Entertainment photographer Brian Dowling has photographed famous redheads like Julia Roberts, Julianne Moore, and Amy Adams, but his newest project focuses on the beauty of everyday female redheads. Dowling, an American photographer based in Berlin, spent three summers visiting 20 countries, where he shot portraits of more than 130 women with red hair.
His aim is to show the beauty and diversity in this rarest of hair colors. Just 2% of the population can claim this fiery hair color, which is caused by both parents having the recessive MC1R gene. Even with both parents carrying the gene, their offspring only have a 25% of being born with red hair.
Many associate red hair with Scotland and Ireland, with 13% and 10% of the world’s natural redheads respectively, but Dowling’s around the world jaunt proves they come from all nationalities. From dark auburn to golden copper, each woman proudly shows her locks, as well as other characteristics like the freckles and pale skin redheads are known for.
Dowling is pulling together his work into the art book, Redhead Beauty, which will be published after a successful Kickstarter campaign. The photographer notes that the photographs were shot without a makeup artist, special lighting, or excessive Photoshop. Dowling explains, “I wanted it to be obvious these photos are real reflections of the model and for people to end their stereotypes of redheads.”