PICS: Picture perfect for redheads as Crosshaven festival begins

Redheads will this weekend have the opportunity to have their portrait taken while supporting a good cause at one of the country’s more unusual festivals.

Professional photographer Jörg Köster will take portrait photos of all eligible redheads at this weekend’s Redhead Convention in Cork. While it is free for redheads to have their picture taken, proceeds from prints at Jörg’s photobooth will go to the Irish Cancer Society.

The German native, who has been based in Cork since 1990, has been developing a portfolio of redhead portraits towards an exhibition and possible book, and expects to have boosted his body of work to some 1,000 portraits by the time his photobooth closes at the end of this weekend’s festival.

A fashion and food photographer by profession, Köster developed an interest in redheaded subjects after shooting Irish clothing products for German catalogues. Having started his redhead portfolio, a friend alerted him to the Crosshaven festival.

“I got in touch with the promoters and it was an added attraction for them, so I’ve been there since 2011,” said Köster.

“It works for both of us. We sell prints, and proceeds go to the Irish Cancer Society. It allows me to do sunlit photoshoots with 200 to 300 redheads in two or three days, whereas it would take me decades to get 1,000 pictures like that in natural light otherwise,” he said.

The brainchild of siblings Joleen and Denis Cronin, the Redhead Convention is in its sixth year in Crosshaven and will today feature a Kids Zone, Redhead Cinema, and Foxygen — a dedicated redhead music festival.

Among the redhead performers are Ginger Nutz, a trad band made up entirely of natural redheads from the West of Ireland; ginger-fronted West Cork band The Baby Cheeses, and the Crosshaven Ukuladies.

The red-headline act for the weekend is Irish jazz and blues singer Mary Coughlan.

Jacky Colliss Harvey, author of Red: A Natural History of the Redhead, will be signing copies of her book and the afternoon will see the coronation of the King and Queen of the Redheads.

Meanwhile, a panel discussion with successful redheads in business will hear contributions from Tristan Rogers, publisher of international redhead art magazine MC1R, and Emma Kelly, a blogger behind the campaign to include ginger emojis in Apple’s iPhone.

The Irish Cancer Society is also set to receive 20% of ticket fees, and other fund-raising activities, such as an outdoor yoga session, will provide donations to the national charity for cancer care, research, and support in Ireland.

Organisers say red hair is the rarest of hair colours and accounts for just 0.6% of the global population. Ireland has the second highest per capita population of redheads at 10%, next only to Scotland at 13%.


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