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Posts from the ‘Culture’ Category

What to do about a bad profile photo

Of course you’d get a great portrait if you could afford one. This post is not for you ;)

Nor is this post for those who think they’re too unattractive and <sifting through one bad photo after another> “this one isn’t too bad”. All those in this group need is a good photographer + a good makeup artist.

This post is not for those who say “I don’t have time for that”. You need to read more about PR. Ooops. Sorry. You don’t have time for that ;)

This post is for those who can’t afford to get one just now. And OK, those who say “I’ll do it when I have the time”. I’m on the fence about you.

So the first thing to do is delete your current profile photo. An unprofessional look is worse than none at all.

Better no profile than a foolish one...

This is awesome if you’re in comedy….

Not that much better, you say? I disagree. Potential clients and collaborators can see your achievements, skill set and ambition without distraction. It looks clean and it means business:


But the creative facebook pic above made me wonder if there was more you might do while waiting for the perfect fit and the cash to match. Here, for your amusement, are just a few. By all means feel free to copy and use….

_linkedIn_awesomekeep calm_linkedIn_profile_linkedIn_warrior

Here are the images I used. Feel free to use them….


Portrait Wars: Ford Pulls Even With Tory

Last week, ran an article and a fun contest called “Think Palin’s A Babe? That’s Probably Because You Voted For Her”. The premise, based on research done at Cornell, SUNY Binghamton and the University of Minnesota, is that people find politicians of their political stripe better looking than the competition.

But the reverse is also true: Campaigners work hard on the face of the candidates to project exactly the right kind of political message to the undecided voter. And the weapon of choice? Portrait photography.

Doug Ford portrait, Doug Ford, Toronto election, portraits, political portraits

lklkDoug Ford’s new portrait projected the answer to one pressing question: Is he clean?

Doug Ford hit a grand slam last month with a portrait that looked fresh, clean and friendly. And slowly but surely he’s been gaining ground on the front-runner. Of course, your response to the portrait depends on your politics. Per the vocative article, I’m betting that Anti-Forders see nothing but plastic photoshopping and a pasted smile.

And those Anti-Forders have been working equally hard to brand him a liar and a fake. The weapon of choice? The candid photograph.

doug_ford_and_hidden_vodka_on_cnn, CNN, Doug Ford, Toronto election, portraits, political portraits

lklkA screen grab of a CNN interview with Doug Ford showed a hidden vodka bottle

The screen grab above contrasted Doug’s squeaky message as a teetotaler with a stash of vodka no one thought to hide. How widely this photo spreads will have implications for the man whose main strengths and weaknesses are his similarities and likenesses to his brother Rob.

As for the front-runner, here’s John Tory’s official portrait: Casual, approachable, clean and sober. The projected image? Effective, Anti-Ford & Pro Biz.

Tory portrait

lklklklklkJohn Tory – dashing, approachable and maybe a bit too “to the manor born”…

On the Candid front, Tory’s had some big scores too. This moment of him walking with gay supporters really helped spread his appeal into the middle of the political spectrum. And he’s not just walking with these people. That wouldn’t have had the desired effect. He’s touching them. He’s smaller than the man on his right. This candid, which may well have been set up, comes across as convincing documentary evidence that John is one with this community.


lklklklklkThe LGBT community shows its support for Tory in this candid-looking shot

As for Olivia, how far it seems from those heady days in March when the National Post had her charging into City Hall between a passel of competing right wingers.

5 candidates

lklThe Post had all but declared Olivia Chow the winner in March. How things changed…

And remember how March started? With the guy in the upper right corner making a fool of himself on Jimmy Kimmel. What was his name?

Election header

Don’t forget to vote!Don’t forget Don’t forget to vote!

AWE&thenSOME is the name of my company, promise and brand

 To see my portraits, click here


Richard Sherman’s Sin

I don’t write about football, athletes or race relations, so bear with me. This story really is about art and theatre, where I’ve spent most of my career.

Richard Sherman’s post-game rant with Erin Andrews on Fox Sports last Sunday has caused a stir well beyond the sports world. Twitter’s been electric with charges of thuggery and racism ever since. You see, Sherman came up with the last minute play that put his team into the Super Bowl next Sunday. It was a magnificent defensive gem. But when he was asked to take the audience through the winning play, he exploded in anger at the man he beat.

Some thought that made him a thug. His defenders crawled all over themselves to reveal the hard-working, community-building philanthropist that Sherman seems to be. Isaac Saul said, in The Huffington Post, that “This is a guy who represents one of the best kinds of sports stories there is in the world: the rise from the bottom.” But the story isn’t about that. The story is about the role football plays in the drama we call The American Dream, and the image of a winner in that dream.


Football is America’s defining drama. As David Mamet, one of America’s greatest playwrights, said (and I paraphrase because I can’t recall which book it’s in) ‘The drama is about the lie – You know it’s over when the truth comes out’. And the truth last Sunday was that Sherman’s Seattle Seahawks were the best team in the NFC.

It’s not just that he looked like a braggart and a sore winner. There’s a crucial myth beneath the drama of the American gladiatorial, one of central importance to the American psyche. The myth is that winning makes you happy. And backing a winner makes you happy too.

You don't have to play to win one any more: Americans can buy their own Superbowl ring!

You can now buy your own Superbowl ring

The post-game interview is the drama’s epilogue. And Richard Sherman came on, still fuming about something that happened in the heat of battle. Winning is supposed to lay waste to all our sadness, it’s supposed to nuke all our negatives. Americans were waiting to have their central myth upheld but instead found it undermined. And they got really, really confused. How can a fan be happy if his gladiator is not?

Neither a sinner nor saint, Richard Sherman is a bad actor. And nothing in America can possibly be worse than that.

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 12.15.55 PM

Madonna knew exactly what to do last year at the SuperBowl half-time show. It was about her and yet it was bigger than her, and she knew it.

My favourite comment on that YouTube video came from one Darius Bowie who wrote “I just a watched a few parodies to this video and this one [the original] is the funniest” (sic). I have to agree.


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