My first commercial book, Self-Portrait Photography is now available to buy on Amazon UK and Amazon US. This blog post covers information about the book’s content and also about the book launch/signing I am having on 3rd March 2011 in London. See further below or go straight to Facebook to RSVP.
I have been working on this book for the past year, and the work within it is from the past 5 years of my self-portraiture. I am tremendously excited about this book, because of how much genuine quality content I believe it holds within its 176 pages. It is a book for aspiring photographers as much as it is a book about my own photography.
Above: the intro pages, click to view larger.
Chapter 1 covers an introduction to self-portraiture; its history in art, all about my own background, and the modern photo-sharing phenomenon. This was my opportunity do my own research about the background of self-portraiture through the ages, and to reflect on where we have arrived with regards to the self-portraiture artists create today, and the new media they use to share it.
Chapter 2 covers everything the aspiring artist/photographer needs to think about regarding equipment: what to consider when picking a camera, lenses, tripod, lighting, and other vital accessories for this genre of photography, like remote shutters.
Above: from the Shooting chapter (click to view larger)
Chapter 3 is all about shooting your own self-portraits: from choosing clothing, locations and props; how hair and make-up can affect a shoot; how you might plan a shot, using mirrors, how to pose, shooting nudes, shooting in low light, and using props to complement your images. All of these spreads are angled toward the self-portraitist’s needs and aims. There are also spreads detailing the artistic shooting process behind my pictures such as my series shot in Death Valley, and my images inspired by the painter Balthus.
Chapter 4 is all about the processing: the ‘how-to’, if you like, of a lot of effects seen in my work. First I discuss the place of modern manipulation and also talk about the technical side of shooting digital: the best ways of saving and storing your files. I then move through the world of post-editing from the basics, through to the advanced; from the staple tools in Photoshop right through to wild and otherworldly effects. I look at how colour and curves adjustments can make all the difference to an image, the different ways of converting an image to monochrome, and move onto using compositing to make fine detail-changes to a image. Then I break down the process to producing multiplicity or levitation images, citing the process of my popular image The smothering. If that weren’t enough for this chapter, I also throw in a spread all about HDR (high dynamic range) and how I’ve used it on my self-portraits taken in Abandoned places. Unlike any other book, I cover it from the self-portraitist’s angle. And that is not it…
Chapters 1 – 4 are already crammed full of images and info and inspiration and advice, but the last two chapters add massive additional value to the book!
Chapter 5 is where eight contributors, who are all self-portrait artists of different styles, nationalities, ages and backgrounds, share a written insight to their work that they have never shared anywhere else.
Cherry-picked for diversity, and yet all beholding something utterly mould-breaking in both art and photography scenes today, they all excel at what they do. There are four spreads (8 pages) dedicated to each artist. They are, from top left round, round clockwise:
Annette Pehrsson aka. ‘Welcome ghosts’
Joanne Ratkowski aka. ‘Dr Joanne’
Lucia Holm aka. ‘Miss Lulu and the Teaspoon Shortage’
Each photographer talks about their background and how they got into self-portraiture, and about their artistic process to creating their work. They each discuss two images in detail, from conception to execution.
CHAPTER 6 is a textual reference guide, as full to the brim as I could make it (I literally had to slash it in half to cram it in, so you get a quality edit) all about the photographer marketing their work – most of these topics I have never covered before. Standing on the experience I have garnered over the past 5 years of being thrown in at the deep end with fine-art photography, and bolstered with research, I first talk about photo-sharing and how to use the internet as a tool to leverage a career in photography: going about getting a website, blog, and using social media to develop an online presence. I then discuss the all-important issue of photographers’ rights and how to deal with magazines, publicity opportunities and plagiarism. I move onto printing, exhibiting, self-publishing, and the decision of whether to sell stock photography. All of this is from my perspective as a fine-art photographer and from the angle of a self-portraitist, but this information can be useful to everyone who involves themselves in photography, even if you don’t plan to go pro – because through photo-sharing it is so likely to be handed a ‘pro’ opportunity that most people do not know how to deal with.
Above: full cover (UK version), click to view larger.
This book is jam-packed with information, tips, advice, inspiration – and tons of images. It is no ordinary photography manual; I feel it blurs the boundary between an art book and an instructional book, with a relatively small price tag.
SELF-PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY: The ultimate in personal expression. By Natalie Dybisz aka. Miss Aniela
For those in the UK (published by Ilex), see the book on Amazon UK here.
If you’re in the US, buy it on Amazon.com.
On Thursday 3rd March 2011, 6pm – 9am, I am having a book launch/signing at:
32-34 Kingsland Road, Shoreditch
London E2 8DA
+44 (0) 20 7729 5830
Nearest tubes: Hoxton, Old Street, and Shoreditch High Street.
The book will be available for £20 (personally signed if you like). You can RSVP on Facebook here. Hope to see many of you there!