My Tattoo Project

I am so psyched about my latest project! Monday saw my first studio session with not one, not two, but fourteen models! I've assisted on both fellow students, and internationally published photographers' studio shoots, but this was my first time to direct. It went awesomely!

I'm personally fascinated by tattoos, by both the designs people choose and why they have them. Personally I have a tiny manta ray on my right foot for nostalgic reasons, which I had inked a few hours before I flew home from 10 weeks in Fiji (long story for another day). With thousands of potential models around my university, I thought I could put together an epic collection of images showcasing young people with their body art. As they're still students, they could end up anywhere, doing anything.

With this project, I hope to break down some of the stigma attached to tattoos - the imagined 'rebel-ish' quality that some believe cries out social or intellectual inadequacies. Despite them coming into vogue in the last few decades, many still feel the need to hide them in case they want a particular job. I want to show the world that their next generation of lawyers, doctors, politicians, pharmacists etc. may well carry body art - and that it doesn't affect their ability to be awesome at what they do.

Me and my little Manta Ray from Fiji

I recruited my models through Facebook and word-of-mouth, by inviting people to email me about their tattoos and why they chose to be inked. The selected models were invited to Keele's media studio, where I was assisted by the lovely Stephanie, who helped out with lighting and posing. Over the 4 hours, I saw my confidence and directions improve immensely, as I bounced around the studio with my D7000 and Sigma 85mm f1.4. I don't get chance to use that lens as much as I'd like, but it came into its own here. I fell in love with it all over again!

We produced some awesome images, that I cannot wait to start retouching! They're going to be an amazing addition to my portfolio, and I hope the message really stands out. It'd be nice to make a difference!

I'll write a more in-depth piece about the project once the images are finished, so keep watching for that! In the meanwhile, check out these behind-the-scenes photos, courtesy of Issy Goode who also wrote this great blog post about being included