Photographer Captures Over 500 Redheads in 11-Year Project

Portrait of Steven and Marlo for The Redhead Project. | Keith Barraclough Photographer Keith Barraclough has been shooting portraits of redheads for 11 years, capturing well over 500 ginger-haired people. Barraclough tells PetaPixel that The Redhead Project began when he had a chance encounter with a blue-eyed redhead while on a corporate photo shoot and in that same week read a National Geographic article about the pending extinction of redheads. “I personally only knew one redhead at the time. I was intrigued,” he explains. “Processing that redhead executive’s headshots from the corporate shoot, I was struck by his presence. “I got to thinking, who is this person? What’s his personality and what makes him special aside from his red hair? And the idea for this collaborative project that tells redheads’ unique stories was born.”
Barraclough, who is not a redhead nor the father of any redhead children, wanted to peel back the layers of people who have one common trait that is highly distinguishable. “I had no idea at the onset of this project that this concept would resonate so personally with redheads,” he says. “Many have shared over the project’s 11 years that they love that the project is not actually about the hair itself but about the unique human behind the facade.” Portrait of Gemma for The Redhead Project To tell their story, Barraclough plans each portrait along with his wife Kate Lorenz who is co-creator and producer. “Each redhead answers a few initial questions designed to provide a springboard for creative and fun collaboration and to help acquaint us: a brief snapshot description of who they are, why they’re interested, what they like about the images from the project, reflect upon what personality traits and interests define them,” says the photographer.
Portrait of Molly for The Redhead Project After the subjects provide a backstory, the collaboration results in five ideas to take into Barraclough’s Manhattan studio. “On occasion, we announce casting calls for The Redhead Project in other cities, piggybacking on client or personal travel in the U.S.” he explains. “In-person photo shoots can be very elaborate depending upon outfit changes, makeup, and props involved. The average shoot lasts up to three hours or more and includes five concepts: five different stories about each redhead.” Barraclough also does remote, virtual photo shoots by utilizing the CLOS app allowing him to photograph redheads anywhere in the world. More of Barraclough’s work can be found on his website and Instagram. A Facebook page for The Redhead Project can be found here.
Image credits: Photographs by Keith Barraclough

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