We’ve bringing you the second installment of our fandom photographer spotlight, this time on Mirella Montone! You may have seen some of her work, she goes by the handle @perfmishka on Twitter. Read below to see her answers on how she got started and more!
Nerds and Beyond: How long have you been doing photography and how did you get started?
Mirella: I was always interested in photography, even in my early childhood when I “borrowed” Grandma’s analog camera and snapped photos of totally random things – going through those photos now I can definitely see why I thought these things looked interesting. But I wouldn’t say I always knew I wanted to be a photographer… I went for an apprenticeship as a graphic designer when I finished school and I really enjoy designing, so it wasn’t a bad decision. During my apprenticeship I had the chance to take photography courses where I learned the technical aspect of photography and it piqued my interest that much that I looked for summer jobs 2009 to save up enough money that I’d be able to buy my own DSLR. Since then I only got more passionate about photography, so it wasn’t a surprise when I decided to study photography. I recently got my Bachelor degree – with a photo series inspired by and named after Wayward Sisters, where I took portraits of young feminists in Germany.
Nerds and Beyond: What originally inspired you to start doing fandom (cons, concerts, etc.) photography?
Mirella: I’ve got a camera and was planning my first con, that’s it! Unfortunately I had to learn that even the best equipment and software can’t make up for a seat in the back, so I’m not that proud of the photos I got at my first convention in Rome 2016. That’s why I left my camera at home when I returned to the con the year after. I wouldn’t call myself a convention or concert photographer at all, I’ve never done stage photography before that one convention. I feel at home with portrait photography, I love studying and concentrating on an individual person. And I think that is exactly what you can see in my photos from last year’s Rockwood music festival in Germany, the only event beside the convention in Rome I did fandom photography.
Nerds and Beyond: What fandom(s) are you most known for photographing?
Mirella: People in the Supernatural and [Louden] Swain fandom are showering me with love and support for my Rockwood photos and I didn’t expect that to be honest. It still feels so unreal to be tagged in the same tweet with some of the most popular fandom photographers in the Supernatural fandom when you think about the fact that I only took photos of one single event.
Nerds and Beyond: What equipment are you usually using?
Mirella: I own a Nikon full frame camera and three prime lenses – 35mm, 50mm and 85mm. But for Rockwood I also borrowed a 70-200mm f2.8 from a friend.
Nerds and Beyond: Which events are typically your favorite to photograph?
Mirella: I loved photographing at Rockwood, it was one of the best experiences I had as a photographer. But beside the fandom photography I enjoy taking portraits in nature with available light the most, I mostly get booked by couples for events like weddings but I also work on own projects.
Nerds and Beyond: What would you say right now, is your favorite photo you’ve ever taken?
Mirella: Oh that’s a difficult question! I’m never 100% satisfied with my own work and it always feels like the best ones I’m not allowed to share online, but there is one photo I took years ago that is my desktop background since and it’s a still life of a flower of all things!
Nerds and Beyond: If given the opportunity are there any celebrities that you’d like to work with?
Mirella: Out of my Rockwood people I’d love to work with Briana Buckmaster sometime, not only because she’s incredibly beautiful and a wonderful person, but she’s also super supportive of fandom photographers and I love to capture the raw energy she radiates in my photos. I’d also like to continue with the photo series I worked on for my Bachelor thesis, for now I concentrated on young women in Germany who just started to realize they are feminists but I want to include people like equal opportunities commissioners, popular women’s rights activists or celebrities who fight for equality, too. This project has the possibility to expand to something bigger and who knows, maybe I’ll even reach the most popular advocate for women’s rights out there, the former First Lady Michelle Obama herself!
Nerds and Beyond: Are there any other photographers who personally inspire you or whose work inspires you?
Mirella: I have to admit that even though I look up to famous artists like Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon and Annie Leibovitz the photographers who inspire me the most are lesser-known contemporary artists. Monia Merlo, Jordan Voth, Alessio Albi and Maarten Schröder are only some of the photographers that come to my mind who inspire me because of their distinct style in photography that I’m working on finding for myself.
Nerds and Beyond: Do you have an online store or website where we can see more of your work?
Mirella: I mostly post my Rockwood photos on my personal Twitter (https://twitter.com/
See some of Mirella’s work below!