Even the branding is annoyingly cute.

Benviebooks: For people who know their art from their elbow.

Oh yes that’s clever.

It’s not often that you feel compelled to smile whilst reading a book on nature photography. That book has to be out of the ordinary and by implication, so does its author. When friend and colleague Niall Benvie sent me his latest eBook, You Are Not a Photocopier, I knew I’d need a cup of tea and a few choccie digestives (sorry Niall but if you’d wanted me to accompany the reading with Charlotte’s chocolates, you should have sent some).

Niall’s quirky yet compelling ideas have been an ever-present backdrop to the nature photography scene for many years. Indeed, they have decorated several projects that I’ve been involved with myself. Niall could never be described as a conformist and this eBook is an eclectic mix of his eclectic ideas manifesting in an eclectic cocktail of images. Niall knows himself that not every idea will appeal to every reader, but by encouraging an approach beyond conformity, he nurtures individuality in others and that can only be a good thing.

So how come the smiling? Well because I’m constantly impressed and, occasionally bemused, by Niall’s creative thinking; it makes me smile. Where half of this stuff comes from is anyone’s guess but in absorbing his thinking, I invariably start thinking myself and that’s the point. This is a book to get you thinking. If like me, you’re a bit of a chocolate box wildlife photographer, don’t expect a feast of strawberry creams and nut parfaits but do expect to be challenged and to be bewildered by just how clever this man’s thinking really is. Sometimes, he’s perhaps too clever for his own good.

For regular followers of Niall’s work, there’s nothing radically new in this book but it brings together a body of imagery and ideas that spans a decade or more and essentially, the philosophy behind his work. If you’ve reached a crossroads in your photography or worse still, a cul-de-sac, buy this book and reignite your creativity. Become a communicator as well as a photographer; apart from anything else, it will set you aside.

I know from personal experience that once you start thinking remotely like Niall Benvie, there’s no turning back. The creative straightjacket will be cast aside and that’s most definitely something to smile about.

Buy the ebook direct from Niall’s site.




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