I am not a colorful person but on my pics it's totally different. I am totally different. — Introducing gothic model and stylist Miss Black Machinery.
Photo credit: equifoto | Miss Black Machinery
Hi, I have already blogged a lot about Austrian designers. Starting with this post I want to put the spotlight also on my favorite models and photographers from around my corner of the world.
First model in the spotlight is gothic model Ela Thurner aka Miss Black Machinery. If you like her pictures, I have good news for you. Ela now also works as a stylist and offers you a professional photo shoot with photographer Hermann Equiluz from equifoto and Ela as your stylist. So feel free to contact her.
Without further ado, let's ask Ela a few questions and find out more about the person behind Miss Black Machinery:
Hi Ela, please introduce yourself briefly!
My name is Ela, I am 25 years old and live in a very small town in Burgenland, Austria. I am a very quiet but funny person, a loyal friend, with a lot of (or sometimes even too much) fantasy, and I would say, I am a little melancholic gothic girl. I'm modeling for 8 years now – and I think I'm becoming better and better ...
So modeling is your passionate hobby,
what do you do for a living?
I used to have 4 jobs, normal jobs in shopping centers, at a station and as a call center agent, but I wasn't happy ... I always wanted to do something creative, I almost died at these jobs. Now I'm trying to make some money with my projects, so that I can live of this income one day. Besides that, I am also a waitress on the weekends, which is exhausting cause I also do most of my shoots on Sundays – but it's worth it. If you really love something, you have to do something for it!
Your pseudonym Miss Black Machinery could make one sense your affinity towards the gothic, steampunk or bdsm scene. How would you describe your style and relationship to these subcultures?
Miss Black Machinery is my pseudonym for 8 years now cause black is my favorite color. I love the song Body Company from the band AND ONE. There they sing something about a Black Machinery, and I also wanted something to embellish my name – therefore the Miss in front of it :)
I am in the gothic, medieval scene, cause I am adored to the music, the styles of the people and the whole atmosphere that is on every event! The reason why I love this scene, cause all the people there want and try to be more and different than in normal life. It's a shame that you cannot totally live your life in this form, cause you always have a normal work or something where you cannot be yourself.
It is also very hard if you run around dressed in your favorite gothic or steampunk clothes, cause the normal people don't get it ... and always say something negative about that. In my region where I live it is very very hard if you are "different" and dress "differently".
But of course, therefore I have my photos, and go to a lot of cool events in Vienna and Germany. It takes weeks every year to create three outfits for the Amphi Festival for example, but I love the planning, drawing and sewing so much. It is never too stressful :)
And what about the fetish subculture?
I really love vinyl/latex dresses and I totally love the feeling if people look at you in a ... let's say "horny" way ;) I sometimes went to Vienna to an event called "Porno:Industries" [in Club Pi] cause I loved the way the people dressed there. They lived out their fetish with their clothes ... and sometimes not only with the clothes ;) Unfortunately, there are no events like that around the place I live, so it doesn't happen very often at present that I have the possibility to dress the way I love, but I would say I have a real fetish for vinyl clothes and men in uniforms :)
The Piano Teacher *one of Viki's favorites*
Tell us about your first photo shoot ...
I was asked to make a few pics by a good friend of mine. So I wrote on model-kartei [a German website for models and photographers] that I have so much ideas and need a photographer to make my fantasies come true ... My first shoot was at Burg Lockenhaus with an MK photographer called TiJean. I was very excited and also nervous ... but after a bit of small talk we started, and suddenly I was a totally different person – the little gothic queen of Lockenhaus Castle. After four hours we had everything – and it was like Christmas when I got my first shooting CD after a week by mail ♥
Photo by TiJean
and about your most memorable one ...
Oh, my most memorable one ... I would say the one with the red wig where I am sitting on that very high tree. My photographer and I drove around for hours cause no tree was good and high enough for me. Then I found the perfect tree. Unfortunately, it was near the federal highway between Eisenstadt and St. Margareten and there was very much traffic there :) All the drivers looked at us curiously and shocked, some of them nearly made an accident cause they never saw a princess trying to climb on a tree *lol* So I said to my photographer, I want to climb up as high as possible ... so he stood in front of me and I jumped up to the tree, but I couldn't get some hold, slipped from the tree and so I stood with both feet on my photographer's collarbone. He screamed, I cried cause it was so high – the drivers blew the horn and screamed out of their cars – omg, it was so funny. In the end, I could climb on the tree – we took beautiful pics – and my photographer survived :)
It seems like you are coming up with a new photo story every week. How do you keep up with new ideas and, of course, new clothing, besides allocating the necessary time for the shoots?
Even while I was doing my day jobs, I used every free minute to do my hobby. It is sometimes very difficult, but if you love to do something you always find time.
And what about your source of inspiration and role models? Your fans once commented you look a bit like Amy Winehouse.
Yes, my favorite photographer always says that I look like Amy ... really? *smile* I am inspired by a lot of "persons" but hardly any of them are real. I mean, I love computer games like Final Fantasy – the outfits and worlds there are so fascinating ... everyone needs to play one of these games :) I also love strong women characters in films like Selene from Underworld or Alice from Resident Evil – all things that are not normal or real. In combination with bands (and their inspiring videos) like Blutengel I get my inspirations together... but these are only little starting points – the shooting subject is 100% by me :)
How do you find photographers to work with?
I am a model on model-kartei, the best site to find serious and good photographers to work with. I also get some inquiries via Facebook or by normal mail. I am happy and proud of every inquiry I get ... and I also answer every one – even if I don't take the shooting.
Any tips for new models, be it posing tips, getting your own ideas realized and not getting abused (financially, or otherwise of course)?
The first thing I would say is, think clearly about your limits and never get over them at the beginning, cause there are always some photographers that try to "catch" new ones. Meet your photographer first!!! If you don't feel comfortable – the way he looks at you or speaks – don't make it, cause you will always notice such things on the resulting photos. Try to find a few ideas and look up pictures at the Internet for make-up or posing – that helps a lot at the beginning ... Otherwise I can only say, be yourself and have fun!
How long does a shoot usually take? For preparation, execution and post production?
Normally, the shoot itself takes 3 to 6 hours alone, depending on whether it is outdoor or indoor (and of course the weather when it's outdoor). For the preparation, it's different. I first have an idea, then I write notes, draw a few pictures (for outfits, hair and make-up) and write a little storyboard for the shooting :) After I have decided for an outfit – I drive to Vienna to my favorite cloth store KOMOLKA and buy a lot of sewing materials. The sewing and bringing all the things together (wigs, accessories, outfits, etc.) takes a few days. The post production takes also some time. I love working on pictures afterwards and putting some digital effects on them ♥ I would say a few sleepless nights ;)
You are also editing your own photos. Where did you learn to do it so professionally and which progams do you use?
I learned a bit about photo processing in school, the rest, by doing. I use Photoshop CS5 on Windows and a very cool and free program named Photoscape! I love editing photos – cause special effects are the spice in the soup.
Becoming a photographer would be the next logical step. Have you thought about it?
I thought about that a lot of times ... but the equipment is so expensive ... and I think I am or let's say I can be better on the other side of the camera! But if I have enough money someday, maybe, I would say I'd give it a try.
You are now also working as a stylist.
Yes, and in November I am also taking a make-up course. I am so excited about that. I have also a few projects coming up, a service for "normal girls" or newcomer models in cooperation with my favorite photographer equifoto.at :)
I design the clothes for the girls, make their make-up, create the sets and help them with the posing. Afterwards I edit the pics like they want them. In the end we have lucky young girls with beautiful fantasy pictures of themselves. This was always my dream, to do such things, and it seems this dream may come true :)
I also thought about designing vinyl clothes, cause they are always so expensive in the shops. I am sewing clothes since I am 12 years old now, for me and my best friend. I always create something for fetish events or gothic festivals so that we can be sure we wear something unique ;)
And my last question, would you say that modeling helped you in your life?
I would say that modeling – let's say – saved me. I was a very shy and negative person, but after my first shoot I got so much power from it and there I noticed, I can be everything I want and ever wanted to be. Even if it's just for a moment, but on the pics forever :) It is also a good possibility to live your dreams or become something you always wanted. In normal life I only wear black – I am not a colorful person but on my pics it's totally different. I am totally different. It is very important for me to do these shoots, cause I would explode of fantasy, visions and my dreams if I couldn't live them in that way. A bit of my personality and my different feelings can be seen in every pic. I hope you love them :)
A Final Note ...
Photo by Alexx Thiess
I also think that modeling is a good possibility to believe more in yourself. Everybody can be beautiful – you don't need to be perfect. For example I have a lot of scars, but no one sees them in my pics – cause they are not important and therefore they don't exist in that moments :)
Thanks, Ela for the chat and for sharing your thoughts and wonderful pictures with us!
I thank you for giving me the possibility to show my story to the world, and to understand for everyone how much love and work is in every picture.
All pictures by equifoto and Miss Black Machinery, unless otherwise noted.
Order your fantasy photo shooting today with Ela as your stylist!
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Miss Black Machinery