Forums > Model Colloquy > Tattoos, and modeling.

Model

Goddess of Saturn

Posts: 78

Fayetteville, North Carolina, US

I've wanted to model my whole life. Being the ugly duckling, I'd never thought it'd actually happen. Behold, I model now.

Unfortunately, I ended up getting tattoos before I could even imagine myself becoming a model. I love my tattoos, they were done beautifully, and look fabulous.

Obviously, I'm too short to do "High Fashion". I just stick to alternative modeling, and things of that sort.

I feel (Being a tattooed model) I don't have enough tattoos, and it just looks empty.

I'm curious, though, how many of you actually LIKE tattooed models?

Any rude, and unnecessary commenters will receive a look of disapproval. Shame on you! >:I

Jun 21 13 03:16 pm Link

Photographer

Professor X

Posts: 335

Calhoun, Georgia, US

I loves to shoot pretty girls with nice ink! I loves to shoot pretty girls without ink too wo0ty w00!

Jun 21 13 03:22 pm Link

Photographer

nyk fury

Posts: 2918

Port Townsend, Washington, US

Goddess of Saturn  wrote:
I'm curious, though, how many of you actually LIKE tattooed models?

tattooed people, sure. tatooed models, no way. a tattoo is good for one or two shots, that's it. after that it becomes a blaring watermark. if you don't have too much ink, then you can use cosmetics to hide.

Jun 21 13 03:23 pm Link

Model

sasweets

Posts: 410

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Kat Von D made makeup to hide tattoos;
http://www.sephora.com/kat-von-d#!&bran … d=17100027
* Just in case you want to sometimes show your ink and sometimes hide it.

Jun 21 13 03:32 pm Link

Photographer

Toto Photo

Posts: 3146

Belmont, California, US

Goddess of Saturn  wrote:
I'm curious, though, how many of you actually LIKE tattooed models?

I like models who do exactly what is needed to get the shot.

Regarding choosing models for work, I think ink is only appropriate in about five percent of my shoots. However within those five percent only an extremely small subset of types of ink work well. For example, if I want to shoot a dark scene with a model's shoulders pushing against a yellow bulldozer and an obviously strong yet dark fem losing the battle, I will not hire a model with colorful flowers on her shouder. On the other hand if ten models show up for the casting without ink, I know I won't have to even think about the ink-content-distraction issue if I hire one of them. Plus, if I decide ink will add to the shot I can always ask the MUA to create a transfer of exactly what will help my shot and nothing else.

So, for my work so far at least, tatoos are rarely an asset and often a liability due to the limitations presented by their chosen imagery.

Jun 21 13 04:00 pm Link

Photographer

udor

Posts: 23351

New York, New York, US

Goddess of Saturn  wrote:
I'm curious, though, how many of you actually LIKE tattooed models?

Depending on locations... even a large scale tattoo can be hidden!

An agency  model I worked last year for a local designer, has a large dragon tattoo on her hip and back.

She just did a gig for American Apparel and is in the stores nationwide.

No tattoo showing.

Personally, I find gorgeous, slender women with great tattoos immensely appealing.

But I am also very biased...  smile

Jun 21 13 04:07 pm Link

guide forum

Model

Koryn

Posts: 37368

Boston, Massachusetts, US

I have tattoos on my upper arms, but had no problems making a good portion of my living income - sometimes, all of my income - as a nude model, for four years. Even during periods I modeled without the intent to earn a living, I had no problem booking work, sometimes with people who claimed to "never" like tattooed models.

ultimately, what matter for a freelancer are factors such as:
- Can you show up?
- Can you show up on time?
- Can you show up on time, and sober?
- Can you communicate professionally, and in a timely manner?
- Can you make people like you, and respect the energy you invest into THEIR work?

People talk all kinds of shit, but really, that's all that matters.

Jun 21 13 04:22 pm Link

Model

Goddess of Saturn

Posts: 78

Fayetteville, North Carolina, US

So far, my tattoos have never been an issue. I was just curious.

Jun 21 13 04:29 pm Link

Photographer

Capitol City Boudoir

Posts: 764

Sacramento, California, US

Yes, tattoos can have a big impact on being hired as a model.

I don't shoot fashion but I do shoot catalog, lots of catalog.  When the catalog assignment includes clothing, I pretty much stay away from models with tattoos.  Tattoos showing through, under or around clothing can and usually are distractions.


If I were a hobbyist model who just wanted to shoot girls, It would probably not make a difference.

Jun 21 13 04:38 pm Link

Photographer

Sedition1216

Posts: 273

Buffalo, New York, US

I love your tats!

Jun 21 13 04:58 pm Link

Photographer

Charger Photography

Posts: 1730

San Antonio, Texas, US

I don't care... as a matter of fact this girl I found on FB.. she isn't a model.. but her tattoos looked interesting so I asked her to shoot.

18 +  http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/28656449 18+ NSFW

Jun 21 13 05:08 pm Link

Photographer

EFA photography

Posts: 36

Tualatin, Oregon, US

It depends on the purpose.  I love models with ink.  It sets them apart and can make for some interesting images.  People have many sides to them, so for me I don't see a reason tattoos should get "old" or get in the way at all.  As a photographer, our job is to find creative new ways to capture things that are usually seen every day.  A model with tattoos, at first, is new and creative to us because we have a painted canvas that we want to show off.  After you've captured that canvas, the tattoos only makes us dig deeper to find that creative spark to show it/them/him/her in a new way.
Bits of clothing, scarves, furniture...there are so many ways to hide tattoos if we choose.  I for one like to show them off.  But to each their own.  As long as you're open about your tattoos then the photographer knows up front and can decide for themselves.

Jun 21 13 05:21 pm Link

Photographer

Rob Photosby

Posts: 3561

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

All other things being equal, I will alway choose a model without tattoos.

Jun 21 13 06:15 pm Link

Photographer

Red Sky Photography

Posts: 3447

Germantown, Maryland, US

I'm always looking for tattooed models, the more the better. I love ink that tells a story.

Jun 21 13 07:18 pm Link

Photographer

ChanStudio - OtherSide

Posts: 5363

Alpharetta, Georgia, US

For me, it is a distraction...

I do see some models with awesome ink though.

Jun 21 13 07:36 pm Link

Photographer

Risen Phoenix Photo

Posts: 1691

Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

As a fine art photographer the classic images should be timeless. Ink is a major no no! But also is crazy hair color and styles.  Same with piercings.

To me if I am creating classic work than I need a clean model.  If it is erotic, or alt than pass the ink please

Jun 21 13 09:24 pm Link

Photographer

BTHPhoto

Posts: 6839

Fairbanks, Alaska, US

I love working with a model who has no tats, but a photographer who lets tats get in the way of his creativity is putting the blame on the wrong side of the lens.

Jun 21 13 09:31 pm Link

Photographer

Charger Photography

Posts: 1730

San Antonio, Texas, US

ChanStudio - OtherSide wrote:
For me, it is a distraction...

I do see some models with awesome ink though.

Not if the point of attention is the ink instead of busy backgrounds smile

Jun 21 13 11:27 pm Link

Photographer

DJW Photography

Posts: 622

Chicago, Illinois, US

I prefer my figure models to not have tattoos

Jun 21 13 11:50 pm Link

Model

P I X I E

Posts: 35440

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I have 5 tattoos. I've shot art nudes. The photographers didn't mind.

I totally accept that some photographers won't want to work with me because of them. I don't care. Just like some will pass because I'm short, because I have short hair, because I have dark hair, etc.

Jun 22 13 07:09 am Link

Clothing Designer

GRMACK

Posts: 3107

Bakersfield, California, US

I'm still waiting for this site to have a "Tattoo: Yes or No?" check-box for searching.  Who's cubicle is in charge of that matter?

Many years ago when I shot more, and used something called film and pre-Photoshop, I did some work for a wax-casting jewelry maker.  She made some nice bracelets and rings out of gold (Much cheaper then!).  The agency sent a model that I used who had a small Irish clover on her wrist.  I thought it might be bad, but I went ahead and did it due to time and it showed in a few shots.

Well, the woman went all ballistic on me about "Not paying attention to 'her art' and more on 'the girl's art'" and refused to pay me ($400 then.).  Made a big fuss over it and stormed out about "Me wasting her time."  I didn't pursue it as she had connections for other work (She came back months later and I did other work sans an inked model that time.), but I wasn't happy then as it cost me a lot out-of-pocket money for the film, processing time and chemicals (I did my own darkroom work then.), and the $100 agency model too.  Seeing "ink" made me a bit gun shy after that.

Now that I moved into the design, sewing, and making stuff I understand more of her point.  If I have anything with lace or a sheer applique, any ink under it really messes it up badly.  Even distressed (i.e. torn/ripped) clothing causes issues with some colorful ink.  Then I have to resort to Topaz Remask (ugh!) and spend a lot of time there (It's tedious to say the least!) with lace fixing, or OnOne Mask, or should have paid a MUAH to "Dermablend" it out which then costs more money to get rid of it.  How much time and what out of their kit they'll use and how much of it runs their meter up too.  Somewhat easier to find someone without ink, except on MM where there is "NO INK CHECK-BOX FOR SEARCHING!!!" that I can utilize so I have to go through port after port searching for ink in an area that might become a bigger issue later on, or awaiting a direct response about it - if any.  If I get back a "clean slate there" response, it's cause for celebration now.

As a consequence, if I see ink, I deduct 25% per limb of what I might pay that might become a big money maker for the MUAH or my time spent in Remask (ugh!) trying to fix it - or a bunch of shots of the issue later on in post.

Easier - and much cheaper - for me to start with a clean gesso if anyone else's art is involved.  I need to focus more on the item's artwork/presentation at times and avoid any distracting artwork that may make it more tedious to deal with later on.  Photoshop is a wonderful tool, but it can get a bit arduous at times (Sometimes months with jewelry shots! Hate 'em now too!) with some drawn out sessions patching up stuff.

Jun 22 13 08:15 am Link

Photographer

varton

Posts: 2396

New York, New York, US

Goddess of Saturn  wrote:
I feel (Being a tattooed model) I don't have enough tattoos, and it just looks empty.

I'm curious, though, how many of you actually LIKE tattooed models?

Any rude, and unnecessary commenters will receive a look of disapproval. Shame on you! >:I

Liking or not liking tattooed models is not the real issue.
Some tattoos are suitable and can complement the genre you shoot but others might be an impediment to hire a model because you rather use a model without a tattoo because you don't want to spend time to photoshop them out.

Jun 22 13 08:24 am Link

Photographer

nyk fury

Posts: 2918

Port Townsend, Washington, US

BTHPhoto wrote:
a photographer who lets tats get in the way of his creativity is putting the blame on the wrong side of the lens.

that's right. the photographer finds someone else to fit the bill.

Jun 22 13 08:27 am Link

Photographer

Garry k

Posts: 27808

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

not a big tattoo lover in general but I would shoot with You

Jun 22 13 08:36 am Link

Photographer

Paul Naples Photography

Posts: 10

Glen Burnie, Maryland, US

You are beautiful and don't ever forget it!! ok I just looked over your port from the way you explained yourself I was expecting someone like Kat Von D. Ok first off if you like ink go for it I totally support it, however keep in mind even if someone needs your look there is always photoshop. Run a search on Kat's photoshoot where she had all of her tatt's airbrushed out of the shots. just remember the tattoos don't make the model you do!!

Have a great day 

Paul

Jun 22 13 08:37 am Link

Model

BlackSilk_GothModel

Posts: 200

Lynchburg, Virginia, US

I love tattoos along with other body modifications like piercings and unusually colored hair :-)

Jun 22 13 08:40 am Link

Photographer

The Alternative Image

Posts: 4129

London, England, United Kingdom

Don't get tattoos to fill gaps, only get them if you really want them.

The only photographers you will put of are the ones that want a model without tats.

Jun 22 13 08:44 am Link

Photographer

Looknsee Photography

Posts: 22683

Portland, Oregon, US

I suggest you apply logic:

1)  Anything a model does to change her appearance will have impact on her modeling prospects.  That includes tattoos, hair color, hair style, piercings, and so forth.

2)  Some photographers love tattoos
     Some photographers don't care.
     Some photographers avoid tattoos.
     That's not going to change.

3)  Few clients love tattoos.
     Few clients don't care.
     Many clients avoid tattoos.
     That, too, is not going to change.

4)  Modeling is a competitive business, and the local model that best satisfies the project's requirements is most likely to get the job.  It doesn't matter how many tattoos you have -- what matters is how many tattoos are required (or tolerated) by the job's requirements and where you stack up against your local competition.


So, to answer your actual question -- I'm one of those photographers who tend to avoid tattooed models.

Jun 22 13 08:45 am Link

Photographer

Good Egg Productions

Posts: 16197

Orlando, Florida, US

I'm not a fan of models with tattoos, although they certainly do have a place in modeling.

Someone said they're good for one or two shots and then that's it.  I half agree.

Having tattoos on your body is like wearing a printed T-Shirt every day that you can't take off.  Even if it's a really REALLY cool T-shirt, you're wearing it every day.  That's great for new people you meet, but for people who see you every day, you're wearing that shirt, every day.

In your specific case, I don't think that yours are out of control, but I also don't think they're at a point where you could be considered an alt tattoo model.

What you DO have going for you though is some fearlessness that comes through in your images.  While I don't prefer to work with models with lick-and-stick tattoos, I would probably work with you based on the images in your port.  I like what I see.

Jun 22 13 08:46 am Link

Photographer

nyk fury

Posts: 2918

Port Townsend, Washington, US

Good Egg Productions wrote:
Having tattoos on your body is like wearing a printed T-Shirt every day that you can't take off.  Even if it's a really REALLY cool T-shirt, you're wearing it every day.  That's great for new people you meet, but for people who see you every day, you're wearing that shirt, every day.

well said. when the day comes that inking becomes mutable, then it will be a fine thing. but in the meantime what tatters call 'beautiful' and 'expressing self' is really just painting oneself into a corner.

Jun 22 13 09:20 am Link

Photographer

Light Echoes

Posts: 29

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

For me it's like advertising someone else's work. So given the choice - no ink.

Jun 22 13 09:31 am Link

Model

- Aina -

Posts: 747

Redlands, California, US

I personally love some of the tattoos people have. Tattoos, in general, don't tickle my fancy, but some people can definitely pull them off. It's neither here nor there for me. I prefer a blank canvas for myself.

Jun 22 13 09:38 am Link

Photographer

Trisha May Photography

Posts: 307

Colchester, Connecticut, US

I prefer to shoot with models who are Inked big_smile

Jun 22 13 09:39 am Link

Photographer

Brian K PHOTO

Posts: 247

Summerville, South Carolina, US

Many of my models have tattoos. They can be very erotic especially with lingerie.

Jun 22 13 09:40 am Link

Model

Jen B

Posts: 3636

Nashville, Tennessee, US

BTHPhoto wrote:
I love working with a model who has no tats, but a photographer who lets tats get in the way of his creativity is putting the blame on the wrong side of the lens.

I'd like to ++ your comment!

Jun 22 13 10:49 am Link

Photographer

VonTuck

Posts: 54

Marietta, Georgia, US

Some photographers won't shoot you.
Some agencies will pass on you.
Some clients will not request you.

Fuck them.

Fuck them all.

You can have a great career without them. There is a lot of work for tattooed models. The alternative modeling scene is gigantic.

Don't let the naysayers bring you down.

I love working with tattooed models.

Jun 22 13 10:54 am Link

Photographer

varton

Posts: 2396

New York, New York, US

VonTuck wrote:
Some photographers won't shoot you.
Some agencies will pass on you.
Some clients will not request you.

Fuck them.

Fuck them all.

You can have a great career without them. There is a lot of work for tattooed models. The alternative modeling scene is gigantic.

Don't let the naysayers bring you down.

I love working with tattooed models.

Hmm let's see,
Your attitude in addressing this forum is uncivil and insulting to everyone else who tried to explain the rationale behind their opinions.

Jun 22 13 11:25 am Link

Photographer

NYB

Posts: 851

Albany, New York, US

The best tattoos are the ones you can't see!

Jun 22 13 11:49 am Link

Photographer

Lifestyle_Images

Posts: 4015

Albuquerque, New Mexico, US

As you can see, it's a crap shoot as far as like vs. dislike tattoos.  But, in reality, due to your height, your primary market (hobbyists) probably won't mind that much, especially since you are already shooting nudes.

Jun 22 13 11:54 am Link

Photographer

T A R I Q

Posts: 1249

Baltimore, Maryland, US

NYB wrote:
The best tattoos are the ones you can't see!

+1

Jun 22 13 12:14 pm Link