The Sweetest Taboo
Graphic & Packaging Award
Over the past two decades Frieke Janssens has built a solid reputation in staged photography. Her visual language is both surprising and playful and reveals a great sense of humor, and countless thoughtful details. Janssens' images are sumptuously beautiful, but touch upon subjects that aren't: death, smoking, drinking, and the battle between the sexes. Her subjects are always inspired by social themes that affect her, such as the Indonesian boy who smokes two packages a day and became a touristic attraction, or her single good looking friends, who are seeking for true love.
During the briefing of this book Frieke Janssens gave an extensive explanation of the detailed method her style of photography requires. Styling, models, clothes, make-up, location, poses, … every detail is carefully thought through and accurately portrayed. Letting us designers see her pictures in a completely different daylight, we decided to tell this story in the book. The generous format of the book enables details of Frieke's photography to be shown in full glory. Isolated photos on a white background in their original cutouts are alternated with large full page details, this way the view of the reader is forced to styling, models, clothes, make-up, location and poses which are so important in the imagery and process of the photographer. At the beginning of every series there’s a reference image that connects the idea of the series to its social context. At the end of the book, one series is picked out as a case study and gives an insight into the idea and process. Typography is chosen and set in such a way that it feels very detailed and well chosen, such as the work of Frieke Janssens.