If the age of a tree can be determined by the rings it contains within, consider a man's whiskers his own measuring stick. They come in all shapes and sizes. And the eventually will all turn grey at some point. Long or short, thick or thin, unkempt or cropped, the hair on a man's chin can say a lot about the time he has spent on this planet.
Growing a beard is not something that can be rushed. It's a slow process, staring at you in the mirror everyday. It is the epitome of the word "time". And time can do a lot of things to a man. It can build him memories, friendships, and loves. It can take those very things away.
The question I am inevitably asked when meeting someone is "I wish I could grow a beard like that. How do you do it?" To which I respond with the only truthful answer there is...time.
Help a Friend help a cause. 86 stunning beards, 18 written contributions, 1 beautiful book.
On the bright side, he is doing quite well. On the not so bright side, he doesn't have health insurance. This is my attempt to help: proceeds from the first pressing of this book will go to my friend. I understand that a book on beards won't cure cancer, but my hope is that it might at least alleviate some of the stress created by looming medical bills. He and I both thank you for your contribution.
Although it was a long fight, he is now, thankfully, 100% healthy and cancer free. A huge part of his success and the success of current leukemia survivors is due to the help of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. My family has actively taken on the cause, and for the past 10 years my mother has volunteered and worked for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to further their efforts. All proceeds after first presssing will go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
I worked on this book for over a year. It's my baby, and I love it. This book is self published and is not for profit. This book started, well, not as a book. When I completed the first ten beard portraits in April of 2011, I did not know what to do with them, but I knew they deserved more than a pithy blog or Flickr post. It was then that the idea of turning beard portraits into a book was born. Over 100 beard portraits later (unfortunately only 86 made the book) I am here trying to help. Help a friend and help a cause.
When I moved to West Chester, PA, I noticed that the beard culture was a bit bolder than other places I had been; it was a little uncharacteristic of an otherwise neat and tidy town. All the while, I was sharpening my portrait photography skills, and decided to focus my lens on all of these beards. From the first portrait, I knew the black and white format would fit the mood of the men who sported these gnarly beards.
I started photographing friends, which then grew into approaching strangers on the street. I was obsessed with beards, always on the lookout, wherever I went. So I built a tiny portable studio that was easy to travel with. Now, I could take portraits anywhere—houses, bars, my living room, backyards, and eventually I found myself at beard competitions. You can see my portable studio in some of the photos.
A lot of work went into this book, and I am really proud of it. But I plan to continue taking beard portraits. There is something about the men behind these beards that is so interesting, so intriguing. Some of their stories are featured in this book. Thank you for supporting this book, my friend, and our cause.