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Mel, by David Rann
The quest for ginger models
By Sarah Loat
Strawberry blonde, red head or auburn-haired? Photographer David Rann is in search of all those carrying the 'ginger gene' to document their beauty in pictures.
Danny, by David Rann
The ginger gene is in danger of extinction some scientists have argued. Just four per cent of the world's population carries the recessive red hair gene. Although extinction is unlikely, say other scientists, it is likely that gingernuts and flame haired beauties could become a rarity.
Black Country-based photographer David Rann is so enthralled by the increasingly rare beauty of a red head, that he wants to document as many shades of red haired people as possible, as part of his MA in Fine Art at Wolverhampton University.
Deborah, by David Rann
Capturing the red hair gene
"My wife has auburn hair, and my young daughter is also developing red hair which means I must carry the gene too" says David. "Having done some research it seems the melanocortin-1 receptor gene might die out within next 100 years."
Red hair is a recessive trait, so it takes both parents to carry a change - or mutation - of the melanocortin-1 receptor or MC1R gene to produce a redheaded child. All humans carry the MC1R gene, but modern redheads possess an altered version of it.
Because it's a recessive trait, red hair can easily skip a generation and reappear later if both parents, regardless of their own hair colour, carry the red hair gene.
Matt, by David Rann
"Much maligned colouration"
"It’s a much maligned colouration and I personally think its beautiful", says David "and I just want to celebrate some of its physical traits - the freckles, the lovely shades of hair. While this colour is still around in people - I want to photograph them!
It's not about the people so much as the actual physical traits - its a lot to do with the colour. I shoot people with a white background and wearing white clothes, so the only colour in the picture comes from hair colour and skin.
"I want the whole spectrum of red hair colour - everything from strawberry blonde to dark auburn. If they are recognised carriers of the gene I'd like to photograph them."
Kate, by David Rann
Willing red haired models are needed immediately up until September 2008, to be photographed in David's studios Hockley, Birmingham.
David has had lots of interest form females in the 20-30 year age bracket, and would particularly welcome interest from men and from women across a broader age range.
If you want to take part please contact David Rann via his website www.davidrann.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
last updated: 15/05/2008 at 17:14