Sometimes you run across a personal project that makes you stand and applaud. That is how we felt when we ran across Las Vegas based photographer Greg Anderson’s recent work shooting portraits at the National Beard and Mustache Championships.

Why Personal Projects Matter | Greg Anderson

I originally saw the National Beard and Mustache Championships in the local news paper in Vegas, where I currently live. I had missed the 2012 Championships by one day and it was only a mile or two from my studio, so I was kicking myself in the ass for the missed opportunity. I tracked down the person responsible for organizing “The Championships” and he put me in touch with the producer for the event.


Over the next year I maintained contact with him and committed to shooting portraits at the event in exchange for letting them use some of the shots for various media outlets.

Of course, the 2013 Championships were in New Orleans, and being a personal project, I incurred all of the travel and production costs of the shoot.

But the images that came from it were well worth the time, effort and money I invested.

I’m planning on making a short picture book out of 20-25 shots and sending it out as a promo to ad agencies. I want to create something of more value, that’s timeless, well though-out and something that agencies are more apt to keep and show people, rather than throw away, like the 20 print promos they get daily.

The editing process is underway and the book will be published early next month. I’ll have it just before the holidays, so maybe I’ll send some to my existing clients as a gift and kill multiple birds with one stone.

And as a bonus, I’ve been asked to come back to the 2014 World Beard and Mustache Championships next year as the official photographer of the event.

How He Shot It

All of the lighting was strobe. I used two beauty dishes, one above the camera and one below. There were two gridded medium soft boxes used as edge light, a medium umbrella for the back ground vignette on slate grey seamless paper.


I shot all of the images on a Mamiya 645DF medium format camera with a Leaf Aptus digital back and a Schneider 80mm LS lens.

[rewind: Art of the Business Headshot]  

A Little ‘Stash Love

















Think you have what it takes? The 2014 World Beard and Moustache Championships will be held in less than a year in Portland, Ore.

Be sure to check out more of Greg’s work on his website and his Facebook.

Just For Fun: How to Shave Your Beard Like a Man

Until Next Time . . .

Stay Inspired ~ Jules

CREDITS: Photographs by Greg Anderson have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.