This week’s blog post is a Q&A with award-winning photographer Rick Guidotti of Positive Exposure. He recently partnered with Baxalta (now part of Shire) to launch an exhibit featuring the perspectives of people impacted by various types of rare cancer including those who have been diagnosed, their family and friends, advocacy organizations, and healthcare providers. The exhibit, Rare Cancer Illuminated: a View from Within, debuted in Chicago on June 2nd as part of The Atlantic’s “The Search for Answers: Fighting Rare Cancers” prior to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting.
Q: Rick, tell us about the exhibit and the people who are featured in the photos.
Through the Rare Cancer Illuminated: a View from Within exhibit we’ve set out to capture the perspectives of people impacted by rare and underserved cancers. The photographs act as a gateway to learn more about the individual stories that make up the rare and underserved cancer communities, and help raise awareness and understanding of the unique challenges that these communities face. The photographs feature individuals who have been diagnosed, their family and friends, advocacy organizations, and healthcare providers. They’re connected by various types of rare adult, pediatric, and adolescent cancers, such as pancreatic cancer, myelodysplastic syndromes, and acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Q: How is this project different or similar to the work that you’ve done in the past?
The way that I approach photography is by focusing on the individual’s humanity, heart, beauty, strength, and passion; not a diagnosis or a disease. So in that sense, there isn’t much difference between my previous fashion photography work and photographing individuals with genetic disorders or individuals from cancer communities. This project was especially important because it invites the audience to see beyond the diagnosis and honor the community’s heart and dignity.
Q: What has been the reception so far and what’s planned next for the exhibit?
We’ve received very positive feedback from the public and cancer communities since the exhibit’s launch. It’s truly inspiring to have individuals who are personally impacted by cancer reach out and share their own stories. We hope we can take the exhibit to additional locations later this year.