Book Review

Diary II by Quentin De Briey

2 min read
Belgian photographer Quentin De Briey‘s second book, a dazzling example of the high quality self-publishing has reached in recent years, takes you on a captivating journey around the world, giving you a glimpse into people’s bedrooms, the beautiful Normandy countryside and snowy Berlin and L.A. sidewalks.
Cover »Diary II«
Print is dead? Not really. The current trend towards self-publishing defies the widely declared death of all printed matter vehemently and photographers especially have turned to the increasingly popular »do-it-yourself« method. One such photographer is Belgian-born Quentin De Briey (38), whose superb new photo book Diary II is a dazzling example of the high quality self-publishing has reached in recent years. »What I like about it is the freedom: you don’t have to try to please everyone and can just do it your way. I could choose everything myself from the paper and the format to the selection of photos,« the artist explains.



The 140-page strong hardcover is a highly autobiographical visual account of De Briey’s daily life featuring landscapes, friends, celebrities and interiors. »These are my favorite photos of the last two years. I just want to share my life and how I see it,« says the skater-turned-photographer, adding: »It’s more like a really nice portfolio; how I like to present my personal work.«



If »daily life« sounds boring to you, think again. De Briey, based in Paris and Barcelona, shoots for major magazines such as Vogue Spain, Purple Magazine and Apartamento and works for brands such as Mago, Zara and Carhartt. Accordingly, Diary II takes you on a captivating journey around the world, giving you a glimpse into people’s bedrooms, Parisian coffee houses, the beautiful Normandy countryside, snowy Berlin, Lisbon and Las Vegas.

De Briey’s intimate, sensual images have a gentle, effortless and spontaneous feel to them. His portraits, often taken in people’s homes, are tender and honest, and the at times rather romantic holiday shots literally let you feel the warm summer breeze on your skin. The handwritten notes accompanying each picture add to the personal touch. Close-ups of people’s desks, knick-knacks and workspaces alternate with a portrait of Tyler, The Creator on an LA sidewalk or watermelons in Spain.



While many pictures feature De Briey’s friends and family, you will also recognize some famous faces such as that of Italian actress Claudia Cardinale or soccer star Lionel Messi, who he managed to have a personal moment with between commissioned shoots. »Anybody has the potential to take a nice photo. There are no rules. I’m just as excited about a great picture of a random stranger, as about one of a famous person,« says the artist. It is presumably this approach which makes his portraits feel so authentic.

By Sarah Shug
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