Aired 5 years ago on KFI AM 640 
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Culture

Award-Winning Fashion Photographer Rick Guidotti Is Changing How The World Sees Albinos

Frustrated by the fashion industry's standards of beauty, award-winning fashion photographer Rick Guidotti created a non-profit organization, Positive Exposure, that aims to change public perceptions of people living with genetic, physical and behavioral differences through photography.

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"Change how you see, see how you change."

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Photo Credits : (GettyImages)
Vittorio Zunino Celotto Sean Gallup Kristian Dowling
TRANSCRIPT This transcript was generated by AudioBurst technologies

As I was doing all my research about Albinism I found everything was so negative, I saw that it was a support group for people with this condition and their families. It was called NOA, it's the National Organization for Albinism, and I called them immediately and said I have to, let's take photographs and show the world the beauty of albinism, it'll be amazing and at first they told me to get lost because of their fears of exploitation and I just said I understand that I can only find negative things out there, I can't find anything positive out there of anybody with albinism. I said let's do something strange here, let's form a non-traditional partnership where you have a person with albinism, a fashion photographer, a genetic support group, a person with albinism, together we'll collaborate and partner to create a beautiful photographic essay showing the world the beauty of albinism and they agreed. And the first girl that I photographed was this young woman by the name of Christine, she walked into my studio was so beautiful but walked in with her shoulders hunched, her head down, no eye contact, one word answers, this kid had been tortured, teased, bullied her entire life because of her difference. Her albinism was the source of all of her anguish in school, school was hell for this kid because of her difference and it left her with zero self-esteem and it was terrifying and how was I going to photograph this kid, she was so vulnerable. Just a day before I photographed Cynthia Crawford on the same set in the studio and I thought out of respect for her I'm gonna photograph her like I would any supermodel, so the fan went on, the music went on, and I held up a mirror to her face and I said Christine, look at yourself, you're magnificent and that kid, at that moment, looked in the mirror, and saw beauty, and all of a sudden her hands went on her hips, her head went in the air and she exploded with a smile that literally lit up New York City and I realized that that kid needed to change the way she saw herself, her community needed to change the way they saw her, she created the philosophy that very day, change how you see, see how you change. - Wow! Wow, that's amazing, say that again please. - Change how you see, see how you change.