It's a special kind of modelling assignment, open only to those with ginger hair.

Redheads from far and wide turned up to be snapped by award-winning photographer Bianca Duimel, as part of Tauranga's Escape! Arts Festival.

"All people are beautiful," said Duimel. "I have been photographing people for the last 30 years. I find redheads have a particularly aesthetic beauty about them, which I always love to capture."

Duimel has spent the last two years working on Red Matters, a project which aimed to break the stigma attached with being a redhead.

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"People are very impressed with red hair, they think it is very beautiful," she said. "But actually, redheads go through a lot of bullying - verbally, as well as physically."

"What I wanted to do is to start a discussion as to why we call these people these names."

And it was that bullying which inspired Duimel to take action.

"I think by doing a concentration of redheads, you are hopefully sending out a message to people."

The Matamata photgrapher has even released a book featuring New Zealanders with red and strawberry-blonde locks.

"What I wanted to do is to start a discussion as to why we call these people these names.

"They're like everybody else.

Some of the models to feature in the Matamata photographer's book. Photo / Local Focus
Some of the models to feature in the Matamata photographer's book. Photo / Local Focus

"There are still a lot of stigmas and old-fashioned ways of talking to people with red hair, which is over.

"We don't need to be doing that anymore."

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Some of today's flame-haired models would feature in her third book, which was in production.

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