Refocusing The Lens – Scattered dreams

PHOTOVOICE is an engagement and empowerment strategy that uses photography as a tool for social change. It gives any group the opportunity to record, reflect on, and critique personal and community issues in a creative way.

The aim of this project is to motivate participants to be actively involved in decisions that affect their own lives, while decreasing stigma and broadening understanding of their personal struggles. The resulting exhibit, REFOCUSING THE LENS, features the work of five participants who have documented their personal experiences with mental health, eager to represent them to the outside world. Scattered dreams, By Aidan

Artist’s Statement

Gambling is and has been an inherent part of my life. Whether it can be blamed on genetics (my Grandfather was an avid gambler and actually won the second top prize in Lotto Super 7), addiction, or a way to reduce boredom and depression has yet to be determined. Gambling addiction is a serious problem that affects about 3% of Canadians and can be a leading cause of depression, other mental health issues, and suicide. Gambling and mental health are tightly intertwined. There are high highs and low lows. Winning $2000 is a definite high while losing all of your ProLine tickets [...] continue the story

Refocusing The Lens – Trapped

PHOTOVOICE is an engagement and empowerment strategy that uses photography as a tool for social change. It gives any group the opportunity to record, reflect on, and critique personal and community issues in a creative way.

The aim of this project is to motivate participants to be actively involved in decisions that affect their own lives, while decreasing stigma and broadening understanding of their personal struggles. The resulting exhibit, REFOCUSING THE LENS, features the work of five participants who have documented their personal experiences with mental health, eager to represent them to the outside world. Trapped, By Aidan

Artist’s Statement

This antique elevator was the last thing I saw before my freedom was taken from me. I remember being very scared when I entered the elevator to visit the mental health offices at St. Josephs Health Centre. I was admitted to the mental health ward (7M) after my visit with the psychologist there. This elevator represents the frightening experience I had with my mental health episode and how trapped I felt by it all. I am thankful that I no longer have to see this ancient elevator as I am now an outpatient, evidence that I am moving forward on my journey and [...] continue the story

Seeing beauty for a change: Rick Guidotti at TEDxPhoenix

Feb 12, 2012

In his TEDxPhoenix 11.11.11 TEDxTalk, Rick shares the inspiring story of POSITIVE EXPOSURE, and challenges us all to see and appreciate the beauty in our differences.

Positive Exposure was founded in 1998 by award winning fashion photographer, Rick Guidotti.  Rick worked in NYC, Milan and Paris for a variety of high profile clients including Yves St Laurent, Revlon, L’Oreal, Elle, Harpers Bazaar and GQ. He took photographs of what were considered the world’s most beautiful people. But one day, on a break from a photo shoot, a chance encounter on a Manhattan street changed everything. Rick saw a stunning girl at the bus stop – a girl with pale skin and white hair, a girl with albinism. Upon returning home Rick began a process of discovery – about albinism, about people with genetic differences and about himself. What he found was startling and upsetting. The images that he saw were sad and dehumanizing. In medical textbooks children with a difference were seen as a disease, a diagnosis first, not as people.

It has always been about beauty for Rick.  “In fashion I was always frustrated because I was told who I had to photograph.  I was always told who was beautiful.”   It became [...] continue the story

Photo Greater Than 1000: Angelo Merendino at TEDxUSU

Originally Published on Nov 18, 2013 On September 1, 2007, I married the girl of my dreams. Five months later Jennifer was diagnosed with breast cancer. Over the next four years we faced constant change as Jennifer’s illness grew more serious. During this time, Jennifer allowed me to photograph our day-to-day life. Our hope was that these photographs would offer people a more realistic view of life with cancer. Since Jennifer passed in 2011 these photographs—our love story—have been vital to my accepting Jennifer’s death, embracing my own mortality, and finding peace within myself.

Angelo Merendino is a photographer whose photo-documentary, The Battle We Didn’t Choose — My Wife’s Fight With Breast Cancer, has received worldwide recognition. Intimate, honest, and moving, Angelo’s photographs offer viewers a look inside the day-to-day life of a young couple facing breast cancer together. More than a story about loss, this is a story about love and life.

Since his late wife Jennifer passed in 2011, Angelo has maintained a blog chronicling life before, during, and after his experience as a caregiver and now, as a 39-year-old widower. Much like his photographs, Angelo’s posts are open and raw. His hope is to encourage conversation about topics that are [...] continue the story