“A lot of those pictures have crazy stories about them, it would have been interesting to put them into the book but I’m not into words, I do pictures” proclaimed Quentin de Briey on his new book, The Other Day. He certainly does do pictures and he does them well as a matter of fact, with his photographs depicting the recklessness and freedom of a life well-lived.
Born in Belgium, the photographer now finds himself somewhere between the enigmatic Barcelona and the elegant edge of Paris – this threesome of cultures hitting it off to give birth to a love child of candid but cultivated photography. Initially, de Briey collaborated with skateboard magazines as his own career as a pro skateboarder was halted by injury. He built up his pandora’s box of equipment and ventured into fashion as the lure of travel and a decent living became quite the tempting prospect.
It comes as no surprise that he relates to the likes of Bruce Weber, Juergen Teller and Terry Richardson, as his work has references to all three. There’s a black and white portrait of a grinning Tyler the Creator that’s typically Weber, the way he captures model, muse and girlfriend Steffy Argelich is reminiscent of the way Teller captured a young Kate Moss – plus there’s enough fun and full-blown frivolity to see where Richardson fits into the equation. Most importantly, there’s a haunted vibrancy which makes these images distinctly his own.
Hundreds of photographs are collaged together in this mighty tome with the kind of effortless look that makes it all the more perfect. The turn of each page reminds you why the life of a photographer is one that’s put on a pedestal and why the often-romanticised connotations of image-makers are actually well-deserved. De Briey’s Tumblr blog bears the same name as his third book and although it’s too an all-encapsulating visual hinterland, the photographer confirms that he does prefer the depth and tangibility of a good old print; “digital platforms are more like fast foods to me,” he quips. If the digital equivalent is a McDonald’s 99p mayo chicken, then you can be sure that the book is a gastronomic masterpiece of tender seared duck foie gras.