by CARLY FINDLAY
Rick Guidotti’s motto is “Change how you see. See how you change”. He does this through photographing people with genetic differences, just like he would photograph supermodels. The photos enable viewers to see the person, not the condition.
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When Rick Guidotti was a fashion photographer, he was always told what was beautiful. He photographed the supermodels known by their first name only – Cindy, Claudia, Naomi, Christy. But he didn’t only see beauty on the covers of magazines.
In the late 1990s, Rick saw a beautiful girl outside of his New York apartment. She had long white hair and pale skin, radiating beauty. She had albinism. Rick did some research on albinism, looking at medical text books. He was heartbroken by what he saw – the people featured in the texts were just medical specimens – their eyes and genitals blocked out. They looked sad, sick, and Rick described them as “defined by their disease”.
They were not photographed to show their personality, they were photographed to show their condition. (When I was a child, I spent many hours in a cold hospital room being photographed for similar text books due to my skin condition which I’ve written about for Mamamia here.) He wanted to change the way people with albinism were represented in medical text books, as well as in media and society, and so he contacted the albinism association, asking if he could work in partnership with them, taking photographs for text books – “showing the world the beauty of albinism”.