24 frames inspiration/conceptualization
Upon hearing about the 24 frames project, and watching La Jete, I was immediately conceptualizing in my head to do my project on a film camera, in black and white. I then realized it was a little unrealistic for me to shoot and get my film developed, scanned and put into video in a timely manner. When that was scrapped, it hindered the original vision and aesthetic I wanted to go for. Ultimately, I decided to stick to my digital Fujifilm X-S10 and just make it black and white in camera since I had that capability.
However, I did lose vision of what I wanted to photograph. I was at a big loss, but eventually, I made some weekend plans and sprouted a new idea. The plan was that weekend to go thrift shopping, so I decided why not kill two birds with one stone and while out, find some sort of unique item at one of the shops and base my story on that.
When I went to this Goodwill, I immediately went for the home decor section. There seems to always be some interesting items there that have some sort of story behind them. I stumbled upon something that looked like two books stacked on top each other with some sort of mirror-looking window on the top of it. It was actually fake books, both open for some sort of storage purpose, almost like a jewelry box of some kind. The way the window on top looked reminded me of one of my favorite vinyl records I own, “Fever and Mirrors” by Bright Eyes. The actual sleeve/album cover has a similar pattern to these books and a fake oval mirror.
The fake mirrors on the items in my possession, and the title of this album inspired my new concept. I had to look up what the fear of mirrors was called, and it is called “Eisotrophobia.” When I looked at this description, how for the people with this phobia it causes them to see some sort of distorted version of themselves, I solidified my concept. I wanted to capture a mundane man with an unusual phobia, where he is afraid because every time he stumbles upon a mirror and sees his reflection, he sees a version of himself that isn’t truly his real reflection. By the end, he actually does become this distorted version of himself.
I asked my stepfather if he’d be willing to step in as a model for my photos since he fit the look of what I originally visualized this man to look like. Of course, it was also a requirement for me to utilize the items that inspired me in the photos somehow. So in came the idea that this man was also encountering mirrors even doing the most basic activities, such as just reading books at his desk. What also shaped the end product was not being able to edit any of the photos in post: how was I going to distort his image? I decided to make it almost horror-esque with the use of a weird monster mask that this man would eventually become and quite like the way it turned out. Especially with the intentional use of the dead end in the background, it wraps the story altogether with a more symbolic approach.