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An App for That

Get bearded: New iPhone app puts the world’s greatest beards in the palm of your hand

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austin photo: news_arden_beard_app_nov 2012
Courtesy of BEARD: The Book: The App
austin photo: news_arden_beard_app_nov 2012
Courtesy of Matthew Rainwaters
austin photo: news_arden_beard_app_nov 2012
Courtesy of Matthew Rainwaters
austin photo: news_arden_beard_app_nov 2012
austin photo: news_arden_beard_app_nov 2012
austin photo: news_arden_beard_app_nov 2012

In the fall of 2011, Austin-based editorial photographer Matt Rainwaters released BEARD, a collection of the portraits he took at the World Beard and Moustache Championship in Anchorage, Alaska two years earlier.

BEARD: The Book features the bushiest, most stylish and weirdest beards from around the world. And now, the world’s greatest beards are available in the palm of your hand (read: your iPhone), thanks to BEARD: The Book: The App.

 "Lots of folks can't grow beards, so now they have a way to see what they would like if they could… mostly I thought it would be fun."  

With the BEARD app, released earlier this month, you can dress yourself, your friends, your kids — and whatever else you imagine — in featured beards from Rainwaters’ collection.

“I decided to do the app as a way for people to interact with the book and test their faces out with world championship facial hair,” Rainwaters says.

“Lots of folks can't grow beards, so now they have a way to see what they would like if they could… mostly I thought it would be fun — and so far it's been great bearding my little baby girl and my wife."

The app is as simple and fast as it is fun. (Unlike the time and skill required for growing and grooming actual world-class facial hair.) “You download [the app] for free and get three bearded faces from the book with an option to unlock five more for a dollar,” Rainwaters explains.

Select the beard photo you want to use, line up the subject's face and take the photo. Once the photo is snapped, "use the sliders to match the skin tone and save it to your phone's library or post it directly to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram," Rainwaters says. "I recommend going to Instagram with the option to post to the rest of your social media from there."

To get started, go to the app store to download the app for free, then snap some bearded photos and get to posting. In December, you can look forward to unlocking Beard Pack 2, another set of five beards from Rainwaters' book, set to launch mid-month.

Matt Rainwaters' BEARD is available for purchase through Chronicle Books.

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