This blogpost is long overdue. Half a year in fact. I apologise.
Not completely satisfied with my Academink project, I set about reproducing the project, with even more students. I'd felt stifled and under pressure in the studio, perhaps because I'd never held my own shoot in one before. I needed to get outside.
Back from the original project were Scarlett, Marie, Louise and Megan R. Comfortable and confident in front of the camera, they were all a pleasure to work with again under the beautiful summer sun. To remind you, Scarlett's tattoos are a visual expression of her wonderful personality, while Marie's ink brings her strength from past memories. Louise's remind her of family and to appreciate overcoming obstacles, as Megan's reminds her of those she's sadly lost.
I also had the pleasure to meet and get to know James and Megan C. That's just one thing I've loved about my personal projects - the people I've been able to meet are fantastic. James' stories and symbolism for his tattoo were brilliant. The treble and bass clefs adorning his right arm are a show of love for his passion in music. I wish him all the best of luck in his musical ambitions. In the hour we had to shoot, I enjoyed working with Megan and watching her flourish in confidence in front of the camera. Her floral tattoo is a fantastically inked nod to her middle name, which means 'little rose' in Irish.
I had hoped to photograph many more students, to produce Academink II. Unfortunately my masters and the summer vacation got in the way of me organising any more photography, so the project was left to flounder. I have since had second thoughts as to how I conducted this series too, so perhaps one day I will publish a new series in a new style. I've truly learnt that I love photography with a purpose and a meaning. I will always be fascinated by tattoos, and the designs and reasons why people get them. I hope I've made at least some dent in the stigma of young people with body art. We're not all hooligans or thugs - just in this project we have had: 2 english students, a law student, a music student, a psychology student and a biomedical student. If you haven't already, check out the original Academink project! Hopefully 2014 will bring many more opportunities to meet and photograph new and amazing people.
Models in order: Megan C, Marie, Scarlett, James, Louise and Megan R.