From Malpelo red to Vincent Van Gogh, people with red hair have always been shrouded in mystery, charm and, above all, false myths. The New York photographer Keith Barraclough portrays them in a photographic project very particular, born in February 2013.
The project showcases Keith’s ability to authentically portray the personalities of subjects, sometimes simply through aspontaneous emotion. In fact, the advertising photographer founds his own creative process on the relationship that is established between photographer and subject. Portraits of personality beautiful, lively and extravagant, not to be missed.
“This project showed me that each of us has a story to tell and that everyone is photogenic, believe it or not! ” – said Keith.
We interviewed Keith to ask him more about his project.
What is the significance of the Redhead Project?
“When I started this project seven years ago, I wanted to make portraits of real people (not actors or models). This project is a tool through which I show my clients (advertising agencies, magazines) that I can make compelling portraits. Overall the project showcases my ability to authentically capture the personalities of red-haired people, sometimes simply through an emotion of the moment. Overall I create irresistible, beautiful, lively and extravagant portraits of personalities with which the viewer identifies. Since we started we have created a large community of red people (through social media) who love to see themselves as ordinary people and not just as a person with red hair. “
Do you think there is a form of discrimination against people with red hair, which can probably also be due to superstition? (In Italy someone often says that people with red hair are “the children of the devil”!)
“I think there is some discrimination, but much less than in the past. Terms like “red hair steals your soul” or “they have no soul”. Other myths: Redheads have fiery temples. And one of the strangest I’ve ever heard: the blood of a red-haired man creates gold paint. In some countries, the term “ginger” can be derogatory. Since there are not many red-haired people in the world (around 2%) they are made fun of, especially when they are very young. It all depends on the people who make fun of or ridicule those who don’t look like him, who is different. “
Do you have any similar projects you are working on?
“Not now. The Redhead Project keeps us very busy. Kate, my wife and business partner, runs the project. He responds to all the emails we receive from people in the US and around the world and organizes all the shots. It is turning into a full-time job. “
How do you choose people for your photos?
“We don’t advertise, so all people come to us through social media or personal referrals. Anyone who wants to participate must be “natural” red. They can be of any age or ethnicity. We want to photograph anyone interested in participating. They send us a snapshot with a description of their personalities and interests and an example of how they would like to be represented. We collaborate and compare ideas, planning together the aspect of the photo shoot. “
What do you mean with this project?
“This project has shown me that each of us has a story to tell and that everyone is photogenic, believe it or not. Having a red-haired person showing who they are through simple props reinforces them. They all want to be part of the project to show others that there is much more behind that “red hair”. They love looking at photos and that makes them proud of themselves. Photographers love having a project or series of shots to show to an advertiser or art director. The Redhead project has guaranteed me a portfolio that I can show to tons of clients. I love when they tell me “I know what I can hire you for”.
You can follow his social accounts on Facebook is Instagram.