Celebrated photographer Paul Alsop says his latest photographic series will marry his creative pursuits with his professional responsibilities.
The 35-year-old Papmoa Pines Medical Centre doctor is producing a portraiture series of bearded people for the Decembeard campaign, which raises awareness for Bowel Cancer New Zealand.
“For me it’s a perfect marriage of subject material, tying in with my day job as a doctor and making people more aware of their bodies and health issues,” he explains.
“I’ll be looking for subjects over the next 12 months with the plan of possibly producing an exhibition to mark this year’s Decembeard, and another in 12 months’ time for the 2016 campaign.”
Paul creates amazing photographs using an antique process called ‘wet plate collodion’ which was pioneered back in 1851.
For this series he’ll work closely with Papamoa’s Brett Morrison, who lost his wife to bowel cancer in May is the face of Decembeard in New Zealand.
“I’ve always wanted to do a series involving beards because the final image looks awesome. So when I learned of Brett’s story and his efforts thus far I just had to get in contact with him.”
Since putting out a call on Facebookin December he’s been inundated with responses and says his inbox is filled with selfies of blokes with beards.
“It’s a tad strange,” he says with a laugh. “I’ve had tons of interest, both locally and nationally, and the guys I’ve spoken to all have reasons for their beards, it’s quite personal to these blokes.
“There was a guy in Wellington whose mum died of bowel cancer. I told him it was a fair hike to come up here, but he just said he was desperate to be involved and that he’d do anything.”