Friday Five

My friend Travis Bedard does this great thing called the Friday Five, where he curates five fantastic things he’s encountered recently. Here’s some recent finds of mine that I think are really great, and hope you do too!

1. Wild Ones Live


Jon Mooallem’s book Wild Ones is a “Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking At People Looking At Animals in America,” and the only way that could get better? You have Mooallem tell the highlights of his book set to a rollicking folk song by Black Prairie, and air it on 99% Invisible (one of my favorite podcasts). Mooallem’s quest to show his daughter endangered species in the wild before they go extinct is the most joyous and bizarre 30 minutes you will spend, and I really hope you’ll listen to it.


2. Digital Orcadigital-orca-by-douglas-coupland-joel-robison_549140_default_base_img

Douglas Coupland‘s Digital Orca (AKA Pixel Whale or Lego Orca) is a beautiful public art piece, located in Vancouver.  I haven’t been able to locate a Lego kit to build my own, but one day I’d like to make my own like these beautiful lego bird sculptures!


3. 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School 

101 Things 082

I have been recommending this book to just about everyone I know. It’s a fantastic quick review of many fundamental and complex design rules, told with wit, inspiration, and illustration. I recently visited both Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House and Ennis House, and this book gave me a deeper appreciation and understanding on the tour, which is really just a bonus, as the book is applicable to just about any field–not just architecture.


4. Life on Marsbooks1-2

I’m only on the first part of Tracy K. Smith‘s collection of poems, Life On Mars, but I already can firmly say: you should read it. For a lot of reasons: it’s SciFi, yet also nonfiction, intensely human, and highly evocative. Plus, you’re supporting art made by a woman of color and published by one of the most independent publishing companies. What’s not to love?


5. “Batgirl: Endgame” Cover


I LOVE the current run of Batgirl. It’s the only DC comic I regularly follow, so that should say something. This week the “Batgirl: Endgame” one-shot came out, and Rafael Albuquerque nailed an AMAZING cover, showing Barbara dusting the Joker’s effects right off of herself & Burnside.


Hope you enjoyed the first Friday Five! Let me know if you’d like more of these F5s, or have any requests of what you’d like to see here!

Put a Duck on It: Or, 4 Things I Learned From Shooting Headshots

I had the chance to shoot the talented and lovely Lois Dawson‘s headshots last week in Vancouver. I had a blast, but also tried a few new things which paid off. Here goes:

1. Confidence is 90% of the game:

Anyone who looks confident will be infinitely more photogenic than someone terrified, hesitant, or lost. With headshots, you often want to appear as a confident and capable professional. However, being confident and capable on the job doesn’t always mean you’re confident and capable in front of the lens. And if you aren’t comfortable in front of the camera, fake it until you make it.

I love this photo of Lois. Look, she’s so confident! How does she do it? Well. If you look at the uncropped shot… There’s a duck on her head! IMG_6880IMG_6880 - Version 4

That’s Cue, the Stage Manager Duck. It’s hard to overthink about modeling or judge yourself too harshly when you’ve got a duck on your head. Who knew a duck could be the secret to success?!


2. Dress for the job you want:

There’s a lot of ways to subtly add textures of the job in the headshot. Maybe I’m a placemaking nerd (well, I am), but with Lois, a brilliant Stage Manager, we shot in a rehearsal room, so there were a lot of textures including brick walls and black duvetine which felt very theatrical. My friend I met at Imagineering, Matthew Glisson, is an amazing Mechanical Engineer. While we initially shot outside in greenery to compliment his hair, by far our favorite shots of were in places which felt industrial, and involved unique angles and materials. IMG_0999


3. Trust your models:

This applies to not just what clothes they feel most confident in (with headshots most of it won’t be in frame anyways!), but how they have fun. Lois recommended we blast a trashy 90s pop playlist, and it kept things relaxed, playful, and you know, ultra-professional. Plus, we sang romantic duets. Proof:


4. Play to their strengths:

Lois has stunning eyes. The glasses and shirt are analogous colors to her eyes, and the complimentary color of the brick wall was a recipe for success.


I think I might need to start carrying a duck with me to every shoot now!


Bonus: This shot is my absolute favorite, though!