Panda Head Blog was founded in 2006 as DC's ~ f i r s t ~ street style blog. I was huge into The Sartorialist and FaceHunter and Stockholm Style; creative DC had v e r y little in the way of internet presence; I reached around for what I had (which was a 7.2 megapixel point + shoot and a free .blogspot.com account) and made it happen. Featuring street style photography, style-centric interviews with local retailers + touring bands + DC residents, Panda Head (named for the baby-panda-pandemonium DC falls under every few years) had coconuts readership in relation to the quality of the imagery + writing I was capable of at the time, for which I'm eternally grateful – it was impetus for me to keep going + to get better.
In 2008 I was finito with the format, and Panda Head morphed into Panda Head Magazine. In retrospect it was an art mag; at the time it was a place to feature work + people from the DC creative community in a way that felt more official and real. I wasn't fully integrated into/in the know about the art + gallery scene; I was friends-with-the-music-crowd but not of it; etc, etc for all the different little factions of creative DC (and generally just blessed to have met a bunch of people who were putting out work and creating things of which I was more or less in awe), and that turned out to be an advantageous perspective. When everyone is fascinating but you don't fully understand their context, it allows you to ask a lot of questions and finagle a bunch of puzzle pieces together that maybe initially had different stripes and patterns, but ultimately just belonged in a much larger box. In collaboration with a few friends (and in particular designer Erik Loften, artist Nilay Lawson, and stylist Kate Greene), Panda Head Magazine came together for a weird and eclectic six issues between 2008 - 2012.
In the meantime (and in the lulls between magazine releases), the field that was Panda Head Blog grew fallow. I flirted with Tumblr + wrote for other people's sites; PHB was a repository for links and occasional inspiration round-ups until the tail end of 2011, when I quit my job to pursue....being me? It's a long story. But Panda Head Blog was a way to tell that story, and so a site that started as evidence that DC had as much style and creativity as anywhere else became a site that was evidence of creative lifestyle – here – and told through my own specific lens. I won't drag you through those archives but suffice to say I bought a DSLR, I documented every little thing, and eventually, somewhere between five and ten years of having navigated and lived + breathed the internet: it clicked. I GOT it. I knew how to speak it and I knew how to make things look GOOD there, and then Instagram struck and it turned out, by extension, that I really knew how to speak that language, and all of this started adding up to an actual and very real career. Because in 2013/2014 social media marketing + creating a visible brand + voice was all of a sudden something everyone needed, whether they were emerging or established; I'd spent like seven years (at times not so much but eventually very) skillfully doing that for myself, and so when the timing aligned and the opportunities began to come, I was as sharp and as ready as I could have been, and now it is 2017 and I can't imagine where I would be if I hadn't had the opportunity to document my life and interests – and in particular Washington, DC's creative community, creative economy, its local business, and everything in between.
So thank you, Panda Head Blog, for all you have been and all that you have done for me, and while I no longer have time to regularly take advantage of your longform capabilities; while I never truly or happily embraced the title of "blogger;" while I have rerouted my personal and professional life-documentation to various other parts of this site and to social media at large; while my passion projects now proudly wear little hats with an A Creative DC logo embroidered on the front: I know that you're here when I need you. And truly, this whole little ramble is mostly and completely to say thank you, so much, to those of you who found yourself here from time to time. It's not R.I.P. but it sure does feel nice to have this at the top of the pile (rather than a dustily-dated post from the last time I had a spare moment to string a photo essay together).
I'm as grateful for you as I am for the internet, for wifi, and for day-three hair x dry shampoo. And that, as I think you might know, is a whole very lot.
daily life as i see it, make it, etc, etc: IG/@pandaheadmorgan
a collage/gallery of current photography and inspirations: pandaheadmorgan,com/currently
G O O D S: pandaheadmorgan.com/mind-mall
things to read: facebook.com/pandaheadmorgan
quotable quotes: Tw/@pandaheadmorgan