The beard. Everything about it screams “model calendar.” Well, maybe not, but that didn’t bother Scott Hutcheson and friends, creators of the Northwest Arkansas-based First Annual Beard Calendar for 2014.
It all began back seven years before the beard calendar, when Hutcheson moved to St. Louis and took on photography. There, he had an abundance of models and supportive folks, he said. So, when he moved back to Northwest Arkansas last September, he was worried his art would fall by the wayside.
When two of his friends began “rockin’ gnarly beards,” the idea hit him. He would photograph not attractive models dressed to the nines, or firemen with their shirts off, or cute kittens (although he does have a kitten in a beard project currently ongoing), but bearded men in crazy scenarios.
He said he took note of all the obvious monthly themes: July would be patriotic, March would be March Madness, February would be a cupid scene, and so on. For the rest, all he had to do was put out the call, and take notice of some not-so-well-known holidays (think donuts and peanut butter and jelly).
The first public shout out came from Bailey on 104.9 the X, who brought some dudes, who brought some dudes. Then, the Fayetteville Flyer wrote an article. By time they started shooting, they had more submissions than they knew what to do with.
Luckily, they had some criteria. They wanted each beard to have been grown for at least over a month, none of those No Shave November types. (Mr. September’s beard has been growing for 18 years, although it’s reached it’s “finite” point — when the beard has reached it’s full length potential despite never being trimmed.)
“I got the idea probably around September and we started shooting in November. So we had to shoot all the photos in less than two months. Some was done at my house, some at my father-in-laws martial arts studio,” Hutcheson said.
The process wasn’t fancy, and neither were the models, but what came out of the process was some original photography in one hip calendar.
“Most of these guys never thought they could be considered a beard model. We went and delivered the calendar to people door to door who pre-ordered. We got tips from women for delivering to their door,” Hutcheson said. “It was cool.”
Initially, Hutcheson just wanted to break even, but with the success of the calendar he was able to pay each model a small stipend, pay off his expenses and donate a portion of the proceeds to the nonprofit ZeroCancer.org — that helps promote finding a cure for prostate cancer and provides assistance to those already suffering from the disease.
Hutcheson does family portraits and traditional photography in his spare time, but is taking the beard photos to new heights with prints soon to be available on their website, and already planning a beard calendar for 2015.
To learn more and purchase a calendar, visit beardcalendar.com or one of the local stores that carry it: The Mustache Goods and Wears in Fayetteville and Bentonville, Dr. Follicles Hair Garage on College, Nightbird Books on Dickson and Vintage Crush in Bentonville.