My latest project, "Art-Inc."
I’ve called my latest project "Art-Inc". It’s something that has been on my mind for a while. I love the art of tattoos. I think what makes this art special is the canvas is the individual's body and most have a meaning to them. Often, they are a dedication to someone else, remembering a life event, a way of revealing one's personality or any number of reasons but almost always there's a reason. Like all my self-assignment projects I depend mostly on volunteer models. These projects are not an attempt to profit but to learn and to have a fun and creative photo shoot. Although I’ve found they’re the best advertising I have so I suppose it may be a little self-serving. People showing off their pictures and telling others about the sessions has worked better for me than any paid advertising.
When people work with me on these projects I always give prints and files. There is no session fee or any other hidden cost. If you think you may want to work with me on one this or any of my other projects please let me know.
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Ashley was my first real attempt at this and did a fantastic job. I couldn’t have asked for a better model to get this project started.
Because tattoos are so personal my objective is to incorporate the art with the personality. Not just make a compilation of pictures of tattoos. I found out quickly the lighting was going to be difficult. If you’ve followed my work, you have seen I love the low key, dramatic style lighting. I think for this project it was perfect. Only problem, light the art to make it stand out and still make it complimentary for the individual.
I had no doubt when I started this project is was going to be a challenge. Let’s face it, tattoos can be anywhere on a body. I’m a conservative person, I like to be able to show off my work My ambition is to show the art in a tasteful way and show the art with my art, my photography.
My next session for this project was Clint and Miranda. Now it gets even harder. Light the art and a couple. One of the reasons I do these self-assignments is to learn. I get bored easily and I’m always looking for the next challenge.
The session I did with Kaylee and Max really emphasized what I was wanting when I started this project. Kaylee’s tattoos were in memory of her grandfathers. Two birds, her two angels. The “I love you” was a copy of her grandfather’s handwriting on a card he had given her. Max’s shoulder tattoo was in memory of a buddy killed in a rodeo accident.
Amy was kind of an inspiration for this project. She worked with me on my Noir Project and once I started editing it seemed a shame to turn her pictures into black and white. She was a perfect model for the noir style, but her pictures made me re-think some things about the project. The same style of dark shadows and bright highlights really emphasized her tattoos. I LOVED it! I received a little negativity from the session, not from displaying her tattoos but because I had deviated from the “film noir” style. And after all, it was said, it was a misrepresentation of the retro style of film noir. My answer is always, call it “art”. It can be whatever you want it to be. If you look at some of the pictures in my Art-Inc. gallery you can see a variety of lighting setups for my project but I think a dramatic lighting style suits this best.
While I’ve been working on getting people to work with me to photograph their art it came to me, I’ve photographed a lot of people with tattoos. Never thought about focusing on them but no doubt they’ve added a lot to some of my portraits. One of my favorite sessions has been a retro, pinup shoot Natalie and I worked on in Caddo. Her tattoos on her foot and forearm are almost unnoticed but are a great addition to the portrait.
It was a late-night session with Mandy. I never know what to expect when I do these sessions but always expect to have fun. I was not disappointed working with Mandy. One of the hardest things I have found to do is photograph the person’s art but do it as a compliment to the portrait. Always looking for new ways to accomplish this. Love the way this turned out.
I still have my other projects going on, Just for Fun and my Noir Project. I think you may be seeing more of Mandy included there.
I photographed Corey and Denika in downtown McKinney, a great place for sessions. If you can’t find a great background or good lighting, you’re not paying attention. As good as the location was it was only the ambiance for this amazing couple. You could see the love they had for each other in every shot they did together. Nothing put on. No fake smiles strained looks. The art of their tattoos only compliment their portraits, the definition of my project, Art-Incorporated.
The lady said she wanted pictures with a motorcycle. Well, we got those too (still trying to figure out an angle on the Harley being a tax deduction, photo prop?). Anyway, it was just natural to include Kyla in my Art-Inc. Project. But then, I love it when an unsuspecting person gets the call to join the fun. Nick made the mistake of telling about his tattoo and with a little encouraging he got in the pictures too. I love when couples get involved in my projects. I’m looking for some fresh ideas though and if you’d like to be included in one of my projects message me. It doesn’t hurt to bring an idea to the shoot too.
Just a glimpse of a boudoir session done with Caitlin. Not something I advertise or promote but it does lend itself to getting great pictures of the art.
Emily lives the vintage look, a perfect model for a retro-pinup style shoot. Couldn't decide if this should go in the Art-Inc. Gallery or Just for Fun. Maybe both.
Love doing couples pictures, especially when you can tell they have a genuine love for one another. It makes it easy to direct them. This couple had no problem showing their closeness. Jeremiah and Jissica had some amazing art to display and plan on getting more. Looking forward to a do-over.