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Big hairy deal: Twin Cities photojournalist's 'Magic Beard' video goes viral

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Even though Pioneer Press photojournalist Ben Garvin has been taking pictures for years, his latest snapshots -- all 2,457 of them -- may be his most-viewed ones to date, KARE 11 reports.

Garvin is the brainchild behind "Magic Beard," a viral video that follows the life and death of his very large beard.

In it, the beard shapes, shifts, is combed, sheds pencils and dollar bills, and even eats veggies. Eventually his beard gets shaved -- a request from Garvin's wife that set the whole video idea in motion in the first place.

Garvin tells KARE that because the beard was so thick and would stay in position when he manipulated it, he realized there was "comic potential" for a video. He filmed it over a period of six nights and edited it on his computer before uploading it to YouTube last week.

See Garvin's "Magic Beard" video below.

Garvin says that he shot the 2-minute video with a $5 iPhone app called Stop Motion Studio Pro. He set it atop an carefully-constructed tripod made of a bird house, Scotch tape and building blocks.

Since the clip was viewed 2.2 million times as of the KARE report, Garvin also stands to make some money from his labor of love. Noting how YouTube won't disclose earnings, KARE cited a Business Week report, where research found a video on the website earns $6.33 per 1,000 views.

If that is correct, Garvin stands to make at least $13,926 from "Magic Beard," if not more: As of Monday noon, the video has viewed more than 2.8 million times.

Garvin says some of the money he earns from the video will go into his four kids' college fund.

The video has benefited from some traffic on some high-profile websites like Gawker and Mashable -- where Garvin's story has been shared 3,700 times to date.

See KARE's report on Garvin below.

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