Forums > Model Colloquy > Models with tattoos

Photographer

AgX

Posts: 2823

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US

redacted

Aug 12 21 08:11 pm Link

Retoucher

happynathan

Posts: 66

Shanghai, Shanghai, China

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Aug 26 21 02:56 am Link

Model

Idontkaruh

Posts: 3

Clarksville, Tennessee, US

I have many tattoos, maybe around 30 so far. I have yet to be turned down because of them though. I think a lot of people like the art, but I also understand it isn't for everybody and its definitely subjective and wont fit into everyone portfolio. But I love my art and the ones who like it, will come. Is what it is. smile

Sep 11 21 03:50 pm Link

Model

Modi Spark

Posts: 4

Detmold, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Hey there!

I am having a few tattoos, even though they are indeed limiting my job possibilities I am mostelikely happy with those.
It's also possible to cover them up with camouflage, products are getting better and better.
Except that one pretty huge one I ve got on my leg. It's super huge, super bad made and massively expensive to get it removed (I am doing laser treatment since one year and I am having about  2-3 more years ahead).
Absolutely regretting that one.

Jun 16 22 04:27 pm Link

Photographer

Beyond Boudoir

Posts: 401

Portland, Oregon, US

This is an issue that is quite important to me.  I'm a pro photog in an interesting position regarding tattoos on models.   This is due to the fact that I shoot in two different markets.

I do private intimate shoots for people who pay me just like they would pay a mainstream boudoir photographer.  Many of my clients have tattoos and I have fun incorporating them into the visual story I craft that describes the client.

On the other hand, I do a lot of nude/erotic shoots to create photosets that I sell to a group of buyers located around the world.   I believe the guys who buy my work are an older, upscale demographic.  As you might expect from this group, they really don't like tattoos.  This limits which models I can pay to pose for these shoots. 

I happen to live in the Portland, Oregon area.  There used to be a plentiful supply of un-inked nude models for me to work with, but it seems that in the last few years, most of the models (and dancers) here have become tattoo collectors.  There is a tattoo parlor on every block and in the Summer you see tats on everybody as you walk through stores.  Along with the tats come piercings and exotic hair.  This used to be called the alternative look, but it has become so common that natural models are now in very short supply and can charge higher rates.  They are the new alternative look.

In order to find natural models, I've been forced to travel to other cities and have actually gotten quite good at arranging these photo trips. 

Being constantly surrounded by tattoos here in Portland, I've learned to recognize the expensive ones vs the cheap ones.   I've even become something of a tattoo snob.  Not something I would have expected.

If someone wants to choose a lucrative career, I'd say look into the tattoo removal industry.  I'm sure you'd make a lot more money than you would in photography.

Jul 11 22 10:25 pm Link

Photographer

ImageCRAFTbyAleks

Posts: 49

Albany, New York, US

I lean to no ink. Several photographers have pointed out that tats often pull the focus onto the design and can potentially distract  the viewer from the overall image. Others stated that ink may not reflect the theme itself and hinders (or obliterates) the intent/concept of the image. When some countered that hair, etc., can do the same... true, but there may be more flexibility in restyling the hair to suit the concept.

There is also one very important reason I tend to not like tats on models: all too many are ill-conceived and do not flatter the model's physique through light and shadows. Their choices were personal ones, and kudos for that.  However, most of the photographers I know like to play with capturing the human/facial form in its many modes of expression through light and shadow. If ink masks the facial structure or musculature of the body, the skin of the model may as well be covered in a parka. If I wanted to photograph a parka, or a tat, that's it's own goal. For other things I may want to capture, not so much.

People, and in this case models,, may do whatever they want with their bodies... but other creatives may choose to do without their physical artistic expression and seek out 'types' more aligned to what they're trying to achieve.

Jul 18 22 07:29 am Link

Photographer

DSJR Photography

Posts: 25

San Antonio, Texas, US

What gets me.  Is I have no tattoos and they show up with 3-4 small to medium tattoos.  You can't see them in the photos, cause they are in the opposite side.

Jul 29 22 08:18 pm Link

Photographer

Acraftman1313

Posts: 198

Greensboro, North Carolina, US

Starting out as a self-employed individual I realized the largest share of the market to tap into involved "herd mentality" what is everybody else doing. I realized most people are trend followers not trend setters so why fight the system. I had mentioned to a model 15 years ago I had tattoo's old enough to be her father and her response was yeah but when you got them it wasn't cool. I will say the trend has out lived avocado refrigerators. But then again there are still old dudes wearing ear rings.

Jul 30 22 07:17 am Link

Photographer

JSouthworth

Posts: 561

Kingston upon Hull, England, United Kingdom

In the UK, most models nowadays have tattoos so you really need to be able to make your picture ideas work around them.

Sep 18 22 09:03 am Link

Photographer

Perfect Exposure

Posts: 32

New York, New York, US

JustHenry wrote:
It's hard to improve on God's handiwork.

Sep 20 22 11:12 pm Link

Photographer

Perfect Exposure

Posts: 32

New York, New York, US

That is well said.

Sep 20 22 11:13 pm Link

Photographer

MrJoelieC

Posts: 5

Milford, New Hampshire, US

At the risk of bringing an old topic back from the dead...

I have to admit I have totally flipped on this topic... Errrr Kinda... If you had asked me if I prefer models with or without Tattoos 5 years ago, I would have said "Without" without thinking or batting an eye...

But then, a few years ago I met some models who have them... If the Tattoos are done well, you can actually look past them... Well Done Tattoos that have meaning and artistry are much more profound and become part of the person... There are bad tattoos out there...

But additionally, and coming from a person who does not have any tattoos myself, I found the people I met who had them and had them done by a real tattoo artist are people who really think about what they are doing to their body... It's not a "Drunk on a bet Tattoo" it's a Tattoo that has a story... A deep meaning for the person who then asked the artist to convey that meaning...

I honestly didn't get that at first. Once I did I started to look at not only models with Tattoos differently but also everyday folks who had them as well...

For my Genre of Cars and Car Shows men and women with Tattoos fit in perfectly and I actually like them now... If photographed correctly (And I'm not sure I have mastered this at all.) you can capture a deeper story. Or more likely, make a beautiful tattoo to enhance the natural god-given beauty that was already...

That all being said, I'm not going to say I never saw someone who had a bad tattoo... I think it would be naive to say there is no such thing as a bad one...But I'm not dismissing a model male or female just because they have one, but I might be a tad critical of the quality. And maybe I'm a little bit of a bad person for that? Not sure?

-=Joel=-

Sep 21 22 01:02 pm Link

Photographer

Garry k

Posts: 30083

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Frustrating for Me as a Fashion Photographer

I recently discovered a Beautiful Tall Lean Asian Model who I think has Agency Potential

But They won’t even Look at Her because She has one arm covered in Tattoos

and She is better Looking than most of the Local Asian Models across all the Agencies in my area

Sep 21 22 11:21 pm Link