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123last
Photographer
udor
Posts: 22,105
New York, New York, US


Fashion Models and Tattoos - A Reality Check

This is for those models who either have a tattoo or want to get a small one... and being told by certain photographers how much of a no-no this is... and how much they won't get hired and that you don't have tattooed fashion models. ==>> Glamour models, you better listen to those guys who pay you for your beautiful, perfect and unblemished skin. Models with fashion aspiration... don't! tongue

I am talking about small tattoos... easily concealed under clothing... or on wrists, shoulders, back of the neck, under the breast, under the side of the arm on the torso, over the pubic area, on the ankle etc.) which can be covered with special makeup. Even those small tattoos frequently encounter staunch resistance by the conservative photographer.

There is nothing wrong with that... but... don't advise the models with your own interest in mind.

Over the years, as a runway/fashion shooter in NY, I have tried to explain all those nay-sayers about models with tattoos on the runway... no big tattoos... but small and mid sized ones. Some, like Omahyra Mota have a lot... and when I am shooting NY Fashion Week, I see tattoos all the time on the models... and sometimes, the designers put the same style fake tattoo on the models (e.g. Sass&Bide).

Omahyra Mota

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/UdoRPhotoArchive/OlympusFashionweek2007SpringCollections/OFWS07_Heatherette-348wb.jpg

Because I appreciate (nice) tattoos, being tattooed myself, and those endless discussions by people who don't even shoot fashion (sorry, guys, it's true, most of the anti-tattoo guys are people who shoot primarily glamour with minimal clothing, maximum skin) I am paying extra attention to models on the runways.

As I always wrote... of course not every woman on the runway sports a tattoo... but there are enough to make them beyond a "minority".

Tattoos are "hip", models are hip, many people who are working with the models (art directors, photographers, stylists, MUA's etc.) are tattooed... sometimes heavily... so the models get some too. They live in a world that is fully tattooed... for them, tattoos is a normal appearance.

ANYBODY, who shoots runway or fashion in the industry can easily confirm what I am saying... there is a lot of ink on fashion people... a lot!

But no... no matter what the reality is... guys still advise models against getting a tattoo, because it will limit them. Limit to whom?

YOU ARE RIGHT, if you say it limits them because you refuse to shoot with a model because it's oh sooo difficult to photoshop, use concealer, dermablend... anything that your professional MUA on the set should really know about... and usually does...

Now... let's take a look at some real life examples. The Huffington Post posted TODAY (Nov. 25, 2011) a brief article and put a slide show together with the title:

Top Model Tats: Creative Ink From Our Favorite Runway Strutters

Click on the slide show and you see some of the top models on the runway and in print with their little tattoos.

More articles:

New York Daily News:
Heidi Klum shows off her model skills - and new tattoo! - at the Peabody Awards

Fashionista.com
Image of the Day: Model Tattoo at Galliano

Fabsugar.com
Love It or Hate It: tattoos on the runway
(Several photos)

Tattoo.com
Model Ink: Oh-So-Sexy Tattoo's on the Catwalk

I wonder... if the categorically anti tattoo shooter, has the chance to work with Chanel Iman, Alessandra Ambrosia, Heidi Klum, Kate Moss,... etc., would he deny the model the entry into their studio because the model is sporting such a horrible tattoo?

Can you honestly say that you would do that?

So... if you would shoot a tattooed top model and she wouldn't conceal it... why wouldn't you shoot an "unknown" model... equally or more beautiful, just because she has a little ink that is personal to them?

Is there a double standard?

I know I won't change the photographer's opinion... but, at the same time, I hope to be able to encourage the model who wants to get one, to get it... but getting it for the right reason (and not peer pressure etc.).

If it's personal... and important... think hard, but also about the consequences and placement.

Sincerely


udor


P.S.: I am tired now... but if you do a simple Google search "Tattooed Runway Models", you get more articles, but I think I may have my point.
Nov 24 11 11:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mnemosyne - Projects
Posts: 894
Bloomington, Indiana, US


So you're using exceptions to the rule, to prove the rule is wrong?

Because there is a HUGE difference between getting a small tattoo, and getting what you posted as an example.

You also linked to a niche page, Tattoo.com, to prove you can do it. That makes no sense. Of course you could model for tattoo.com. If you DIDN'T have tattoos, they wouldn't want you.

Yes, many models have tattoos, that doesn't mean everyone can get them how they want and cover themselves head to toe and still book work.

Also, when is a tattoo too big? When is it too obstructive? If a model has a tattoo on her hip, and she's doing a catalog shoot, and it's covered by clothes, isn't that a Schroedinger's Cat quandary?
Nov 25 11 12:02 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
udor
Posts: 22,105
New York, New York, US


Mnemosyne - Projects wrote:
So you're using exceptions to the rule, to prove the rule is wrong?

Because there is a HUGE difference between getting a small tattoo, and getting what you posted as an example.

You also linked to a niche page, Tattoo.com, to prove you can do it. That makes no sense. Of course you could model for tattoo.com. If you DIDN'T have tattoos, they wouldn't want you.

Yes, many models have tattoos, that doesn't mean everyone can get them how they want and cover themselves head to toe and still book work.

Also, when is a tattoo too big? When is it too obstructive? If a model has a tattoo on her hip, and she's doing a catalog shoot, and it's covered by clothes, isn't that a Schroedinger's Cat quandary?

Errr... have you READ any of the articles in question, including the tattoo.com one?

When you are using the "exception to the rule" argument... then I also wonder if you actually read what I was writing... and what I said about Omahyra? I am putting my new website together and stumbled over her image at one of the shows I shot.

Nov 25 11 12:07 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Garry k
Posts: 27,012
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


you seem to be caught in a bit of a time warp Udor

the tattoo craze is passing  and less and less fashion models are getting even small ones
Nov 25 11 12:15 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Herman Surkis
Posts: 8,595
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


If you are Heidi, you can do pretty much anything you want.

And it might be somewhat hip...now.
Perhaps not tomorrow.
And change of fashion for tattoos is not the same of change of hair colour. Or even weight. Takes a little more effort. And if you are an in demand top model (not even super) then perhaps the effort to hide the tattoo is worth it. For the rest, maybe not so much.

Whatever may cause more effort, is going to be a career slower, unless your career is already established.
Nov 25 11 12:17 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mnemosyne - Projects
Posts: 894
Bloomington, Indiana, US


udor wrote:
Errr... have you READ any of the articles in question, including the tattoo.com one?

When you are using the "exception to the rule" argument... then I also wonder if you actually read what I was writing... and what I said about Omahyra? I am putting my new website together and stumbled over her image at one of the shows I shot.

No I didn't. But I don't need to. Fads come and go, and tattoos are a fad like any other, they're just more tolerable. That doesn't mean they're acceptable.

You posted a couple of articles and a few models no one has ever heard of, and one supermodel who got a NEW tattoo, even though said supermodel is no longer working as much as she did before. She's free to do what she wants now.

Many of the photos in the article you showed have non visible tattoos. So I don't really see what your point is. You're saying models are told tattoos will prevent them from getting work, but showing examples of tattoos that aren't visible in even every day life and require no effort to hide. Sure there are a few others. But so what, you picked a few out that contradict the rule. And have made it. Obviously there was more to them than their tattoos. Ergo, they are the exception. But you don't just show up inked head to toe and say "Hire me BITCHEZ!!!" You pay your dues, then do what you want.

How many of the models you showed had tattoos when they started? Can you show me THAT article?

Nov 25 11 12:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
udor
Posts: 22,105
New York, New York, US


Garry k wrote:
you seem to be caught in a bit of a time warp Udor

the tattoo craze is passing  and less and less fashion models are getting even small ones

Has nothing to do with any kind of time warp Garry.

Those articles are from this year... the initial article by the Huffington Post is today's issue, and if you take a look at the frequency of models asking in here about tattoos... then it really doesn't matter if the craze is passing.

I like the idea of a passing craze, btw, because too many stupid tattoos were etched into skin for too many stupid reasons.

Fact is... independently how many models getting tattoos now, more, same or less..., if she wants it... she actually can do it.

The staunch anti-tattoo guys are not the fashion people... those are the fine art and glamour shooter, who are advising models who are pursuing a fashion career that they will destroy their careers etc.... and it's simply not the case.

Now... Garry... be honest: You ARE a runway shooter, you work backstage, you KNOW that unbelievable amount of ink you see in the industry. Fad or no fad... right!

Nov 25 11 12:25 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
udor
Posts: 22,105
New York, New York, US


udor wrote:
Errr... have you READ any of the articles in question, including the tattoo.com one?
Mnemosyne - Projects wrote:
No I didn't. But I don't need to.

Oh? Okay... I also wrote about who the anti-tattoo shooters primarily are and you come in, not reading, but having an opinion that isn't even skin deep because you didn't read but reacted.

Quod erat demonstrandum

Nov 25 11 12:30 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mnemosyne - Projects
Posts: 894
Bloomington, Indiana, US


udor wrote:
and if you take a look at the frequency of models asking in here about tattoos... then it really doesn't matter if the craze is passing.

Ummm, yeah, it kind of does. If it's passing, they won't get work, in which case this is a moot issue.

udor wrote:
The staunch anti-tattoo guys are not the fashion people... those are the fine art and glamour shooter, who are advising models who are pursuing a fashion career that they will destroy their careers etc.... and it's simply not the case.

How so? Retouching costs money. Assuming it's a tattoo that can't be covered by something, that means more photoshopping. So two models walk into a go see, one has less tattoos, which one gets picked?

And do you want to be the one who tells the model to get the tattoos that could cost her a gig, if she meets someone who doesn't like models with tattoos, simply because you disagree with the atmosphere around tattoos?

Nov 25 11 12:30 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mnemosyne - Projects
Posts: 894
Bloomington, Indiana, US


udor wrote:

Oh? Okay... I also wrote about who the anti-tattoo shooters primarily are and you come in, not reading, but having an opinion that isn't even skin deep because you didn't read but reacted.

Quod erat demonstrandum

My opinion stands, regardless of having read the articles, which I did after you responded.. You just chose to ignore that part. Or did you just have nothing to counter my point?

Nov 25 11 12:31 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
udor
Posts: 22,105
New York, New York, US


Mnemosyne - Projects wrote:
My opinion stands, regardless of having read the articles, which I did after you responded.. You just chose to ignore that part. Or did you just have nothing to counter my point?

What's your point?





Edit:
I'll respond later... going to bed now, it's 3:37am and I have to do stuff on Friday to get ready to shoot tattooed models on the runway this weekend.  wink

Nov 25 11 12:34 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mnemosyne - Projects
Posts: 894
Bloomington, Indiana, US


udor wrote:
What's your point?





Edit:
I'll respond later... going to bed now, it's 3:37am and I have to do stuff on Friday to get ready to shoot tattooed models on the runway this weekend.  wink

Yes. THIS is the best way to win people over.

You know what? I'll play your game.

Little tiny silver dollar tattoos at the base of the neck under the hairline are one thing. But find me a runway model with a sleeve. And not some runway show put on by students or small town thing. I want a big, elite runway show.

Nov 25 11 12:59 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bluestill Photography
Posts: 1,797
Seattle, Washington, US


Wow, I read the article and I will still go with the majority here on this one. Why advise models to do something that just might cost them a gig to a model of the same grade who doesn't have a tattoo? I did read part of the articles, and I'll agree with you that it indicates a designer may have a temporary tattoo placed on a model. But I think the key word here is "temporary" and if being so, why have it compete with a tattoo already on the body part that has nothing to do with what the designer had in mind? I'll agree with you that some photographers may give advice based on their own interest and beliefs with no real fact to back up what they are saying. Now in all fairness, how does encouraging models to do so based off an article with nameless models help their situation? A model at Fashion Week with a tattoo doesn't set a rule. A model at fashion week with a tattoo who also appears in the top magazines,  and is well sought after in the industry would be considered the exception to the rule.
Nov 25 11 01:58 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
tenrocK photo
Posts: 5,412
New York, New York, US


I agree with Udor. I went to 7 major shows, backstage and all, this past NYC Fashion Week and saw plenty of ink close up. None were very big, like a sleeve for example (and which no one will recommend), but ink it was.

Also, some of you need to catch up and update yourselves. Most of the models featured in the articles are indeed quite well known in fashion circles.
Nov 25 11 02:16 am  Link  Quote 
Model
LexLethal
Posts: 671
New Orleans, Louisiana, US


This is actually refreshing to see. I've seemed to already condem myself to a life of 'no fashion' because I've got tattoos that are easily cover-able. I've got no problem doing the covering myself, but still, I've gotten some of the harshest criticism from photographers who are anti-tattoo. I've got my own Dermablend and I know how to use it. Seriously, instead of having me cover them, some would rather bitch that they are there. That I had the 'nerve to tarnish my body.' C'mon guys, let's not be borderline offensive idiots. Because that verbal assault will not benefit the model or you, especially if you're ranting while you're shooting.
From a models POV, I know not everyone's going to be into them, but rarely am I asked to cover them.  I've got the list of what I have on my profile and you can see them in my port, so there are no surprises. Some see the tattoos, cue the look of disgust (c'mon dude, I'm nude... get that look off of your damn face), launch into a tirade about my tattoos, career and how I'll never be able to do fashion, all the while they are shooting me without clothes on. -_-
Never once mentioning that it'll hamper my nude work... Talk about uncomfortable situation.
So, what you're saying is that when people can see my skin and tattoos it's ok, but if I'm covered up doing fashion then it's absolutely out of the question? Hm, your reasoning smells like crap. I don't buy it.

Now, I have had photographers tell me that they don't want to shoot because I have tattoos. That's fine, that's upfront and honest. I actually appreciate it, but what's with the passive aggressive attitude some have about tattoos? They'll shoot you, but not like it because you have tattoos and decide that it's in your benefit for them to tell you what they think is wrong.
Where do you get off? You MUST have had a shitty morning if you're going to start with me like that, but you will not finish if you continue. There's a difference between constructive criticism and just being an asshole in a bad mood. And that's something that goes deeper than any tattoo.

Now that I think about it, I have noticed that the ones with the most criticism have mostly been glamour photographers, because the fine art ones against tattoos will just tell me no, flat out.
Nov 25 11 03:02 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Alabaster Crowley
Posts: 8,255
Tucson, Arizona, US


Did... did Huffington Post just say "Lolz!"?
Nov 25 11 03:04 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
udor
Posts: 22,105
New York, New York, US


Mnemosyne - Projects wrote:
Yes. THIS is the best way to win people over.

You know what? I'll play your game.

Little tiny silver dollar tattoos at the base of the neck under the hairline are one thing. But find me a runway model with a sleeve. And not some runway show put on by students or small town thing. I want a big, elite runway show.

First... I don't play games... I am too old and have no patience for games.

Second... I NEVER said anything about sleeves on models... some sleeves and many other sizes of tattoos can be found on the MUA's (make up artists), stylists (hair and makeup), assistants, creative directors, wardrobe etc... and I am talking ONLY about THE major fashion event in North America, and that is NY Fashion Week.

[Check out tenrocK's post above regarding NY Fashion Week!]

The outcry of the fine art shooters (nudes) like yourself and glamour shooters, like your other profile (nice tattooed girl in your portfolio and the selection of tattooed model list is also very interesting... and confusing in context of your outrage!!!) is usually not even about sleeves or any larger than a palm, it's about the little things already... Like this model who asked in here last week that she wanted to tattoo a little thing below her breast, on the ribcage... easily concealed but people like you came in and panicked and told her she won't get hired in the FASHION industry, because that, and not nude/glamour is her aspiration.

[See also the experience of LexLethal, just a post above this one.]

And, for cases like her, coming from an actual NY runway photographer, I wrote the OP. The nude/glamour photographers are here in the majority... and only a handful have hands-on industry experience... which has nothing to do with their technical skill or quality of the art they are producing.

I also wrote in the post that this post is for FASHION models only... and that glamour models have to listen to the glamour photographers... but... somehow... it appears that my post contained too many words to remember what I said where and points get overlooked or not even read at all... at first...

If you calm down... and actually think about what I was writing and not automatically getting offended... and consider what my back ground is... maybe you could see that I may have a point there...

That's it for now... it's super late again and I have to leave early today, will be involved in the annual fashion show of Black Men Magazine/Hype Hair/Upscale etc. until Sunday.

Cheers

udor

Nov 26 11 12:44 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
TomFRohwer
Posts: 638
Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany


If you want to know whether tattoos are a career killer or a career obstacle for models just ask the people who are pertinent to the industry:

Bookers, model agencies, art directors.

Or better: art directors, bookers, model agencies - in this order.

Then you will know.

Otherwise just use logic thinking.

There are customers who are opposed to models with tattoos and there are customers who are not.

A model with tatoos needs customers who are not opposed to tattoos. A model without tatoos does not have to care about this at all. Even if a customer wants a tatoed model. She/he may use fake tattoos in that case.

(By the way: this has the big advantage that you can take a fake tattoo that fit's exactly to the upcoming job. And do not have to take what comes along.)
Nov 26 11 04:50 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Polaroidfilm
Posts: 374
New York, New York, US


I wouldn't deny Kate Moss ANYTHING!
Nov 26 11 09:30 am  Link  Quote 
Clothing Designer
veypurr
Posts: 214
Albuquerque, New Mexico, US


Models with tattoos should be banned from all runways worldwide and be forced onto there hands and knees to be used as human chairs backstage at NY fashion week so that the true high fashion models without tattoos can sit on there backs while they are getting there hair and make-up done.
Nov 26 11 02:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 21,245
Portland, Oregon, US


Some random thoughts, in random order:

>>>  Photographers who don't like tattoos are not necessarily "conservative".

>>>  Keep in mind that sometimes it is the client who vetoes the
        tattooed model.

>>>  Comparing an aspiring model to some of the top supermodels is unfair and could
        mis-set the aspiring model's expectation...
           ...  "Hey, Angelina Jolie has tons of tattoos & gets all sorts of jobs",
           ...  "Honey, you ain't Angelina Jolie."


>>>  To the models who wonder whether a tattoo will impact their job opportunities:
           ...  Look at tons of pictures (magazines, portfolios, ads, etc.),
           ...  Collect the ones that feature models in your genre,
           ...  Are tattoos visible in these photographs?
           ...  That is a hint to your answer.

>>>  Note:  often, aspiring models ask whether getting a tattoo will impact their
       job opportunities.  Everything a model does that impacts her appearance
       will impact her opportunities.

>>>  Note:  often models ask whether a tattoo will impact their opportunities.  Some
       people attempt to answer that question.  Others attempt to answer "should this
       person get a tattoo?" -- which is an entirely different question.

>>>  "But a tattoo can be covered by makeup" or "But a tattoo can be photoshopped
       out":  true, but...
          ...  Doing so takes time,
          ...  Doing so increases expenses,
          ...  Doing so is often imperfect,
          ...  Makeup rubs off, requires retouching, gets on clothes, sets, etc.

>>>  Modeling is a competitive business.  The presence of a tattoo is a
       differentiator, when compared to the model's competition.

>>>  In my opinion, photographing a tattoo is copying someone else's art.
Nov 26 11 02:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
LexLethal
Posts: 671
New Orleans, Louisiana, US


veypurr wrote:
Models with tattoos should be banned from all runways worldwide and be forced onto there hands and knees to be used as human chairs backstage at NY fashion week so that the true high fashion models without tattoos can sit on there backs while they are getting there hair and make-up done.

Psychotic extremist much?
It's crazy opinions like this that make people think the industry is nothing but lunatics. Way to perpetuate that.

Nov 26 11 03:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
T-D-L
Posts: 10,303
Los Angeles, California, US


lol, busy but will post a reply later
Nov 26 11 04:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Clothing Designer
veypurr
Posts: 214
Albuquerque, New Mexico, US


LexLethal wrote:

Psychotic extremist much?
It's crazy opinions like this that make people think the industry is nothing but lunatics. Way to perpetuate that.

There is no way on earth that you could have thought I wrote that with any type of seriousness. Human chairs? Banned from all runways? come on now, your smarter than that......

Nov 26 11 05:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Erick Prince
Posts: 3,457
Austin, Texas, US


LexLethal wrote:
Psychotic extremist much?
It's crazy opinions like this that make people think the industry is nothing but lunatics. Way to perpetuate that.

I think it was a joke. lol

Edit: woops. He posted while I was still reading. lol

Nov 26 11 05:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
LexLethal
Posts: 671
New Orleans, Louisiana, US


veypurr wrote:

There is no way on earth that you could have thought I wrote that with any type of seriousness. Human chairs? Banned from all runways? come on now, your smarter than that......

I am, but I don't put it past anyone to have that attitude given my past experiences with the overzealous tattoo haters. Especially not in this industry... some people's children, I tell ya.
You know, I had an inkling that you weren't serious but one never can tell...
Plus, my sarcasm radar is in the shop, it won't be back until Monday. Bummer. sad

Nov 26 11 07:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Kirsti Harmston
Posts: 16
Salt Lake City, Utah, US


I have a very large tattoo on my back. This tattoo has gotten me a lot of work! I have had many photographers ask to shoot me just so they can get pictures of my tattoo. I have even had shoot that was all about my tattoo. I have not had a photographer complain about my tattoo. My tattoo has never taken away from my beauty. No I am not a high fashion model, but I do know a few and they have tattoos as well and they have never heard anything bad about their ink. Tattoos are like make up, they add to the beauty!
Nov 26 11 10:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
udor
Posts: 22,105
New York, New York, US


Looknsee Photography wrote:
Some random thoughts, in random order:

>>>  Photographers who don't like tattoos are not necessarily "conservative".

Sorry, I couldn't find a better term at the time, arriving at it after terms that could easily have been considered offensive. By "conservative" I meant the views on tattoos (not nudity of course) and more often than not, the geographic location is often in more conservative (red state, bible belt) areas.

>>>  Keep in mind that sometimes it is the client who vetoes the
        tattooed model.

True... but at a casting/go see where 300 models being looked at, 15 models being needed... the selection often has nothing to do with the tattoos, and in that case, 285 models being rejected, most of them without tattoos (I have been part of those castings). Ergo: Not having a tattoo doesn't guarantee you the job either!

>>>  Comparing an aspiring model to some of the top supermodels is unfair and could
        mis-set the aspiring model's expectation...
           ...  "Hey, Angelina Jolie has tons of tattoos & gets all sorts of jobs",
           ...  "Honey, you ain't Angelina Jolie."

You are absolutely correct. That is not fair... and it's also not the reality. Although the Huffington Post used the supermodels in their article.

The majority of runway models at fashion week (the major events) are working agency models... not super models... and they have some of the tattoos as well. Those are the type of girls I am referring to in my OP.

>>>  To the models who wonder whether a tattoo will impact their job opportunities:
           ...  Look at tons of pictures (magazines, portfolios, ads, etc.),
           ...  Collect the ones that feature models in your genre,
           ...  Are tattoos visible in these photographs?
           ...  That is a hint to your answer.

Sorry, but that is not a hint... because there is something that is called Dermablend and other products, then there is clothing covering the bodies... (after all, we are talking about fashion, right!) and still... you see the tattoos... but from a fashionshow... the photos being shown in the media have rarely to do with the model, it's actually about the design of that particular outfit (look).

So, you see a sample of maybe 5 looks in a magazine... from a designer that showed 30 to 40 looks... Do you really want to say that those images are being chosen for anything other than how the garment looks?

>>>  Note:  often, aspiring models ask whether getting a tattoo will impact their
       job opportunities.  Everything a model does that impacts her appearance
       will impact her opportunities.

Absolutely, without any counter-argument, correct!

>>>  Note:  often models ask whether a tattoo will impact their opportunities.  Some
       people attempt to answer that question.  Others attempt to answer "should this
       person get a tattoo?" -- which is an entirely different question.

Good distinction! I too don't recommend anybody just to get a tattoo... ever! I am against (personally) random, thoughtless tattoo choices based on fads... Tattoos are too serious for me, with consequences in society in general (now by far not as much, because of all the celebrities with tattoos) and impact to yourself... that a tattoo will less likely being regretted if thoroughly thought about beforehand.

When a person (model or not) asks me directly about tattoos, to get it or not, I always tell them that they should find a design that has something personally to do with them for the majority of their life... get it drawn up, and then hang it over their bed for 3 to 4 months... and if after that time they still like it... then they should look for a good tattoo artist, since this is going to be permanently on their body.

>>>  "But a tattoo can be covered by makeup" or "But a tattoo can be photoshopped
       out":  true, but...
          ...  Doing so takes time,
          ...  Doing so increases expenses,
          ...  Doing so is often imperfect,
          ...  Makeup rubs off, requires retouching, gets on clothes, sets, etc.

It's the models own responsibility to be able to cover the tattoo with specialized makeup (doesn't just rub off... it's not a pimple concealer for the face!) and the responsibility of the photographer to know about those things.

>>>  Modeling is a competitive business.  The presence of a tattoo is a
       differentiator, when compared to the model's competition.

That is correct but it is much less dramatic than the art/glamour crowd wants to scare the model off. [b]IF she has the LOOK, people want her... and having a tattoo won't matter, because it may add "edginess" to the look.

>>>  In my opinion, photographing a tattoo is copying someone else's art.

That's a whole other topic. Maybe tattooed people shouldn't get photographed at all then?   yikes

You know... in that case... let's just ban tattoos all together... tongue

Nov 27 11 08:23 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ChanStudio - OtherSide
Posts: 5,328
Alpharetta, Georgia, US


Kirsti Harmston wrote:
I have a very large tattoo on my back. This tattoo has gotten me a lot of work! I have had many photographers ask to shoot me just so they can get pictures of my tattoo. I have even had shoot that was all about my tattoo. I have not had a photographer complain about my tattoo. My tattoo has never taken away from my beauty. No I am not a high fashion model, but I do know a few and they have tattoos as well and they have never heard anything bad about their ink. Tattoos are like make up, they add to the beauty!

I saw your large tattoo and I will be the first one to tell you that I have no interest in shooting anyone's tattoo.  Unless they paying me to shoot their tattoos.  If I was to do swimsuit, fashion, editorial, etc, I am only interested in shooting model and have no interest in model's tattoo.  Tattoos are OK if they do not cause distraction or it is hidden where it can't be seen for some of the projects.

  Note:  Tattoo could be a beauty but that depends on the project and the wardrobes.  Majority of beauty, fashion, etc do not require tattoos.  It would be easier to put fake tattoos on model's body if the wardrobes could be enhanced on models with tattoos.

Also note:  It is people's choice to have tattoo or not but I see some people with tattoos are forcing those that don't like tattoos to like tattoos.  People who have tattoos shouldn't force those that don't like tattoos and people without tattoos shouldn't force others with tattoos to not like tattoos.

Nov 27 11 08:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 21,245
Portland, Oregon, US


Looknsee Photography wrote:
>>>  In my opinion, photographing a tattoo is copying someone else's art.
udor wrote:
That's a whole other topic. Maybe tattooed people shouldn't get photographed at all then?   yikes

You know... in that case... let's just ban tattoos all together... tongue

I'm not suggesting anything like a ban on tattoos; I'm just saying that I am uncomfortable photographing them and/or covering them up.

...  I feel like photographing a tattoo is copying someone else's art.

...  Also, as a model becomes popular, seeing the same tattoo over & over is like hearing the same joke over & over.  It's potentially great the first time, but after a while, it just gets old.

Look -- to me it's simple:
...  Some people love seeing tattoos in photographs,
...  Some people don't care, and
...  Some people (like me) prefer to avoid them.

This is a "different strokes" situation -- yes, getting a tattoo will impact a model's appeal:  in some situations, it may increase her appeal, in others, it may decrease her appeal.  But I would hope that someone putting a semi-permanent mark on her skin would think about its impact beforehand. 

Final thought:  I'm not opposed to people getting a tattoo; I'm just reluctant to photograph tattoos, and since I'm lucky enough to have lots of wonderful, ink-free models available to me, I don't have to work with tattooed models.

Nov 27 11 08:40 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Erik Ballew
Posts: 715
Westminster, Colorado, US


Once the baby boomer generation finally dies out, no one will care.
Nov 27 11 08:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
glumpy
Posts: 516
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


I want to learn tattoo removal.
It's going to be a boom industry pretty soon when people realise they are just a fad and look like crap when they get older and the tatts fade. There will be more people trying to get the things removed than put on.

Why the hell anyone would do something so permanant and expensive and painful to have recitfied to themselves as a trend or fashion thing is beyond me.

Yeah, yeah, I'll cop a load for saying all this but like other things I have said that have been unpopular, the fullness of time will prove what i'm saying to be perfectly true.
Nov 27 11 12:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
StephenEastwood
Posts: 19,583
Great Neck, New York, US


ChanStudio - OtherSide wrote:
Also note:  It is people's choice to have tattoo or not but I see some people with tattoos are forcing those that don't like tattoos to like tattoos.  People who have tattoos shouldn't force those that don't like tattoos and people without tattoos shouldn't force others with tattoos to not like tattoos.

what are you, some type of communist?  Of course we should impose our views, values, morals and thoughts on others!!!  That is what we do!!!!



Stephen Eastwood
http://www.StephenEastwood.com

Nov 27 11 12:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Garry k
Posts: 27,012
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


udor wrote:

Has nothing to do with any kind of time warp Garry.

Those articles are from this year... the initial article by the Huffington Post is today's issue, and if you take a look at the frequency of models asking in here about tattoos... then it really doesn't matter if the craze is passing.

I like the idea of a passing craze, btw, because too many stupid tattoos were etched into skin for too many stupid reasons.

Fact is... independently how many models getting tattoos now, more, same or less..., if she wants it... she actually can do it.

The staunch anti-tattoo guys are not the fashion people... those are the fine art and glamour shooter, who are advising models who are pursuing a fashion career that they will destroy their careers etc.... and it's simply not the case.

Now... Garry... be honest: You ARE a runway shooter, you work backstage, you KNOW that unbelievable amount of ink you see in the industry. Fad or no fad... right!

Yes I have by now shot around 400 fashion shows and as I stated earlier I am seeing less and less tattoos

in the fashion world the staunch anti tattoo people are modelling agencies and of course commercial clients

what i would like you to show me is mainstream fashion advertising featuring models with visible tattoos

and by the way I remember a time when you would have laughed at the idea of a 1 inch bunny rabbit /star /whatever inked on a models ankle as being a "real tattoo "

Nov 27 11 01:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Doug Lester
Posts: 10,591
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Just one short question for the OP. My own experience is in commercial photography and tats are few and far between.

My question is, did those models doing the runway get their tats after they became established or did they have them as novices trying for their first gig?
Nov 27 11 02:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jeremy Weddle
Posts: 9
Indianapolis, Indiana, US


Actually there is a new product I saw the video on you tube that conceals tattoos or skin disorders perfectly. In the video they used Zombie Boy. I believe you are right about models with tattoos because a photographer or retoucher does not want to spend hours trying to get rid of your tattoos. Time is money.
Nov 27 11 02:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Fifi
Posts: 58,133
Annapolis, Maryland, US


glumpy wrote:
I want to learn tattoo removal.
It's going to be a boom industry pretty soon when people realise they are just a fad and look like crap when they get older and the tatts fade. There will be more people trying to get the things removed than put on.

Why the hell anyone would do something so permanant and expensive and painful to have recitfied to themselves as a trend or fashion thing is beyond me.

Yeah, yeah, I'll cop a load for saying all this but like other things I have said that have been unpopular, the fullness of time will prove what i'm saying to be perfectly true.

Why do people prefer to spew nonsense instead of actually educating themselves. Do people like looking like raging idiots?

*smh*


I have never gotten a tattoo or piercing because it was "the cool thing to do". All of them have personal meaning to me. Even my nose ring. So, instead of spewing bullshit, why don't you actually educate yourself on the history of tattooing/the real reasons why some people choose to get them.

Nov 27 11 03:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
BlueMoonPics
Posts: 4,257
New York, New York, US


Nov 27 11 04:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
A Lynn Reid
Posts: 1
Conway, Arkansas, US


veypurr wrote:
Models with tattoos should be banned from all runways worldwide and be forced onto there hands and knees to be used as human chairs backstage at NY fashion week so that the true high fashion models without tattoos can sit on there backs while they are getting there hair and make-up done.

I actually find this disrespectful. Some tattoos are stupid, and I'm not denying that. When you see my tattoos they tell you about who I am as a person. They tell you about my family, my religion, my life. Just because they set you apart and have some kind of stupid stone age reputation doesn't make you any less beautiful or any less capable of working a runway.
~A

Nov 27 11 09:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
udor
Posts: 22,105
New York, New York, US


Garry k wrote:
and by the way I remember a time when you would have laughed at the idea of a 1 inch bunny rabbit /star /whatever inked on a models ankle as being a "real tattoo "

I still have the same definition what constitutes a "real tattoo"... for me... smile

What I find attractive on a woman... but that is not something for a fashion model, unless she is the darling of Gaultier...  big_smile

Nov 27 11 11:25 pm  Link  Quote 
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