNationalPark. 🗻❄️💖 Thanks to @kathytrinhle & @big_mitchy16 for being awesome hike guides! Now back to reality...
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#banff #mybanff #mountain #canyon #winteradventure #travelalberta #explorealberta #frosty #frostyface #frozenwaterfall #winterhike #hikingadventures #mountainair #canadianrockies #rockymountains #travelingcouple #hikers #longweekend #alberta #albertalife #johnstoncanyonfalls #banfflakelouise #adventurers
  • When your backyard (sort of) is a beautiful mountain town. 🏔🙌🏻 In Banff this #longweekend, we enjoyed:
• staying at the @FairmontBanff Springs 🏰
• eating at the #WaldhausPub, @banffavebrewing, @banffbalkan & #Tooloulous 😋
• skating ⛸ in town and hiking #JohnstonCanyon with @kathytrinhle & @big_mitchy16! 🏃🏻‍♀️🏃🏻‍♂️
Perfect little getaway! 🏔💖
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#banff #banffnationalpark #banfflife #explorealberta #travelalberta #snowy #winterwonderland #mountaintown #mountaintowns #alberta #mountaintop #views #touristtown #explorebanff #mybanff #banffinmybackyard #yeg #yyc #weekendgetaway #wanderlust #winteradventures #explorealways #rockymountains #canadianrockies #fairmontbanffsprings #johnstoncanyon
  • Family Day long weekend with my family and winter adventure buddy @mikethyking! 😊❄️⛸🗻
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#banff #banffsprings #fairmontbanffsprings #explorealberta #travelalberta #explorebanff #iceskating #skating #frozenthrone #alberta #longweekend #weekend #mikeandlindork #winteractivities #winteradventures
  • Brunch brunch brunch brunch brunch brunch brunch brunch brunch brunch brunch brunch 😍
📸 pictured: the chocolate fondue banana pancakes at the #WaldhausPub @FairmontBanff Springs. 👌🏻 (eggs benny #yolkporn in my Story!)
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#banff #mybanff #banffsprings #waldhaus #chocolatebanana #bananapancakes #pancakes #chocolatefondue #chocolatepancakes #brunch #sundaybrunch #fairmonthotels #sundayfunday #banfffood #explorealberta #travelalberta #banana #bananagram #explorebanff #travelbanff #banffbrunch
  • Convinced @mikethyking to stop at a couple of #InstagrammableWalls we missed on our last Calgary visit. 😜😊📸 He’s a great #InstagramHusband. We also visited a pop-up wall students worked on at @itsallatthejube (swipe 👈🏻 to see). They said the project was inspired by my Guide to #IGWallsofYYC blog post! 🙏🏻 When blogs/social media inspire action... 💕 It was really cool to see (you can see it too! On display til Mar 30). 💖
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#yyc #igwall #muralwall #artwall #artwalls #artsywall #yycart #yycarts #calgary #capturecalgary #calgaryarts #calgarylife #explorecalgary #explorealberta #travelalberta #instagramwall #walltraveled #livecolorfully #yegtoyyc #travelgram #longweekend #jubileeauditorium @tourismcalgary
  • This #longweekend @mikethyking & I are in Calgary & Banff! I was excited to try sandwich shop & deli @EmpireProvisions and it did not disappoint! 🐷 The porchetta sandwich with rosemary garlic salsa verde was UNBELIEVABLE. One of those first bite makes you exclaim oh my god, kind of dishes. 🤤🙏🏻Must return to try their other sandwiches!! Thanks for the recommendation @jaypeacee! Happy Long Weekend everyone!!
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#yyc #yycfood #capturecalgary #calgary #calgaryfood #calgaryeats #empireprovisions #porchetta #porchettasandwich #porkbelly #salsaverde #omgsogood #explorealberta #travelalberta #foodblogger #happylongweekend
  • Happy Lunar New Year / Year of the Dog! 🐶🎊❤️💛 📸 photo credit: @karmaephotos
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#chucmungnammoi #vietnamesenewyear #tet #yearofthedog #lunarnewyear #chinesenewyear #LNY2018 #newyear #asiannewyear #zodiac #yeg #yegdogs #yegpets #tailsofyeg #edmontondogs #edmonton #exploreedmonton #terwillegardogpark #dogpark #furfamily #cutedogs #dogphotoshoot #dogsofig #yegdog #familyphoto #beaglesofig #justbeagles #huskycross #oliveandartie
  • Things I love ❤️ that are all in this photo:
• My Valentine @mikethyking 😚
• This romper dress 😍
• Better weather. 🙏🏻
Hope everyone has a sweet Valentine’s Day!
(or just a good Wednesday). 💕
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#valentines #valentinesday #myvalentine #lovelove #yeg #yegtoyyz #yyz #mikeandlindork #mikeandlinda #love #romper #romperdress #husbandwife #toronto #torontolife #seetorontonow #lumarestaurant #travelbuddies #bae #alwaysandforever #bluesuit #couplegoals #mixedcouple
  • Ahead of #ValentinesDay 💕, I thought I’d throw back to this super cute photo of Olive on her Valentine’s spaghetti date with Australian Labradoodle Flynn! He didn’t really share the noodles. They’re no longer together. 👀😂 Click the link in my bio for some Valentine’s (or galentines or palentines) #ExploreEdmonton date ideas I shared on @CTVEdmonton this week! 💗
📸 photo cred: @jsp.photo 📸
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#yeg #yegfood #yegpets #edmontonpets #yegdogs #dogsofig #dogsofinstagram #beaglesofig #justbeagles #lemonbeagle #australianlabradoodle #labradoodle #ladyandthetramp #ladyandthetrampstyle #yegnoodles #yegpasta #tailsofyeg #valentinespups #valentines #oliveandartie #dogsnamedolive #pets #petsofinstagram #dogdates

LINDORK