100 Beards, 100 Days - Design Bureau

100 Beards, 100 Days book cover

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100 Beards, 100 Days

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Leave it to the British to put a stylish twist on the month of Movember. Last week, Jonathan Daniel Pryce, the street style photographer behind the blog Another Garçon, celebrated the launch of his book 100 Beards, 100 Days. Pryce spent from July 1st through October 8th trekking across London and photographing beards of all kinds, selecting the best for print. The end result? 100 Beards, 100 Days, a sharp index of British facial hair. Intrigued, we asked him a few questions, and he took a few minutes off from his photography beat to talk to us about the project.

Design Bureau: You’ve also lived in Paris and Glasgow, so why choose London for this project? Did the timing just feel right, or do London’s men sport facial hair that’s more intriguing?

Jonathan Daniel Pryce: After living in Paris, I became particularly aware of facial hair, as nearly every man has some. When returning to the U.K., I realized more and more men had adopted this, so decided this summer was a good time to document it. The great thing about London is there is such a huge pool of people to chose from.

DB: Artistically speaking, what did you find most difficult about photographing men with facial hair? Most exciting?

JDP: Men are notoriously difficult to photograph because quite often they refuse on the street. But when I told the subjects the name of the project, “100 Beards, 100 Days,” it nearly always got a laugh, and then they'd say yes.

The most exciting part of the project was meeting all the new guys. I love talking to people about their story, and there were more than a few intriguing characters in the project. One of my biggest focus points was trying to capture personality in the photographs, and I feel like I achieved that with many.

DB: Outside of good fashion sense, did you notice any personality characteristics that the men share?

JDP: All of the men I photographed have a sparkle in their eye. There's just something about them—confidence, self-expression.

DB: Do you have any little-known stories related to 100 Beards? Please share.

JDP: Rob (day 91) shared a great story with me about his beard. He'd posted his photograph on Flickr, and an artist in America stumbled across it. He was so impressed with his beard that he asked Rob to participate in an art project to document beard growth. He paid Rob $3,000 to shave his beard and re-grow it, photographing the stages. I think that is a real testament to the cult of the beard.