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Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The 100th Day

When I started the '100 days, 100 beards' project, I had no idea the scale it would grow to. Not since my heady Les Garçons de Glasgow days have I had such a huge response, with literally thousands of emails, Tweets and Facebook messages commenting on the project. It's been really flattering to have such praise and I've enjoyed photographing the variety of beards London has to offer.

In total, I've photographed about 135 people for the project but for a number of reasons (bad lighting, awkward location, etc) I couldn't use all the photos. I need thank all the bearded men who agreed to be photographed - both on the blog and unpublished. Each guy I stopped had an interesting story to share and from the beginning it became clear that this was as much about the subject and his story as it was his beard. About 30 days in, I stopped a bearded gentleman who nearly had a heart attack when I told him about the project. He'd already discovered it and had become obsessed with my daily document ever since. It turns out I made his day, but really, he made mine.

The best compliments have been the people telling me that I captured something special for them. Whether it was showing a side of their personality or taking a photo they found flattering ("I usually hate photos of myself but this is great!", was a common response). I worked hard to capture something not always possible with street style: a touch of humanity. However, nothing will beat the feedback from my 21st beard, John on Evelyn Street, who told me that his terminally ill mother smiled for the first time in months after seeing my photograph of her son in uniform.

Over the next few weeks, I'm preparing for the 100 Beards book launch! A limited run of hard-back photo books, the project will be immortalised in print format from November. Inside I'll be publishing each days photo, as well as outtakes and the men who didn't make it on the blog. As I said, the story was as important as the image so included in the book will be anecdotes and quotes on the culture of the beard. To see the full range of photos got to 100beards.tumblr.com/archive, and don't forget to keep checking for exclusive updates on the 100 Beards book and London launch party.

The big questions now...what's next? My response to most: 100 days of sleep!

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