Less than 10 years ago Natalie Dybisz was just a student. Today she is Miss Aniela, the fine art fashion photographer. She tells Keith Wilson about her transformation
We came out of the waterfall with dripping Nikons, which were absolutely fine, but the Canon cameras were not so fine! Miss Aniela, fine art photographer
It is just seven weeks since Natalie Dybisz gave birth to her daughter, Lilith, who is sleeping close by while we speak.
“If she kicks off we might need to take a five-minute break,” Natalie warns. Lilith’s birth, she says, has been a life-changing experience and right now “Life is good”. Not just good: for the talented Miss Aniela and her partner, Matthew Lennard, there is a sense that life is going to get even better…
Looking ahead, do you think you will include Lilith in a photo project?
I don’t know. We’ve been taking some pictures together, with Matthew’s help, posing with her for a couple of pictures that I’d like to consider more artistic than your average cameraphone shot. A little bit like my self-portraiture days, but with baby and lighting. To be honest, most of my projects end up starting accidentally in some way. When I look back at my self-portraiture and how Surreal Fashion started, these things started out of moments of playfulness; I didn’t necessary plan it. Who knows what could happen as I attempt to take artistic child pictures?
Quite a few photographers began with self-portraiture. Why was that the case with you?
I was getting interested in photography and I wanted to play with whatever I had to hand. In the nature of anything new you just want to be in your own little world and not be looked at or judged by anyone. A lot of people say self-portrait artists are kind of narcissistic. I wouldn’t deny there was an element of that, because I was 18 or 19 and everyone in their teenage years is going to be interested in their own appearance to some extent, getting to know themselves and understanding how they look. As it went on it became more considered. I remember going onto Flickr and seeing people taking a lot of self-portraits and sharing them with others.
Were there particular people who you followed on Flickr in those early days?
There was a woman called Soleá. Her real name is Carmen Gonzalez. There was an Icelandic photographer called Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir; she was one of the first I saw who was calling what she did self-portraiture, and I thought it was