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Artist Statement

Artist Statement — Rolando Gomez

Rolando Gomez, Artist Statement, Photographer, Author

Rolando Gomez, photographer, artist, author photo.

I fell in love with photography at the age of nine, and never looked back. It’s taken me to great heights, as head photographer for my high school, I turned down a scholarship from Union Carbide so I could further pursue my passions in photography—my photojournalism instructor thought I was nuts. In my eight years in the military, four were spent as the personal photographer to Gen. (ret.) George A. Joulwan, and in the following years, plus my civil service years, I ran the photography department at the Army and Air Force Hometown News Service.

So as you can see, I spent many years as a photojournalist, getting tearsheets published in newspapers and magazines, including a cover story for the largest publication in the world, Parade magazine, at the time, circulation 30 million.

It was a great cover story, co-illustrated with the late, Pulitzer Prize winning Eddie Adams; it released the Sunday before Christmas, Dec. 19, 1999. While I’ve had many accolades, including being named as one of the top-five military photographers in the world in 1994, between my Latin blood and great photographer influencers like Hemult Newton and my personal mentor Robert Farber, my photojournalism set hold into my DNA and it’s that style of shooting I try to inject in the type of photography I practice more today, that of photographing women, especially when it comes to my muse.

I learned a long time ago, the best way to judge your photographic abilities is not by how many top awards you get, but consistency in awards—in other words—ten honorable mentions in ten years will define your talents more than three, first- or second-place ribbons in the same period of time because after all, photography is subjective. I do my best to gain acceptance of those most critical of my photos by adding a taste of photojournalism in almost all my photos—it’s about turning editorial.

It’s that notion that drives me, invoking emotions in my viewers’ eyes, more specifically, my subject’s soul. I’m a firm believer in the power of photography to help build or rebuild self-esteem, or as I like to call it, “Photographic Therapy.” It’s that power of making my subject feel good and I do it by finding their inner-beauty while trying to tell a story with the final photo. Their outer-beauty is a given. The perfect smile isn’t pearly, grinning whites; it’s the corners of the eyes in perfect harmony with the corners of the lips, teeth are secondary.

In the end, I look at my photography like driving a car at night; I only see what the headlights illuminate. If I don’t move forward, I’ll never know what’s beyond that point. It’s about having the gannas to look forward and that’s what drives my photographic passion. — Rolando Gomez, Artist Statement

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