Debunking the myth that some are just born “photogenic,” author and professional photographer Di Cola investigates the nature of beauty and the empowering concept of the “photo-image.”
With decades of experience photographing stars from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Mariska Hargitay, Di Cola has seen her fair share of good-looking mugs. She explains that the best way to photograph anyone isn’t about a particular angle or set of lights; rather, it’s about revealing the beauty within that person. However, she argues that no one can accurately see themselves unless they invest in understanding and procuring a “photo-image,” which is essentially Di Cola’s version of an unfiltered, honest portrait that is neither refracted nor altered. In daily life, when we look into mirrors, we are seeing a flipped image of ourselves. When we see ordinary photographs, we often feel that they are not accurate representations of us, and so we claim that we are not photogenic. However, with a series of neatly laid out chapters and elegant photo insertions, Di Cola makes the case that everyone is photogenic. The problem is not with the image but rather our perception of that image. By having a solid sense of who we are and what we look like, we allow our full beauty to become evident. Without name-dropping, Di Cola weaves anecdotes from her life as a photographer with her personal and professional insights. She supports her claims for the “photo-image” and our skewed perceptions of ourselves in mirrors with extensive research and physics footnotes. The book acts simultaneously as an endorsement of Di Cola’s services and as a meditative, reflective work. Why do we accede so easily to the perceptions of others? What does it take to give us a solid, genuine sense of self? Perhaps most intriguingly, the book serves to document the sheer power of imagery in our lives. The notion that our sense of self is heavily based on our outward appearances can initially be an overwhelming concept, especially because it’s so ingrained within our society. Di Cola helps us isolate and understand why we have such a difficult time accepting our individual beauty.
Combining thorough research, personal insights and photo galleries of numerous internationally known celebrities, Di Cola has created a thoughtful work on the perception of physical beauty.