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Rick  Guidotti

Rick Guidotti

Photographer & Founder, POSITIVE EXPOSURE

Rick Guidotti

Photographer & Founder, POSITIVE EXPOSURE


Rick Guidotti has spent the past 25 years collaborating internationally with corporations, nonprofit organizations, hospitals, medical schools, educational institutions, museums, galleries, advocacy groups and communities to affect a sea of change in societal attitudes toward individuals living with genetic, physical, behavioral or intellectual differences. An award-winning photographer, he is the founder and director of POSITIVE EXPOSURE, a non-profit organization that promotes a more inclusive world through photography, film and educational programs. POSITIVE EXPOSURE has significantly impacted the field of human rights, mental health, medicine and education by providing new opportunities to see each individual living with physical, genetic, behavioral and intellectual differences as a human being and vibrant member of our society.

Rick’s work has been published in newspapers, magazines and journals as diverse as Elle, GQ, People, the American Journal of Medical Genetics, The Lancet, Spirituality and Health, The Washington Post, Atlantic Monthly and LIFE magazine.

Rick started his career in the world of fashion photography, He worked in New York City, Milan, Paris and London for a variety of high-profile clients, including St Laurent, Revlon and L’Oréal. But after a chance spotting of a young lady living with albinism—a genetic condition that results in the absence of pigmentation in the eyes hair and skin—at a bus stop in New York City, Rick was taken by her extraordinary beauty and his focus shifted.

In a quest for a better understanding of albinism, Rick sought out medical textbooks, where he was affronted by the dehumanizing images depicting disease, as lacking all humanity. This experience forced Rick to turn his lens from the more traditional ideas of beauty to the beauty and richness of human diversity and to change the parameters of the beauty standard.

In June 1998, Rick’s work was featured in LIFE magazine’s cover story entitled, Redefining Beauty. In collaboration with the Genetic Alliance and the National Human Genome Research Institute, Rick premiered a photographic exhibition for the People’s Genome Celebration at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History in 2001 and continues to exhibit in galleries and museums internationally. Rick is the focus of the award-winning documentary, On Beauty, by Kartemquin Films.

In 2019, Rick and his team opened a multi-media gallery in East Harlem on New York City’s Museum Mile. The gallery embraces individuals at risk of stigma and exclusion and serves as a central hub for showcasing the work of visual, performing, literary and multisensory artists, as well as providing educational, cultural and artist-in-residency programming.

Rick remains committed to celebrating the beauty and richness of human diversity. This year, he is launching a new program—Textbook Beauty. It allows healthcare providers in training and faculty to use POSITIVE EXPOSURE images instead of those “scary” images in medical training. The goal is to help healthcare providers early in their training realize it’s not what they’re treating, it’s WHO they’re treating—placing humanity into medical training.

Speaker Videos

Rick Guidotti: From stigma to supermodel

Positive Exposure

On Beauty Trailer

Speech Topics

Change How You See, See How You Change

Rick Guidotti’s POSITIVE EXPOSURE presentation launches with the world of fashion photography, exploring cultural perceptions of beauty and the narrow parameters of the beauty standard. The talk refocuses on the negative representation of individuals living with genetic, physical, behavioral and intellectual differences in medical training and public forums around the globe. The audience is invited to reflect on assumptions and biases surrounding differences.

Rick’s journey ignites audiences to understand the importance of self-acceptance and self-esteem as necessary ingredients for self-advocacy that empowers individuals and families at risk of stigma and exclusion. The keynote or workshop facilitates experiential opportunities for audiences to see beyond differences to the beauty and richness of our shared humanity through photography and film. The presentation highlights the urgency to address a common need for all of us in the classroom, the workplace and in the broader social arena: the need to be seen, the need to be heard and the need to belong!

Rick customizes his content for specific audiences, including:

  • Healthcare: Through the use of photography and film in a keynote or workshop, gain a broader, more humanized understanding of medical conditions and critical topics—allowing us to see beyond diseases.
  • Business/Nonprofits: A keynote or workshop for corporations or nonprofits to learn to value the need for everyone in the community to be seen, to be heard and to belong—celebrating the beauty of human diversity and to look at our assumptions and biases around disabilities.
  • Educators, Students, Parents: An interactive exhibit promoting a more inclusive world through photography and film--allowing everyone to learn the importance of self-acceptance and to celebrate who they are and not fit someone else’s idea of beauty. This program is especially relevant in today’s unforgiving social media world.

Faces Refining the Art of Medical Education (FRAME) Workshop

Photographer and Founder of POSITIVE EXPOSURE, Rick Guidotti widens his lens for healthcare professionals, families and communities through his FRAME workshop. Through photography and brief films, he teaches participants to see beyond the disease and diagnosis to the beauty and richness in human diversity—weaving critical medical information with personal and lived experiences. Since its pilot at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y., the FRAME workshops have accompanied training curricula at over 1,000 medical institutions and more than 2,500 professional conferences.