Rolando Gomez is a former combat photojournalist who in 1994 was selected by the Department of Defense as one of the top-five military photographers in the world. During his 8-plus years as an active-duty soldier with the U.S. Army, he served as the personal photographer for General George A. Joulwan including four years working with Joulwan in Europe and Latin America. A Desert Storm veteran, Gomez left the Army as a Staff Sgt. (non-commissioned officer) in 1995 to become the Chief of Multimedia for the Air Force News Agency, as a U.S. Air Force civilian where he oversaw the “photo desk” and streaming media for the Internet television and radio programs on the multi-million-dollar-a-year website of the United States Air Force, www.af.mil. He also introduced color management for AIRMAN magazine during his tenure.
Gomez is working with television executives on an upcoming reality TV show based on his life story. The current working show title is “Lens Diaries.” He stars in the show along with an interesting cast composed of his daughter, also a photographer, plus his personal team of models and assistants. The show idea started over ten years ago as Gomez has worked and befriended major television executives for almost two decades.
Over the course of his career, Gomez has taught over 600 photography workshops and traveled to 40 countries on assignments. A few assignments as a photojournalist included coverage of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Olympics, the Presidential Inauguration, Desert Storm, Joint Task Force Full Accounting in Vietnam, the signing of the Peace Accords in El Salvador, Uphold Democracy in Haiti, 50th Anniversary of D-Day in France, 50th Anniversary of VE-Day in England, Northern Watch in Turkey, and the 1994 Rwandan refugee crisis in Africa. In 1993, as a “buck sergeant,” he was awarded the Department of Defense’s Meritorious Service Medal for documenting the drug war in Central and South America, a 26 month assignment.
In 1999, Gomez turned to the lucrative field of glamour photography to supplement his income and founded the popular website GarageGlamour.com. His success in photography made him a popular instructor in glamour, fashion, beauty, commercial and editorial photography. He’s conducted photography workshops, lectures and seminars in the United States, Mexico, Canada and Europe. As a guest speaker at PhotoImaging & Design Expos (2003, 2004, San Diego) and Photo Plus Expos (2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, New York) he’s lectured as a Lighting Master and on Internet Strategies and Guerilla Marketing, where he drew standing-room-only crowds. In addition, he’s discovered a Penthouse Pet (Jana Adams: Oct. 1986) and Playboy Playmate (Holley Dorrough: April 2006) and six Playboy Special Editions models.
He’s authored five photography books including Garage Glamour: Digital Nude and Beauty Photography Made Simple, (Amherst Media, 2006), Rolando Gomez’s Glamour Photography: Professional Techniques and Images (Amherst Media, 2007), Rolando Gomez’s Posing Techniques for Glamour Photography (Amherst Media, 2008) and Rolando Gomez’s Lighting for Glamour Photography: Techniques for Digital Photographers (Amherst Media, 2010). His fifth photography book, Photographic Therapy–The Power of Photography to Help Build or Rebuild Self-Esteem was originally released in 2010, but is in rewrite. He’s co-authored a sixth photography book, though it’s still in production, he’s completed his part of the project and it awaits publication release. His seventh book focuses on the social world we live in today, titled, Socially Smart: Twitter Plus Facebook, Marketing Multipliers And Brand Boosters.
Author Michelle Perkins includes an entire chapter on Gomez in each of her books, Professional Portrait Posing: Techniques and Images from Master Photographers (Pro Photo Workshop) and Professional Portrait Posing: Techniques and Images from Master Photographers (Pro Photo Workshop). Gomez’s images help illustrate 500 Poses for Photographing Women: A Visual Sourcebook for Portrait Photographers, also by Perkins.
Gomez is one of the original 30, world-wide, Lexar Media Elite Photographers chosen back in 2004 before leaving the program in 2010. His other guest speaking engagements include The Austin Photo Expo (2010), The Palm Beach Photographic Center (2005, 2006, 2007), Samy’s Camera Digital Photo Institute in Los Angeles (2005, 2006, 2007), FotoFusion in Florida (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008) and the Julia Dean Photo School in Venice Beach (2006, 2007, 2008). He’s also preformed photographic services for the Child Focus charity fund and did a fund raising photography lecture for The ARC Foundation children’s charity of Austin.
In the Fall of 2006, he conducted a 3-country, 7-city European tour for Calumet Photographic, Europe. Gomez was a featured guest at the University of Texas, Austin, for the Magnum Photographer and Clinical Professor Eli Reed’s Master’s class on Photojournalism in 2007. Gomez presented a lecture twice to students at the University of the Virgin Islands Mass Communications classes in 2007 and 2008 for the classes of Dr. Alex Randall. In 2010 and 2012, Gomez lectured at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.
His credits include Maloof Sports and Entertainment (Sacramento Kings Dance Team Calendar 2011), Studio Photography (as a featured photographer, writer, and contributing editor), Parade (cover story, with Eddie Adams), People, New York Times, Stars & Stripes, Playboy, Maxim, Sports Illustrated, Airman, Soldiers, PhotoInsider, Visao (Portugal Weekly News Magazine, feature story on Photographic Therapy), PMA Daily, Rangefinder (cover story, Sept. 06′), Leica World News (feature story), Digital Imaging, St. Martin’s Press, Peterson’s 4-Wheel Drive, Keller Cresent Advertising Agency, Netscape.com, AOL/Time Warner, Evan Williams Bourbon, San Antonio Express News, La Prensa, South Texas Reporter, PhotoMedia, Shutterbug, Photo District News, D-Pixx (cover story, European), Zoom NL (Europe), Photographie (Europe), PROFIFTOTO (Europe), fotoMAGAZIN (Europe), FOTO-VIDEO DIGITAAL (Europe), Camera Magazine (Europe), and numerous other publications.
Bachelors of Arts Degree in Communication, Electronic Media, summa cum laude (4.0 GPA), from the University of Texas, San Antonio 2001 and an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from St. Philips College, San Antonio. Gomez is also a State of Texas Certified Mediator in Conflict Resolution. He is listed by the University of Texas, San Antonio as a “notable graduate.”
The U.S. Army Advanced Photojournalism Course from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C. In addition he attended the Army’s Intermediate Photojournalism Course at Ft. Benjamin Harrison; Multimedia Managers Course at Defense Information School, Ft. Meade; Dept. of Defense World-Wide Combat Camera Workshop, Ft. Meade; Primary Leadership Development Course with the 3rd Armored Division, Butzbach Germany and the Basic Noncommissioned Officers Course at Lowry Air Force Base, Denver Colorado.
Gomez’s military awards include the Department of Defense’s Meritorious Service Medal, the U.S. Army Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal (1 Oak Leaf Cluster), the Army Good Conduct Medal (2 awards), National Defense Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Haiti Invasion), Southwest Asia Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon and the Army Overseas Ribbon (2 awards). U.S. Army qualification badges include the rifle, pistol, bayonet and grenade. Gomez also earned the German Armed Forces Badge for Weapons Proficiency, the German Schutzenschnur (shooting expert) medal in bronze from the German Army in Koblenz, Germany.
8th Infantry Division, 3rd Battalion, Headquarters, Headquarters Company, Mainz, Germany; 5th Corps Headquarters, Special Troops Battalion, Frankfurt Germany; United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), Panama City, Panama; Air Force News Agency, San Antonio, Texas (both active-duty, U.S. Army soldier, Staff Sergeant, E-6, and Air Force senior civilian employee, GS-12)
*Sources for this bio include personal knowledge and the following source list (link).