Half as Bad Ass

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Published! In JPG Magazine Issue 23
Uploaded 17 Apr 2008 — 180 favorites
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© Ian Ramsrud
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Favorites 178
Comments 99
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

inspired by a man ray self portrait circa 1943 I believe.

It took me 6 months and change to grow out the beard as you see on the left.

it was quite an emotional experience shaving it off.

and at this present moment... I feel about half as bad ass as i use to feel i was.

give me a week and i might be feeling better about it.

part of a 10 part series of images for my final project titled "Who Am I?"
PUBLISHED! THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH! This means so much to me.


"When I did a project using self-portraits, I was
attempting to give myself a safe outlet to experiment
with new identities. I was in an interesting place in my
life during this time. I felt lost in the idea of identity—
who I was supposed to be and who I was being. This is
the last picture of that series and is inspired by a Man
Ray self-portrait taken in 1943. It is the closing image
because I believed that shaving off the beard signified
a return to my normal face and normal identity.
Growing the beard for 6 months distracted me from
looking myself in the face completely. When the day
came to remove it, the idea seemed very empowering.
But once I took that first swipe, I didn’t feel happy
or empowered; I almost felt like I was uncovering
problems I had ignored.
At the time of this project, I was the only guy within
a few miles who had a decent beard, so everyone
would stare at me and want to touch it. When I shaved,
it was as if I gave all that attention away, and I felt half
as badass. Luckily, a month or so later I realized that
the beard was actually holding me back and that I’m
just badass in general."

99 responses

  • Frederic Frognier

    Frederic Frognier (Deleted) gave props (18 Apr 2008):

    This is great!

  • Dan Fisher

    Dan Fisher gave props (9 May 2008):

    Nice one Ian

  • Jason Platt

    Jason Platt   said (16 May 2008):

    As a child viewing time magazine I read a story about a man who was up for murder. He plead insanity and appeared at trial with very long hair and beard only on half his head and face. This photo took me back to the story in a flash....

  • Cassandra Bould

    Cassandra Bould gave props (9 Jun 2008):


  • Shawn Koh

    Shawn Koh said (15 Jun 2008):

    love the idea. this is a good shot!

  • J. Harris Blacklist

    J. Harris Blacklist   gave props (17 Jun 2008):

    Hey...that is Freaking Funny!!! I'm in Holladay...we should get a jpg meetup group.

  • Jim Robertson

    Jim Robertson gave props (12 Aug 2008):

    Awesome! Shows dedication to the art. :-)

  • Joshua Velong

    Joshua Velong said (17 Aug 2008):

    I know how you feel...I just lost my beard of about 14 months...I guess if we grew it once, we can grow it again. Great image!

  • Michael Gossenauer

    Michael Gossenauer gave props (31 Aug 2008):

    Totally awesome!

  • Lynn H

    Lynn H (Deleted) gave props (10 Sep 2008):

    Haha! Fantastic!

  • Marek Janicek

    Marek Janicek said (25 Oct 2008):

    Awesome shot!

  • KPRJ

    KPRJ (Deleted) gave props (21 Mar 2009):


  • David Pender

    David Pender (Deleted) said (21 Apr 2009):

    hey man, great shot and i am sorry about your loss. there is such a special connection between a man and his beard. its a hard thing to describe to the beardless. the great thing about it is you can always grow it back. great transformation!

  • Mariah

    Mariah said (3 May 2009):

    This is different. I like it a lot.

  • Aaron Alexander

    Aaron Alexander gave props (7 May 2009):

    Nice portrait and commitment. Very commendable.

  • Brian Basi

    Brian Basi (Deleted) gave props (15 May 2009):

    This pic is pretty Bad Ass! Great dedication and drive for this photo!!!

  • patrick conaty

    patrick conaty gave props (20 May 2009):


  • Erika Pisu

    Erika Pisu gave props (22 Jul 2009):

    great great great!!!!! just love it

  • marc ling

    marc ling gave props (25 Jul 2009):

    phantastic ...

  • Camil Seisanu

    Camil Seisanu gave props (26 Jul 2009):

    AWESOME, with capitals ! :)

  • Rød Pitti

    Rød Pitti (Deleted) gave props (28 Jul 2009):

    Nice, I mean it. I don't dig portraits and shooting people but, I recognise this is an excellent labour, kudos.

  • Eric M

    Eric M gave props (24 Aug 2009):

    Now that takes dedication!

  • Desiree Adams

    Desiree Adams gave props (6 Sep 2009):

    Awesome image Brava!

  • Ethan Burnette

    Ethan Burnette said (9 Sep 2009):

    Beautiful work. Keep us updated on the remaining 9.

  • Bria Tigh

    Bria Tigh said (10 Sep 2009):

    wow amazing! You got my vote!

  • Danielle Tunstall

    Danielle Tunstall gave props (10 Sep 2009):

    well worth the wait, amzing photo. love the title!

  • Digital Incline

    Digital Incline   said (11 Sep 2009):

    You've got my vote!!! Love this soooo much!!

  • Quenby Sheree

    Quenby Sheree gave props (11 Sep 2009):

    Yes all the way!

  • Mike Tindle

    Mike Tindle gave props (11 Sep 2009):

    Perfect for transformation. Voted.

  • ashton gosnell

    ashton gosnell gave props (11 Sep 2009):

    you have most definitely got my vote!! i want to see this in the magazine.

  • Victor Rollins

    Victor Rollins (Deleted) gave props (11 Sep 2009):

    very nice. Really like your stuff man. good job. good luck!

  • Sweet Cheeks Willie™

    Sweet Cheeks Willie™ said (12 Sep 2009):

    this is just brilliant!

  • Erika Pisu

    Erika Pisu gave props (12 Sep 2009):

    came back to vote!

  • KPRJ

    KPRJ (Deleted) gave props (12 Sep 2009):

    voted now =) Good luck!

  • Photography Seven

    Photography Seven said (12 Sep 2009):


  • Desiree Adams

    Desiree Adams gave props (12 Sep 2009):

    I voted yes!

  • Shawn Koh

    Shawn Koh gave props (13 Sep 2009):

    got my vote!

  • Camil Seisanu

    Camil Seisanu gave props (13 Sep 2009):

    back to vote ! :) + + + + + + + + +

  • Ines Gamler

    Ines Gamler gave props (14 Sep 2009):


  • Scott Eagle

    Scott Eagle gave props (14 Sep 2009):

    absolutely, publish this dammit!

  • Belinda Grace

    Belinda Grace gave props (14 Sep 2009):

    Uniquely cool..........got my vote :)

  • Mandy T.

    Mandy T. gave props (15 Sep 2009):

    too good...

  • Christoph Benfey

    Christoph Benfey gave props (15 Sep 2009):

    This is the best portrait I've ever laid eyes on!

  • Colin Lima

    Colin Lima gave props (15 Sep 2009):

    Great picture, if you kept the half beard I would say double the bad ass!

  • Ian Ramsrud

    Ian Ramsrud said (15 Sep 2009):

    I did, in fact, keep it for a day.

  • María Irigoyen

    María Irigoyen gave props (16 Sep 2009):

    you are beautiful.

  • Guy with a camera

    Guy with a camera gave props (17 Sep 2009):

    Great photo and lit perfectly!!! Nice work!!

  • Chris Ortiz

    Chris Ortiz gave props (17 Sep 2009):

    Just one word to describe this. Amazing. Bravo.

  • NG

    NG gave props (18 Sep 2009):


  • Jan Hoffman

    Jan Hoffman gave props (19 Sep 2009):

    Yup -- YES - Love it!

  • Ginevra Radice Fossati

    Ginevra Radice Fossati gave props (19 Sep 2009):

    Who are you? You are a genuis!!!! ahah..love this shot! voted ;)

  • Diana Hofsommer

    Diana Hofsommer (Deleted) gave props (19 Sep 2009):

    Well done! Talk about "waiting for the shot"... wow.

  • Tak Iwasaki

    Tak Iwasaki said (19 Sep 2009):

    this is perfect for the theme. i'm sure we'll see this on the next issue!

  • Scott Hardy

    Scott Hardy (Deleted) gave props (20 Sep 2009):

    Just amazing!

  • silvia fib

    silvia fib said (21 Sep 2009):


  • efilandevol

    efilandevol (Deleted) gave props (21 Sep 2009):

    i love this self portrait - what a great execution! perfect for the theme. well done, my friend!

  • Sanne van de Berg

    Sanne van de Berg gave props (22 Sep 2009):

    Perfect for the theme, awesome shot! You got my vote :)

  • Katie Damien

    Katie Damien gave props (22 Sep 2009):

    Perfect title. This is an awesome shot, worth the wait to do it.

  • James Leocadi

    James Leocadi (Deleted) gave props (27 Sep 2009):

    love this

  • Ayelet

    Ayelet gave props (29 Sep 2009):

    Great Shot! things you do with emotions always turn out as the best things you do, the best shots you take!

  • niko niko

    niko niko gave props (30 Sep 2009):

    i dig. strangely cool.

  • Joseph Pickard

    Joseph Pickard gave props (1 Oct 2009):

    That is crazy. You really nailed the theme.

  • Cristina

    Cristina gave props (8 Oct 2009):

    well worth the 6 months =]

  • Leonardo Regnier

    Leonardo Regnier gave props (8 Oct 2009):

    GREAT portrait !!!!

  • R C

    R C said (14 Oct 2009):

    Reminds me of an old vintage shot until you see the piercing, Great take on theme and great shot!!!!

  • Jen C

    Jen C gave props (20 Oct 2009):

    Great shot. Well thought out. Voted!

  • Marco Martinez

    Marco Martinez gave props (20 Oct 2009):

    Excellent concept and portrait.

  • Jüri Vissak

    Jüri Vissak gave props (28 Oct 2009):

    Very creative! Well done. Got my vote.

  • René Damen

    René Damen   gave props (29 Oct 2009):

    1 word: great

  • Autumn Letters

    Autumn Letters (Deleted) gave props (29 Oct 2009):

    Wow...I really love this! Beautiful job.

  • Tracy Thomas

    Tracy Thomas gave props (8 Nov 2009):

    Excellent is the only word!

  • Cecil Brissette

    Cecil Brissette gave props (8 Nov 2009):

    nice image

  • Eman Bnt Abdulaziz

    Eman Bnt Abdulaziz gave props (15 Nov 2009):

    Wonderful ( voted ! )

  • vivienne lowe

    vivienne lowe said (18 Nov 2009):

    This is simply amazing :) it makes me smile

  • Angus McNitt

    Angus McNitt gave props (1 Dec 2009):

    Amazing shot! I feel the same way when I have to shave mine off. Great work!

  • beth braunstein

    beth braunstein said (2 Dec 2009):

    Really wonderful!

  • Sally Nelson

    Sally Nelson gave props (3 Dec 2009):

    Epic. Really, really awesome.

  • Ognjen Karabegović

    Ognjen Karabegović gave props (3 Dec 2009):

    Exlent photo.

  • Mary Ellen Hawkins

    Mary Ellen Hawkins gave props (3 Dec 2009):


  • Heaven Man

    Heaven Man gave props (4 Dec 2009):

    Excellent YES!

  • Isa Silva

    Isa Silva said (4 Dec 2009):

    stunning i love

  • Christy Tidwell

    Christy Tidwell gave props (6 Dec 2009):

    Fantastic concept and self-portrait.

  • michelle barboza

    michelle barboza (Deleted) said (8 Dec 2009):


    kudos on wearing that beard :D

  • Cale Best

    Cale Best gave props (12 Dec 2009):


  • heather morris

    heather morris said (14 Dec 2009):

    amazing shot love the detail in the face always works best in black and white

  • Muhammad Qurban

    Muhammad Qurban gave props (12 Jan 2010):

    what ashot!

  • Gypsymoon Photography

    Gypsymoon Photography gave props (1 Feb 2010):

    I can see why. What an awesome homage... intense.

  • Ope O

    Ope O gave props (4 Feb 2010):

    nice one

  • Dirk Wolthuis

    Dirk Wolthuis gave props (8 Feb 2010):


  • Yves Harnois

    Yves Harnois gave props (3 May 2010):

    Very creative image ! I like alot the concept and the composition !

  • Claire Hipko

    Claire Hipko gave props (22 Jun 2010):

    I absolutely love this photo.

  • Marco Martinez

    Marco Martinez gave props (25 Jun 2010):

    This is an excellent portrait. I'm glad I saw it a second time. You have great portraits. They are simply presented, though there are many layers of technique as well as meaning.

  • Apple Villalobos

    Apple Villalobos gave props (19 Aug 2010):

    this is so awesome!!!!

  • Rook Rook

    Rook Rook said (3 Sep 2010):

    awesome shot!

  • Charlotte Sears

    Charlotte Sears gave props (21 Sep 2010):

    Amazing shot, one of my favorites.

  • Roxana Brivent-Barnes

    Roxana Brivent-Barnes said (2 Nov 2010):


  • Adam Heath

    Adam Heath gave props (10 Nov 2010):

    haha wicked

  • L Hartley

    L Hartley gave props (11 Nov 2010):

    YOu're a total bad ass. I got a pic published in this same category, so congrats to us both.

  • Tom Jimenez

    Tom Jimenez gave props (24 Feb 2011):


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