Yesterday I was lucky enough to find myself seated front and centre for one of the most inspiring presentations I’ve seen in a long time. The presenter- Rick Guidotti- worked as a high profile fashion photographer for fifteen years in New York, Milan, Paris, and London shooting campaigns for labels like Yves Saint Laurent and editorial images for all the best glossies.
While he enjoyed the art of photography and the beauty of his subjects he longed for photography subjects that allowed for artistic interpretation. He found that there was little challenge in shooting subject that were already deemed ‘picture perfect’. A chance sighting of a beautiful girl with the genetic conditions of albinisim got Guidotti curious about her rare beauty.
After checking some medical text books to learn more he was horrified at the way that the condition was represented. He decided to humanise this condition and celebrate the beauty he witnessed in that girl he saw waiting for the bus. Using some infectious Guidotti charm he worked his way into the hearts and loves of many founding not-for-profit organisation Positive Exposure
Positive Exposure is an organisation committed to celebrating genetic diversity and challenging the stigmas associated with physical, behavioural and intellectual difference. Through this venture, Rick has been able to travel the globe collaborating with community organisations, universities, and medical schools. While the movement is more than a man with a camera (Rick claims to be rich in human capital) the heart and soul of the operation is the man behind the lens.
His enthusiasm shines through and enables people to claim their inner beauty. This was evident in the first-ever Australian screening of On Beauty, a short film (which I was lucky enough to see last night) that follows two women’s journey through life with genetic diversity and their interactions with Positive Exposure and Rick. Rick’s photographs have traveled the world, educating people on the beauty of diversity.
His 2001 photographic exhibition “Positive Exposure, The Spirit of Difference” held at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History continues to tour internationally to this day. Rick also works with schools to encourage tolerance and the celebration of all types of beauty in primary and high schools. FRAME (Faces Redefining the Art of Medical Education) is yet another tool developed by the Positive Exposure team to give a human face to the identification of genetic disorders. The goal is to have a library of human faces and names to help medical professionals diagnose disorders with compassion.