Photography

We interviewed the photographer who did THAT NSFW ginger calendar

London-based photographer Thomas Knights wants you to know that redheads are hot AF – and he’s not just talking about Ed Sheeran.

In his ongoing project, called Red Hot British Boys, Knights aims to change the way society sees gingers (the men especially). Specifically, he hopes to remove the stigma associated with their colour and make people see that they too are attractive.

So how does he plan to do that? By sending nudes. Well, sort of.

Knights’ calendar features models flaunting their ginger beauty. The funds that the calendar will raise will be donated to the Ben Cohen STANDUP Foundation – an anti-bullying organisation that particularly works with the LGBT community.

“In the UK and throughout the world, being ginger comes with many stigmas attached,” said Knights. “Many are bullied at school and for some, even later in life.

“As far as I can see, no one has focused (or noticed) the huge, polarised gap between the way our society perceives red headed women (often the ultimate woman – think Jessica Rabbit) and red headed males (often emasculated and de-sexualised in film and TV – no Hollywood heroes, heartthrobs – few leading men).”

We were fortunate enough to get a few minutes with Knights to talk more about the calendar.

What was the inspiration for the calendar?

“Ginger pubes have been given a bad rap. In the UK, people say they are gross and it’s the final putdown for someone who wants to shame a ginger person. I think it’s because people don’t actually know what they look like so we decided to put them at the front and centre of a campaign and show that they are sexy.”

The calendar is now on its fifth year. Creatively, what’s changed since the first issue? And how has the project changed you as a photographer?

“I’m very campaign-driven now and feel I have an eye for advertising. Everything we do has to ultimately work in product form so I’m always looking at the bigger picture.”

What’s a typical shooting day for the calendar like?

“So much fun. Loud music, good vibes, nakedness, and baby oil.”

Lastly, what’s your vision for the project moving forward?

“We are expanding the underwear range and will be making a real effort to grow that part of the brand. Next year we will be doing Red Hot American Boys which we think will be huge.”

To purchase the Red Hot British Boys Calendar 2018 (we know you want to), head over to their online shop here.