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on 4 April 2011
Natalie brings a lot to the world of photography and her work is truly inspirational. Her first commercially published book is essentially a how to book with context and a little bit of history to the self-portraiture genre (which is refreshing to see and read).

Overall this book is well done, but i'd like to see a few more images and less of Chapter 2 - equipment. These chapters in almost EVERY photobook out there just drives me nuts. Leave the equipment recommendations to the amatuers books and stick to the point at hand! I also really like the artist showcase in Chapter 5, another fairly unique aspect to the world of photography books.

Natalie's older self published Blurb books are far more interesting than this new work in my opinion, however this book provides a lot more context to understand some of Natalie's older work in more detail. So where possible, try to pick up some of Natalie's other work as well otherwise you might be a bit disappointed.
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I was not especially aware of this photographer's work or her blogs and I am not especially a fan of the creative portraiture concept. I was brought up with classic portraiture and knew several photographers who were masters of the style, amongst whom were tutors on the top London college courses.

The author is very young and not long out of her photography course. Her imagery is highly dependant upon the use of Photoshop in order to be able to often present the image in a style that divorces it from reality. Although she sometimes works with professional models, she also uses a model who is quite free - herself. This is a trait shared by many creative portrait photographers and I have yet to find one that personally and consistently pleases. She is often compared with Cindy Sherman whose sole model is herself and whose imagery I find boring and uninspiring. You will find other books on self-portraiture that may serve better than this if you consider that to be a worthwhile route, and it is worthwhile to compare them.

Rather than indulge in self-portraiture, I would strongly suggest that you find a model, a friend, sibling or other relative, a neighbour or a work colleague who may be prepared to work with you in exchange for a finished print or two which would be considerably easier than to try to simultaneously be model and photographer.

As a book on portraiture, it is surpassed by others. I would suggest that any potential reader study and perfect classic portraiture and then move to the creative form. There are many books with photography by Bailey, Avedon, Snowdon and Lichfield amongst the more modern photographers that may serve the reader well. If the basics are not fully understood, there is little point in attempting the complex. There are also better books on photo-manipulation with Photoshop (by Katrin Eismann and Scott Kelby, and others) and several courses on DVD (some also by Kelby) on the same general subject that come as close as possible to being a one-on-one training session.

The book is trying too hard to be a jack-of-all-trades, but falls slightly short in each area.
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on 9 February 2011
Natalie Dybisz better known as the artist Miss Aniela is an internet phenomenon. Her Flickr account has reached cult status and Miss Aniela is well respected in the digital photography community as for, what can be best described as, neo-digital surrealism. I've always enjoyed her photos and think of them as carriers of a mystery narrative, pictures containing unwritten stories making you think of an end as well as a beginning. So I was keen to understand her process, which she describes with great passion and aplomb. Full of tips and step-by-step processes, its easy to understand and adopt. I found it very inspiring and if you enjoy digital photography and relish tinkering with your efforts then this is a great book for you.
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on 13 January 2012
I first admired Miss Aniela's work in an article in the Metro a number of years ago which focused on her duplicity images and when I saw a review of this book before it was released, I pre-ordered it in a flash.

The book is in a lovely tangible format - I like that it is paperback and I find it a pleasure to flick through. It is divided into short chapters that are not necessarily linked, so you can dip in and out to bits that interest you most.

She touches on all areas of the process of creating her images - equipment, shooting, lighting, hair, props, processing and also showcases other self portraitists which really adds a dimension to the book that suggests it is not 'all about her' which otherwise one might assume. I would note that she does not go into a lot of detail on some of these items, more gives a background for consideration, but these tasters were enough for me.

I particularly like that she has chosen some of her more popular images and shown how she made them - including the original images. I think this is important for beginners to realise that a lot of images can look 'average' before they are processed correctly.

I am giving it 4 stars as although I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others, I did not find myself loving the author more for reading her book and I so wanted to.

I will however continue to keep one eye on her work.
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on 7 April 2011
I think this is my first ever review. It's definately my first ever book review!

The reason I'm writing this review is because I think it's a book deserving of praise. I have yet to find another book that tackles the genre of self portrait photography. Not only does it explore this often misunderstood form of art but it does so with style AND substance.

It is not only beautiful to look at but it also offers a wealth of practical information on, how to take better, more diverse and creative SP's and also on how and where to market your work, should you wish.

Included is a very large section on other self portrait photographers, how they started, why they started and it is clear that many of them are self taught photographers, which, for a self taught photographer who happens to lean towards SP,is very inspirational.

I wrote this review because it's my little way of saying thankyou to the author and contributers who have allowed me to shift my selp portraits into high gear, without feeling selfconcious or egotistical about it... after all, which model can help me create my photographic visions better than myself!
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on 12 October 2015
Great book. User friendly and accessible. I was a big fan of Miss Aniela's work before buying the book and appreciated her open approach to sharing her techniques and experiences of the photography/fine art industry more generally. I particular liked her down-to-earth approach to equipment. I also found the profiles of other artists' work helpful and inspiring. The book assisted me to experiment with self-portrait photography and I was very pleased with the results.
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on 30 September 2012
Excellent book with tips and before and after shots. Really good images showing compositing stages. Well planned and covers all the major aspects of photography and miss anielas work . Well worth buying.
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on 30 November 2012
It is a great book. It shows work by Natalie Dybisz and says a lot about her process of work with self-portraiture as well as features work and an inside to the process of other great photographers.
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on 1 April 2011
This book it's a inspirational book . The autor explain her techniques and some tips about self portrait photography. If you only want to know photoshop techniques this book not it your book. This book is focused in composition techniques.
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on 22 July 2015
Great book, full of unusual fun self portrait artists, introduced me to a few new artists
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