There is an old saying, “In order to write about life you must experience it first,” and when you’re my age, 47, you’ve got a lot to write about, though sometimes I don’t think people will believe half of what I’ve lived in my photographic career of over 30 years. Regardless, I’m a person who loves to convey messages of life through my photography and my writings, so I decided to give away my fifth photography how-to book away for free—because I want to give back, educate and tell the stories of the power of photography to help build or rebuild self-esteem, more specific, photographic therapy.
After all, who would believe that a U.S. Army, soldier, would be posing nude for the camera during an ongoing investigation on soldiers that sexually harassed her? Not to mention she was almost raped by an Army Ranger and the Army was doing its best to throw her out of the service because they didn’t want to deal with her. She took the chance while under this stress to pose nude for my camera and immediately began to feel better about herself.
Just like the story of the young Air Force officer who returned from the Officer Training School only to find her own clothes on the front porch because her newlywed husband chose the bridesmaid, her best friend, instead. Yes, she too used photography to overcome her sense of helplessness, betrayal, and rejection.
While I spent over 17 years combined federal service with the U.S. Army as an active-duty solider and as a U.S. Air Force civilian, not all the stories are military related like that of the young lady who lost 131 pounds thanks to bariatric surgery.
Yes, these stories did happen amongst many others that I was able to witness at times in the form of hearing, seeing, and believing thanks to my camera lens, my subject’s mirror. This process brings out life experiences in a subject who is in the need for photography to help build or rebuild self-esteem. I see it everyday as a photographer, people seek strength in the barrel of a lens, not a gun, but when the photographer fails or doesn’t comprehend the subjects needs, then the photographer’s lens barrel can fast become a gun barrel, especially for someone in a depressed state of mine.
Photographers must be careful in the photographic therapy process and understand they are not there to replace medically qualified professionals. Photography is powerful, hence why I’ve giving away my fifth photography book away for free. There are no gimmicks, no adware, no spyware; it’s a book designed in Adobe InDesign and edited by one of the top photography editors in the world, Alice Miller of Plum Communications. It’s a 3.1-megabyte file in a clean PDF format and like all my books, it’s 8 ½-inches by 11-inches, full color, with over 60 photos and captions.
Plus, it includes 11 chapters, a preface, index, recommended resources, and more make up this almost eighty-page book targeted for photographers but written and designed in a hybrid format so potential photographic therapy subjects can learn and perhaps relate to the stories told. Perhaps potentially even save a life, so please pass it on to your friends and colleagues that you can download a free copy at http://www.freephotographybooks.com or here at this blog. It’s free! You can’t beat that, especially when my other books sell for up to $40 at local bookstores worldwide. And if you feel the book has given you something of value, you can provide a donation toward the costs associated with the distribution of such a large file. Every little bit helps as I’ve returned back from another successful Virgin Islands workshop filled with life’s experiences that I’m sure I’ll write about someday. Thanks, don’t forget the troops and their families, God Bless–Rolando Gomez