This weekend has been a mini-whirlwind. Three project photo shoots with 4 models covering two of the three themes (Animal – Leather and Human – Tattoo).  One of the learning points from these shoots was feeling strangely challenged by studio lighting and feeling surprisingly comfortable with natural light and tungsten.

But the overriding  thing I discovered was that it is good to talk – to your models. Stating the bleeding obvious I hear you say, but it’s what you talk about that matters – beyond getting your more nervous models to relax. This has resonance because I was taking pictures of tattoos and the conversations turned to the meaning  or significance of what people have decided to “permanently” ink on their body. Some detail a personal history that demands a record to last at least as long as the wearer/bearer …. or some mean nothing at all other than that person wanted a tattoo at that time. All of them become a talking point because they are tattoos and we in society as still fascinated with them, despite the rise in popularity.

And I found that because I was not taking facial portraits, we could easily engage in conversation and steer well clear of the open mouthed shots – which are never flattering!
There are stories to tell about the tattoos in the shoots this weekend, that I may be privileged and permitted to share later. But until then, the shots are below:


The shoulder/upper arm piece is a Maouri design and each part of the tattoo has a separate representation. The back piece are a representation of the griffins or gryphons from the Book of Kells, with an intertwined Alpha/Omega symbol in the middle. My favourite of the five shots is the one where the arm is raised to obscure the face. Gives it a slight air of mystery… is this person hiding behind their tattoo.

M & P:

Here we have a selection of tattoos on two models. The chemical one is based on the diagram (I know that’s not the right word, but I’m not  a scientist) for Kevlar. That is accompanied by the Red, Yellow, Orange band up the arm. M was showing the magnolias, butter cups and a tattoo with the text “sister”. Of this set 1,5& 6 are my favourites. I like the atmosphere created by the monochrome pictures of 5&6. There is an intimacy in 5 that I don’t think is immediately apparent. 6 is simply poignant and better reflected emotionally in monochrome.

These initial edits (quick and dirty as I have described them) were done in Lightroom mobile as I was curious to see how good it is and I have to say I am impressed. An iPhone screen is not a laptop screen but you can still clearly see the changes made. Some of these may make the final cut, some may not. I’ll get to juxtaposing colours with toxic tattoo ink ingredients later.

Assignment criteria: 2, 4 & 5