Shayne Woodsmith launched the project last month, after coming back from a long trip overseas.
“I think before I went travelling I didn’t appreciate Edmonton as much as I could have or should have. I spent most of my time in the same areas, and you know, just worked the daily grind,” he said.
“But now that I’m back…I see how wonderful it is, and how amazing the people are, and how everybody has a story to tell. And everybody wants to tell that story to a stranger sometimes.”
Luckily, Edmontonians seem to be a warm and friendly bunch. Most people Woodsmith approaches don’t mind being photographed or sharing a tidbit or two about themselves.
“I often just like to ask them how they are and then see where the conversation goes from there.”
Sometimes, he says, people share what they’re thinking about, a day they’d like to relive, or advice they’d give their younger self.
“I think we all have stories to tell, and maybe a lot of us understand our own lives through stories. It’s just a really natural thing,” he added.
Woodsmith’s next step includes bringing his camera to different neighbourhoods across the city, as well as photographing people at each of Edmonton’s LRT stations.
Being a published author, he also isn’t ruling out turning Faces of Edmonton into a book down the road. But for now, he just hopes his project makes people feel closer to their city and the people who call it home.
“That’s hopefully what I will accomplish…making everybody feel more connected to the city through the people that live here, the stories they tell.”
Another online outlet that’s “bringing the stories of Edmontonians to life” is Humans of Edmonton on Facebook.
© Shaw Media, 2014