The world got fascinated with the moustache. Many different types of moustaches—straight, curled, twisted… They are often used in graphical projects and function as a symbol. People even begun making bets on which next TV presenter will start growing it. In one word, the moustache is back in fashion.
Through that whole moustache movement, we completely forgot and neglected the beard. I’m personally a fan of both and wear it proudly. We of course don’t have to overdo—like in the recent Book of Beards—but it can be small, a bit pugnacious or even almost unnoticeable.
My today’s guest, Emil, has exactly that. A simple, narrow beard, accented lightly by his sideburns. This way he makes an ideal material for some quirky portraits.
During the session, I used a combination of two different set-ups that we switched between.
For the close-up, I decided to go with a single, on-axis light source. It was a silver, medium-sized reflective umbrella with a small strobe inside hanging on a boom just over my head. The backdrop was a two-ply gray vinyl that was rendered black without additional lights.
I lighted the other two headshots with 2 strobes. The main source was a 1,5 meter, white reflector that I shot through. Because small strobes give quite directional light, the light wasn’t even, so I added a white shoot-through umbrella to soften it more. I was standing just in front of the source, and my subject was only a meter away. This gave us a very soft, even look. Emil has a short, harsh beard and by using a soft light I wanted to make a delicate contrast between the two.
For the gray background, I used another small strobe with a green and blue gels stacked on each other. It created the exact color I was looking for.
What do you think about beards?
Beards are as popular as moustaches, especially here, in Norway. However, they somehow did not get as much attention as the moustache. Maybe it’s time to change that and give them some love.
Do you think the beard movement will come?