The Red Rule of Photography

Hard to believe perhaps but the author of Red Is Best — who thinks she knows a few things about taking pictures — learned only just last spring that there is a “Red Rule” of photography, which is quite simply:

If you see red, photograph it.

Looking at my Instagram posts, I was surprised how few contained red before I started a “Capture Your 365” challenge during “Red” week. Was there really so little red in my world? Or did I just need to start being more observant? (Posts since “Red” week would suggest I haven’t yet!)

I forgot about Instagram “squaring up” photos when I posted this one (my favourite for the week) in response to Red: Multiples. I’m still posting my “CY365” photos on Instagram. I hope you’ll check them out and follow me there!

Red is Best

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Kathy Stinson is the author of the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin. Her wide range of titles includes picture books, non-fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction, horror, biography, series books, and short stories. She has met with her readers in every province and territory of Canada, in the United States, Britain, Liberia, and Korea. She lives in a small town in Ontario.

Kathy Stinson


  1. Elly Daniels on September 25, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    ♥️ Hope the song version of Red is Best gets to have an audience one day!

    • Kathy on September 25, 2019 at 7:03 pm

      Sounds like fun, Elly. 🙂

  2. marty.linton on September 25, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    Hey! Hi! I’m here at the cottage with several maple trees showing red, altho’ most are that glowing orange or yellow. And me without a camera or working cell phone. I was taught how to take pictures with it this summer – Katie and sister Nancy convinced me not to be so afraid of the thing!
    Your red wall and towel (?) make a stunning picture. I’m finding the cell doesn’t take really good pics – washed out colour outside. Love to you (and all my best to Peter…he he). Marty

    • Kathy on September 25, 2019 at 7:13 pm

      Definitely do not be afraid, Marty — especially now with digital and no need to worry about having “wasted” film on a disappointing photo.
      I don’t know what kind of cell phone you have but there may well be a way to avoid washed out colour.
      With or without camera in hand, be sure to enjoy those lovely fall colours!

  3. wendy mason on September 25, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    Hi Kathy, Well you know I am a huge fan of your work. It’s Wendy here from Indigo/Yorkdale. I don’t have Twitter and whatever else I need to follow your posts but if I can still get them through this email that is great. Thanks so much. By the way, I just put in an order for my department for more copies of the incredulous Red Is Best. Always Happy Readings, Wendy ———- Original Message ———-

  4. Kathy on September 25, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    Wendy, writers like me love booksellers like you. I’m so glad you’re getting my posts by email. Thank you, as always, for your interest and support!

  5. Janet Barclay on July 10, 2020 at 9:18 am

    I’ve been feeling a little uninspired lately, photographically speaking. I’ll have to keep this tip in mind, because I know how much excitement red can add to a scene.

  6. Kathy on July 10, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    Yes! Even to subjects that aren’t — seemingly — all that interesting! And it’s amazing what red there is out there, once your eyes are open to seeing it. Hope you have fun with it.

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