Positive Exposure, a non-profit organization founded and directed by former fashion photographer Rick Guidotti and co-directed by psychiatrist Dr. Diane McLean, uses photography and video interviews to explore the lived experiences of people affected with genetic conditions. Positive Exposure challenges pervasive social biases and stereotypes about genetic variation and strives to broaden and enrich societal perceptions of human beauty and spirit. Presented here are the open-ended personal reflections completed by four individuals with craniofacial differences recruited from a support group, Inner Faces. These four case studies aim to relay the professional photo-shoot experiences of people who may be challenged by the stigma associated with craniofacial differences. Questions addressed issues of perceived self-esteem, stigma, hopefulness, and photography experiences. These personal reflections were gathered 1 year following participation in a Positive Exposure photo-shoot. Participants described the ways in which the photo-shoot has been a lasting and life-promoting experience. In addition, these individuals emphasize the integral and enduring role the photographer, Rick Guidotti, played in their personal awakening. Positive Exposure provided these individuals with renewed identification of both inner and outer sources of beauty. These four case studies suggest that Positive Exposure may serve as a sustainable intervention to bolster self-esteem and self-image. Published 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Through the viewfinder
Positive exposure a year later