David Choi is an Asian with a Beard

David Choi's Beard by Melly Lee (mellylee.com)My singer/songwriter pal, David Choi, decided that he wouldn’t shave and let his beard come out in full force until he finished recording his upcoming album. David kept his word and grew a Steve-Aoki-lumberjack beard thing on his face. We decided to do document the hefty beard before it was gone forever. The idea of the shoot was to simply improv ideas that made us laugh with the David’s beard being the primary focus.

To maintain the simplicity we shot against a lime green wall and set up lights at David’s house.


In total I used 4 light sources to light David:

  1. Medium Softbox as the keylight
  2. 22” White Beauty Dish mounted overhead for a slight edge
  3. One strobe for the background
  4. A silver bounce card to fill in the shadows

David Choi's Beard by Melly Lee (mellylee.com)

While we snapped a way David recounted stories and experiences he had while growing a full-blown beard. Apparently it’s rare (at least in Southern California) to see an Asian American with a beard. Personally I thought he could blend right in with the Silverlake community.

We ended up collecting all of David’s beard instances into a 25 point Buzzfeed article and included the images into the post, which actually did pretty well in regards to traffic. We ended up trending for a few days!

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and becoming the #1 Google search for “asian beard. ”

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It’s great to see such positive feedback from the images. David is consistently one of my favorite subjects to photograph. Each time we have a session together we maintain a unique, eccentric vibe that allows us to make portraits that say more than your typical musician shot. These images this set of images marks the first session in which I don’t destroy any of David’s guitars (See drowning David’s guitar and burning David’s guitar)though!

David Choi's Beard by Melly Lee (mellylee.com)

Equipment Used:

Nikon D800
Nikon 85/1.4 G
Pocketwizard Plus III Transceiver
Alienbee 800

David Choi's Beard by Melly Lee (mellylee.com)


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