I have no idea whether Dutch photographer Jennifer Drabbe has affiliations to the fashion industry, however if not then her debut monograph is a colour rich and sundrenched collection of images which should have the likes of Conde Nast beating her door down.
However, the fact is that Today Is My New Favorite Day has - in many respects - more in common with say Sally Mann's landmark project Immediate Family, than the sheen and froth of a glossy monthly.
This is what sets her aside and elevates this collection.
This large format, exquisitely designed hard cover with its almost Californian aesthetic is in fact a sensitively rendered coming of age document.
Taken over a ten year period, Drabbe has captured her two daughters in a series of both staged and spontaneous portraits as they evolved from children into young women, and in doing so gifted them a beautiful and lasting chronicle of their journey through adolescence, infused with humour, empathy and affection.
Far from being an obvious or "straightforward" collection of portraits, "Today Is My New Favourite Day" is a series of abstractions seemingly sequenced in a refreshingly non linear edit. Indeed, with the exception of a handful of images the girls' faces are rarely presented and when they are, more often than not they are obscured by any number of inventive interventions including hands, sticking plasters, tights, dandelions and (c'mon we've all been there) a plastic bowl.
Playful interactions which also hint at the blooming of adulthood.
A green pea hovers above pursed lips.
The imprint of mesh netting on skin.
Hotdog legs against a blue grey sky.
A bowl full of snacks strategically placed on a naked torso.
Discarded underwear and swimming costumes.
Tellingly - and arguably more importantly - an image of the sisters covered in foam, standing back to back, still partially obscured but obviously no longer children.
All in the eyes.
To my mind, this is what sets Drabbe's book aside from Mann's.
Apart from the obvious stylistic differences, "Today Is My New Favourite Day" was crucially published once the girls were of an age to fully understand what was being released into the world.
Cooperation, compliance and comprehension. In these ever so sensitive of times, we get the impression that this really was a family project.
In addition to the main book are two zines/booklets which are affixed to the front and back covers respectively and which effectively serve as both prologue and epilogue.
The first featuring a monochrome sequence (in many ways far more intimate than the main book), of one of Drabbe’s sun seeking daughters lounging around in their garden. Stolen moments intended to hint at what is to come as we move from introduction to main narrative,.
Black and white to colour, Kansas to Oz.
The second a series of quotes that need no explanation.
"I'm not going to school today, I already did that yesterday".
You get the picture - we ALL get the picture.
A perfect coda.
In this instance I also feel that it would be grossly negligent to not mention the stunning design of this book. From the ever inventive mind of Syb, this surely must count as one of his crowning achievements.
The glossy large format hardcover, the photographs printed on heavy rigid pages with (thank you SO much) a lay flat binding that truly allows for the pictures to be viewed without distraction and/or distortion. This simple but effective element is one which is so often overlooked but which exhibits a consideration and respect for both artist and audience.
Finally, keeping the whole thing safe an elegant printed slipcover provides a beautiful finishing touch. It’s muted colour giving no hint of the colourful wonders that await us.
Today Is My New Favourite Day is Self Published in an edition of 300 and is available from