During the ‘80s and ‘90s, Rick Guidotti, a New York-based fashion photographer, was at the height of his career. Guidotti was one of the most popular fashion photographers, taking pictures of supermodels such as Cindy Crawford.  All seemed well, but Guidotti was not satisfied with his career in the fashion industry. Guidotti became jaded by the rigid beauty standards that his job was perpetuating.

“I was always told who was beautiful,” Guidotti explained. “As an artist, I didn’t only see beauty on the covers of magazines. I saw beauty everywhere.”

Guidotti decided to leave the high fashion industry and began to photograph people with genetic differences that do not fit into society’s definition of beauty. Guidotti started off photographing people with albinism, a congenital disorder that causes little to no melanin production. His first series of the photos was featured as a cover story in Life Magazine.

In 1998, Guidotti founded Positive Exposure, a not-for-profit organization, with the goal of changing the way the public views people living with genetic, physical, and behavioral differences by promoting inclusivity and the celebration of these differences.

Since then, Guidotti has photographed people with various differences such as albinism, autism, and Sturge-Weber syndrome.

“This is a human movement, and together with the images, we are all advocating not to be seen as a disease or diagnosis but as human beings,” Guidotti said of his work.

Guidotti’s work and story has been featured in a documentary titled, “On Beauty.” The documentary was created by Emmy-nominated filmmaker, Joanna Rudnick, who was touched by Guidotti’s mission.

Guidotti hopes that the documentary will help viewers develop “the ability to see beauty in diversity, the freedom to see beauty in their own reflection.”

Jowelle M. is a college student interested in sociology, political science, and Spanish. Aside from academics, Jowelle enjoys blogging, reading, music, and spending time with family. She is happiest when she is working with others to improve the community.