Albinism in Photography, Continued
Saving my personal favorite for last, Rick Guidotti (Figure 5) takes stunning pictures of people with albinism all over the world (Guidotti, 2017b). I’m so thankful to be a part of his PEARLS Project!
Figure 5. Images of Guidotti’s work (Guidotti, 2017b)
One aspect I appreciate most about Rick is that he is not afraid of differences—instead, he points them out in order to show how beautiful they are. When I met him in December 2016, he called my hair “white,” and that was the only time that I actually appreciated it when someone called my hair white because he made it sound like the most beautiful color in the world. His photo shoot of me is one of the happiest memories of my life because he called me gorgeous while he took photos—and I know it was not in spite of my albinism, but in part, because of it (Figure 6).
Figure 6. Images of Guidotti and me (Guidotti, 2017, January 20)
I was so excited to share my story during his presentation to medical students on December 4, 2017 because I was taking part in helping others have a more realistic and positive view of albinism. Out of that meeting, I became a PEARLS Ambassador and presented to my grad school classes about it!
Media is powerful, as seen in portrayals of albinism in music, movies, and photography. Part of this is because the words and images that are shared reach two of the senses that people use for every-day life. Often, music is used for educational and therapeutic reasons, movies create false and hurtful stereotypes of albinism, and photography can be healing. I want others to see the unique beauty of albinism and to not fear “awkward” conversations but to dive in—maybe those of us who know can share a word or a picture about albinism that will change someone else’s view for a lifetime.