Stepping in front of the lens as this month’s Inked girl is ira Chernova, who’s normally on the other end of the shutter. “People usually think I’m a model and are always surprised to find out I’m a photographer,” she explains—with complete humility, we should add. But for Russian-born Chernova, photography is more than just a profession. “It’s not a job or hobby—it’s a total lifestyle,” she says. Case in point: When asked to describe her ideal day, Chernova says she would be working. “I’d love to work on a photo shoot in the morning, then do some more work in the afternoon.”
This intense work ethic isn’t entirely unrelated to her self-admitted obsessive tendencies to plan and overanalyze. “I’m in a constant state of panic. I analyze and worry about everything. Everything,” she says.
Interestingly, her ink is the one thing she doesn’t obsess about. Take, for example, her first tattoo, a sign of clubs on her left side. “I just woke up one day thinking it’d be cool to get it,” she recounts. “I thought that maybe, just maybe, I’d get one tattoo and then wouldn’t want more—obviously that didn’t work out.”
The origins of her other pieces are just as random. The “Heroes never live, legends never die” quote on her side is from a song she heard during a spontaneous bus ride. While she knows she’ll get more tattoos, people in her home country don’t give her ink a warm reception. In fact, there is a cold (war) mentality when it comes to her appearance. “In Moscow, people think they’re tough; they make fun of you and talk bullshit. That’s not the case in other European countries,” she says. That is only one of the reasons Chernova plans to move to Amsterdam later this year. “I’m excited about everything, but mostly about starting a new life,” she says. A life that we’d be willing to bet is already very well planned out.