Tattoos have been in a populous view a controversial topic with people often looking at the superficial and not trying to understand the underlying message. Fact is body markings have been integral in so many of the worlds cultures is These permanent designs – sometimes plain, sometimes elaborate, always personal – have served as amulets, status symbols, declarations of love, signs of religious beliefs, adornments. We cannot deny it as a form of expression.
What was the aim of your photo essay?
The aim of the photo essay was to explore the story behind peoples tattoos, creating a portrait of the tattoo, the stories I heard from my three participants touched on personal stories about passed loved ones, future aspirations and how they passed time as kids growing up, from conversations I really felt a strong sense of all the participants wanting to be individuals not defined by their history or social circumstances, the ink they wore on their skin was the means they used to communicate that.
Did you have any specific focus in your photographs?
I focused on three aspects, the tattoo as a piece of art, the tattoo as integrated/etched on the skin and lastly, a portrait of the individual, I felt these three images with the text included gives you a holistic view into the individual and the story.
What do you hope hope to achieve with this photo essay?
I would love to see more and more people coming out sharing their beautiful art works (tattoos) and telling their stories.
Word from the participants:
Check out more images of this photo essay in issue Nine of Live Mag!