Brian Dowling has spent past three years photographing redheads around the world for his book Redhead Beauty. The book was successfully funded through a Kickstarter campaign.
"It started as a fun Instagram project. I was working as an entertainment photographer in L.A. at the time, and I would post photos of the redheads I saw on the red carpet or at parties," Brian told BuzzFeed. "It eventually turned into me photographing Instagram followers when I was traveling Europe. At one point I posted I would be in Stuttgart, Germany and six of my followers wrote me. I decided to just focus on non-celebs and on making a portrait book from as many countries as my bank account would allow."
So, why redheads?
"Because redheads are unique and awesome. Also, as a photographer I think they photograph beautifully. My grandparents are also Irish. So, maybe that has something to do with it as well."
And while he was always fascinated by redheads, Brian quickly learned that not everyone felt the same way.
"I learned that South Park ruined a lot of childhoods. I started asking people if they were bullied for being redheads, and even across Europe, many people brought up that infamous episode. On a positive note, I learned that people really appreciated what I was doing and that having red hair makes you a member of this elite club."
He's not expecting to change the world with this photo book, he just wants to show people redheads are beautiful too.
"I want people to know I am not expecting to change the world nor can one man photograph every type of redhead in the world. It was just a fun project and I just want my photos to make someone's day a little bit brighter. I want non-redheads to realize that most of the women in my project were bullied when they were growing up. I want the redheads out there to be strong and don't let bullies change their viewpoint of the world."
Despite trolls and redhead bullies, he's thrilled with how people have responded to his project.
"I would love to have an exhibit when the time is right. I'm still a bit in shock at the amount of good feedback from my Kickstarter campaign, but I still have that underlying fear that nobody would buy my prints."
He plans to expand the series and travel to many other places in search of diversity.
"This was a small self-funded project and I would like to keep expanding on it. I live in Germany and for the most part, I just traveled nearby. Hopefully with the proper funding, I can take this project to more diverse places like Mexico, Brazil, Israel, Turkey, and Lebanon. I'd also think it'd be fun to go on a road trip across America."