Men with serious beards are proud of it. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I get the feeling that it’s no accident and not merely the result of laziness. It’s their best and “manliest” accessory— one that takes some tender loving care. A contest in downtown Little Rock calls all men who are proud of their facial hair and would like to challenge the best in the business for some serious bragging rights.
In March, Little Rock, Ark.-based editorial and commercial photographer Rett Peek took to the streets to photograph this facey event, rounding up nearly 35 contestants in under an hour.
The contest was split between lifetime achievement and shave-in, with subcategories which included longest beard, best Santa Claus, best aging hipster, and best 35 and under. The main challenge for Rett was the rounding up of his subjects amidst the bearded chaos:
There were a few hundred people, not all contestants, in a fairly localized area. So it was very congested to say the least. We set up near the sign-in booth for the contest and Brandon, my assistant for the day, tried to herd everyone my way. I just had to find the right setup for the situation. I knew it was going to be quick, and I knew it was a bunch of bearded men, but I wasn’t quite sure what they would look like. So I had to light it in a manner that would be interesting, and also draw focus to their beards and faces.