The Thursday Q&A with pet photographer Sue Bird
Each week we’ll bring you a Q&A with a style-setter in Ottawa. Here’s our first installment.
Award-winning photographer Sue Bird spent 10 years as a photojournalist before turning her lens to something closer to her heart.
“I’ve always wanted to make change and bring my love of animals to another level by giving them a voice through images,” Bird says of her transition from staff photographer at the Ottawa Sun to self-employed photographer.
With her images, she manages to turn even the most fearful of pets into stars. And she agreed to sit down and speak with Style intern Patricia LeBoeuf about everything from her favourite place to her proudest moment.
Ottawa Citizen Style: Who are your style icons?
Sue Bird: I love Sally Mann, she’s an incredible photographer. Style-wise, I draw from a lot of (people). I get all my style from everywhere. It’s hard to pinpoint one single person.
OCS: What’s on your bedside table?
SB: Right now, it’s a book on Steve Jobs, his biography by Walter Isaacson.
OCS: Best home accessory?
SB: My husband. He’s not an accessory but he’s the best thing (about home.)
OCS: Best recent fashion find?
SB: It’s Fluevog. I love (his) boots. They are really cool.
OCS: Who would you invite for dinner if you could choose anyone in the world?
SB: You know who would be really interesting, Lady Gaga. She would be really fun to have over for dinner.
OCS: What’s your earliest memory?
SB: Christmas at my grandparents’. I really love those days of going to Sutton, Quebec.
OCS: Biggest fashion faux-pas, when, where and how?
SB: Yesterday (Dec. 25). I’m not a fashionista at all. I think (other people thought it) was a faux-pas when I was wearing my Docs, my leggings and a plaid skirt with my hair half short and half long.
OCS: Proudest moment?
SB: When I had my (daughters), Abby and Emma. They are nine and six years old.
OCS: Favourite piece of furniture?
SB: This old, old antique rocker that I got from my uncle’s church after he passed away. It’s gaudy green, it has some rips in it, it creaks when it rocks and every morning I have my coffee in it.
OCS: Qualities you most admire in a person?
SB: Integrity, authenticity, determination, admiration and humbleness.
OCS: How would you like the world to remember you? What would your eulogist ideally say?
SB: Hopefully that I’ve done as much as I can in making somebody feel different about an animal.
OCS: Describe a perfect day off (it can be anywhere in the world.)
SB: I actually just had it. I love it when I just wear my PJs and I have my coffee and I just get to hang out all day with the family.
OCS: Favourite visual artist, living or dead.
SB: I don’t know, I’d say it’s Sally Mann right now.
OCS: Favourite local artist (if different from above, and doesn’t have to be a visual artist.)
SB: Andrew King.
OCS: Best book you’ve read in the past year.
SB: Skinny bitch. It’s pretty profound. One chapter had my crying in the bath the other day. It’s all about what you eat and it goes into what happens to animals.
OCS: Favourite food?
SB: I love chickpeas. I love them in falafels, I love them in salads. I love chickpeas.
OCS: Most-oft-played song on your iPod or MP3 player?
SB: I just bought it recently. It’s by Gotye and it’s called “Somebody that I Used to Know.”
OCS: Wine, beer or both?
SB: Neither actually.
OCS: Mac or PC?
SB: Mac! I’ve always been a Mac (user), I don’t understand PCs. They get to confusing. Macs are easier.
OCS: Fine dining or simple diners?
OCS: Best restaurant in Ottawa?
SB: Wellington Diner is pretty good.
OCS: Person, place or thing that makes you proudest/happiest that you live in Ottawa?
SB: I think there is a huge network of rescue groups that I’m really proud of. The rescue operations are always going on and they are really dedicated. They rescue all sorts of breeds and then we have the cat sanctuary on parliament hill. It’s a really strong part of Ottawa that I am proud of.
OCS: Fave blog or website?
OCS: Twitter or Facebook or both?
OCS: What’s your guilty pleasure?
SB: Dark chocolate
OC: Favourite place or thing.
SB: Actually at home. We’re either in skates or we’ll go outside. We go in our woods. We have a nice little path on our two-acre property, which is really fun.