You may notice that this interview looks slightly different. Thats because out of respect for everyone and where they may be viewing this post I have put Natalie’s photo below the jump. Thats right i’m letting you all know that the images in this post could be not-safe-for-work (NSFW). Now that that’s out the way Natalie Dybisz or Miss Aniela is an amazing photographer which I thoroughly enjoyed going through her website and blog checkout her shots. Have a read.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I am a fine-art photographer producing work for exhibitions, my own books, and also commissions. I also run my own workshops and ‘shoot experiences’ in London and further afield.
What made you get into photography?
I was attracted to the immediacy and ease in using digital photography, especially being able to edit digitally and share online instantly. I have always been creative and it was photography that became my chief outlet. I also enjoy writing which is a big part of what I do now too.
How did you get started?
I started shooting self-portraits which continues to be a strong vein of my portfolio, but to different ends as my work has evolved through the years. My first foray into photography was with self-portraiture, with minimal equipment, back in 2006. I have built my photography career almost ‘virally’ if you like, through the internet, and made it ‘real’ through exhibitions, books and other work.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
I would call it fine-art, because predominantly at the moment I shoot ‘what I want’, which becomes part of personal series to be exhibited and essentially sold as prints. I have also shot fashion-related material for various projects. Overall I shoot what you’d call ‘portraiture’ – but I like to include interesting contexts and environments and I rarely work in studios.
What gear are you using?
I use a Canon 5D MkII, I’m also using a Phase One 645DF with P40+ back as part of a 2-month period of work. I’ve also started using Photoflex lighting.
Whats your favourite lens and why?
The one I’ve used the most, owing to financial and practical reasons, is a 24-70mm f/2.8 L series (Canon) which is a versatile lens, suitable for a range of what I do. I like the wideness I can get with the 24-70mm, as I often shoot wider than I realise! With the Phase One gear at the moment I am enjoying the novelty of using a long lens, specifically a Phase One 75-150mm, f/4.5. Being able to shoot a portrait with a shallow depth of field from afar has been rewarding when working with models. Not so much for self-portraits though, unless someone else is shooting me!
How are you marketing yourself?
Mostly through social media: Flickr, Facebook, Twitter; directing people from those platforms to my website and blog. I have also been quite fortunate to get regular interviews with magazines, blogs, podcasts, etc. I also get the opportunity for press coverage detailing the news of a new exhibition, or the release of my book ‘Self-Portrait Photography’ this year for example, which in turn leads to more exposure. I’ve had the advantage of working with press agencies in different contexts: through my book publisher Ilex, and through my sponsors such as liveBooks who made my website. I have also starting paid online advertising for the first time!
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
My ‘favourite photo’ is impossible to define, it changes at any one time! I will pick my favourite from this year, which is ‘Heatstroke’. It captures everything I wanted to conceptually convey for this particular dystopian series I am working on, but in an way that is visually arresting. That binary quality is very important for me to feel I can achieve.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
Get out there and make it happen yourself! Don’t wait to be commissioned, get yourself out there, seize the day and shoot. Be confident in your own work but always equally remember that there is room for more than just you in the photography world – meet with and collaborate with other artists, and revel in working hard to get results.