I May Be Turning Into A Black And White Portrait Guy – Beard Photography Part 2

Drew meets Drew

So far I have been really pleased with how my beard / facial hair series has been going. To be honest, it’s more about character and personality than the facial hair alone. I mean just look at these faces! The look in their eyes. I have created my own workflow with my Nik Software plugins (Viveza 2 and Silver Efex Pro 2 primarily) to create these fantastic contrasty and textured black and white portraits. Doesn’t hurt that I light these portraits for the post production process. I still plan on doing a screen capture video tutorial of my process. Just keep an eye on the blog (as I always say)!

My assistant Amanda has been doing a great job helping me recruit some interesting and cool dudes for the series. Yesterday I captured the portraits of 6 more men, spending about 10-20 minutes with each subject, most of whom have never been professionally photographed. Everyone was an excellent sport, especially Tom, who we poured cold water on his head.

Many have asked how I have lit these portraits. I included a set shot taken by my friend Drew Xeron of my lighting setup. All photos were taken with a Canon 5D Mark 2 and the 100mm 2.8L Macro set to 1/160 and f/11. Also, if you’re wondering, I am shooting this setup at Union 206 studios in Alexandria, Virginia.

Would love to hear your thoughts. Also, have some facial hair and want to be in this portrait series? Just comment on the post and my team will get back to  you as soon as we are able.

A sneak preview of my lighting setup. 5 lights and no ring flash as you can see.

(More photos after the break)

There's even a girl beard!

Test portrait of myself. I sat in and Drew Xeron snapped the photo with the help of Amanda. Why so serious?

12 Responses to “I May Be Turning Into A Black And White Portrait Guy – Beard Photography Part 2”

  1. Kea says:

    Love this! I am trying to get my friend to grow his beard out. I think he would be great for this plus we have to get you some “men of color” on here! ;-)

  2. Drew says:

    Samy K from hot 99.5′s the kane show wants in.. He has a beard already.

  3. Erik Motta says:

    Great series! I love black and white portraits.

  4. [...] you were wondering, here is an 8-minute screen capture video of my post-production process for my new beard portrait series. See how I get that great extra texture and contrast in photoshop. I will be doing more tutorials [...]

  5. Ian says:

    Love these! your work in Silver Efx kicks it right over the edge! sorry but Im gonna rip this setup off! :-)

  6. Jim says:

    Pam Terry linked me to this series… this is great! I’ve got a beard, and I’d definitely be interested in being part of the next series… just get in touch with me and we’ll talk. Great photos.

  7. Tyler says:

    A mutual friend suggested I contact you. Something about character and facial hair. Excellent work.

  8. Love these faces – you chose your characters well! I’m totally in love with b/w to begin with, and you definitely demonstrate how it be so much more captivating than color. Watched your video and enjoyed your entire “beard” series – well done!

  9. Adam Foote says:

    I would love to be apart of this series, let me know what I can do to help it grow. This is awesome.

  10. Toni says:

    I love this technique, in fact im trying something like this for my college portfolio :) got my bro to grow his beard ;) hehe
    Nice work! Toni

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