Giles Revell Photofit

Photofit is probably the best project of Giles Revell. In providing each sitter with the same tools – a 1970s police Photofit kit, the process by which they created their self-portrait was democratized; the immediate, tactile qualities of the kit enabling them to tell their own story as a likeness falls into place, piece by piece. An ongoing collaboration with Matt Willey of Studio8 Design, Photofit has been widely published.

Photofit is tactile: you can touch the individual parts with your own hands and move them about until things click into place – it’s  like creating a puzzle. And it is immediate: there is no person standing between you and the final picture. We managed to track down a male and female kit from a Police Museum in Kent and invited a number of people to assemble their own Photofit self-portrait in Giles’ studio in Clerkenwell. The end result, we think, is curious. Each portrait tells a story: it speaks of the hang-ups, insecurities and vanities we all have about our own appearance. They hint at how deceptive our relationship with our self-image can be. Jacques Penry claimed that he could deduce a person’s character from their face in an instant. If nothing else, we  hope that this project shows how the connection between persona and personality is a lot more complex than that.

Giles Revell, Matt Willey & Philip Oltermann