Thursday, November 5, 2009

Photographic Therapy Book by Rolando Gomez

Photographer Rolando Gomez has a new book out called "Photographic Therapy - The Power of Photography to Help Build or Rebuild Self-Esteem". No matter what level of photographer you are, I think this should be required reading for anyone who photographs people.

Unlike his previous books which dealt more with posing, lighting, and techniques, "Photographic Therapy" focuses more on the interaction that goes on between the subject and the photographer before, during and after a photosession. While he does devote some chapters to posing and lighting, he mainly writes about how important it is to know and understand the person in front of the lens, whether it is a housewife, a Playboy model, or a corporate executive.

I think sometimes we forget about the power that a photograph has. Using the right combination of lighting, gear, & technique we can photograph someone and make them look like a cover model. We have the ability to make that same person look horrifying much less appealing just by using different lighting or lens or pose (or by generally screwing it up, as I have done countless times). We can be too caught up in trying to get that one perfect shot in our minds, that we don't stop to think about how the subject feels about the images we create, and how it affects their self-esteem.

In his book, Rolando draws from his many years of experience and explains how he interacts with his subjects and tries to understand their thoughts and feelings. He describes his techniques for adapting to each individual person that he photographs, such as what to say and what not to say. He also shows how he adjusts posing and lighting to make his subjects look their best.

Rolando mainly covers the HUMAN element of photography, the interpersonal communication between the subject and photographer. With the right attitude and skills, if you get it right, you can really help someone. That's one of the things I've come to really enjoy about photography - it's a skill you can use to make a difference in a person's life.

What I appreciate most about this book is that Rolando decided to release this book for FREE. It is available for download from

It's very rare that you will find photographers with his skills and experience that are willing to share their knowledge with others. It's rarer still to find one that is willing to do that for free. I strongly urge everyone to check out this book.

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