MC1R - Natural Red Hair, 2005 - 2008
       
     
 Manon, Doorwerth, the Netherlands
       
     
 Stefan, Harderwijk, the Netherlands
       
     
 Lotte, Lent, the Netherlands
       
     
 Huub, Arnhem, the Netherlands
       
     
 Ilse and Ruth, Arnhem, the Netherlands
       
     
 Jolanda, Hoek van Holland, the Netherlands
       
     
 Hans, Kootwijk, the Netherlands
       
     
 Tomas and Emma, Ooij, the Netherlands
       
     
 Vibeke, Abby, Josefien and Kalle, Bloemendaal, the Netherlands
       
     
 Deef, Westervoort, the Netherlands
       
     
 Niek and Freek, Geertruidenberg, the Netherlands
       
     
 Valerie, Arnhem, the Netherlands
       
     
MC1R - Natural Red Hair, 2005 - 2008
       
     
MC1R - Natural Red Hair, 2005 - 2008

150 redheads photographed throughout the Netherlands

As every first-year art student knows, red and green are complementary colours and combining them produces huge optical impact. Put a red dot on a green plane and something special happens: the image starts to move and vibrate.

In 2004, Hanne van der Woude eyed the landscape around Nijmegen (a city in the east of the Netherlands, near the German border) with this knowledge in mind. She stood in the floodplain beside the River Waal and thought how she could make the green washlands look even greener. Her mind turned to redheads.

It was the start of a quest to find models with red hair. To begin with, it wasn’t easy. She started to hang around outside primary schools and go up to people in the street; the search gradually turned into obsession.

After reading in an English newspaper that people with naturally red hair are a vanishing breed, Van der Woude got the idea of photographing as many of them as possible and producing a book of the photographs.

Unlike the photographs in earlier books on this subject, such as the famous Redheads by the American photographer Joel Meyerowitz (1991) and a book with the same title by German photographer Uwe Ditz (2000), Van der Woude’s pictures are not simply straightforward portraits of people – often children – with red hair and pale, freckled skin; Hanne van der Woude remains true to her second love: the Dutch landscape.

She adopts a narrative, almost cinematic style that is very different from the ‘straight photography’ of documentary photographers. Each photo-shoot is carefully planned and prepared. Van der Woude travels far and wide in search of the right setting. And during the shoot she uses artificial lighting to bring out “the flamboyant qualities of redheads”, as Joel Meyerowitz puts it in his book.

—Wim van Sinderen

 Manon, Doorwerth, the Netherlands
       
     

Manon, Doorwerth, the Netherlands

 Stefan, Harderwijk, the Netherlands
       
     

Stefan, Harderwijk, the Netherlands

 Lotte, Lent, the Netherlands
       
     

Lotte, Lent, the Netherlands

 Huub, Arnhem, the Netherlands
       
     

Huub, Arnhem, the Netherlands

 Ilse and Ruth, Arnhem, the Netherlands
       
     

Ilse and Ruth, Arnhem, the Netherlands

 Jolanda, Hoek van Holland, the Netherlands
       
     

Jolanda, Hoek van Holland, the Netherlands

 Hans, Kootwijk, the Netherlands
       
     

Hans, Kootwijk, the Netherlands

 Tomas and Emma, Ooij, the Netherlands
       
     

Tomas and Emma, Ooij, the Netherlands

 Vibeke, Abby, Josefien and Kalle, Bloemendaal, the Netherlands
       
     

Vibeke, Abby, Josefien and Kalle, Bloemendaal, the Netherlands

 Deef, Westervoort, the Netherlands
       
     

Deef, Westervoort, the Netherlands

 Niek and Freek, Geertruidenberg, the Netherlands
       
     

Niek and Freek, Geertruidenberg, the Netherlands

 Valerie, Arnhem, the Netherlands
       
     

Valerie, Arnhem, the Netherlands