One Photographer’s 24-Hour Photo Expose Turns Into A Day Of Self Discovery

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On July 5th, 2016, I did the unimaginable. Perhaps even the unthinkable. I. Photographed. Myself.

For 24 hours.

This project was a culmination of a million ideas, catalyzed by a million more questions that I’d been asking for quite some time. Some of them sounded like this:

“Why is time so warped in photos and film?”

“Why do we photograph at certain times of day?”

“What association do we have with different kinds of light and why?”

“What do we think, as a society, should be seen when creating an image?”

“Who do we think, as a society, should be seen when creating an image?”

“How do I fit into the work that I do?”

I wanted to see if I could get a bigger picture, so-to-speak, by enduring 24 hours of self-portraiture. I’d been feeling that time is a marginalized aspect and warped within imagery. In order to create one image, we aren’t able to see the work it took to get to that point. In movies, two hours can represent a decade. Would a viewer glean more by seeing the day pass by? What would I see within myself? This would be my photographic sculpture, of sorts. I called it ‘shooting in the round.’

Stylist Olya Dzilikhova and I worked with local concept shop, Le Point, to pull outfits. We chose a color palette reminiscent of the warm autumnal 1970’s and decided that items of clothing would carry over into future outfits, so it felt like a wardrobe capsule in time. As a photographer, I’ve been struggling with how I fit into this industry. What am I supposed to look like?

Throughout the 24 hours, I got to document the ups and downs that I personally face regularly. It was equally empowering and sometimes embarrassing, but I finally got to see me within all of this work that I create.


Story by Ashley Batz, styling by Olya Dzilikhova — Feel the art of the Bay Area in our art + makers tab. Meet the peeps who rule personal essays while you’re at it.

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