Looking for Subjects for a Personal Project: #TattooStory

 As the title says I am looking for subjects for a personal project I am about to start, the title of which will give some idea of what its about but before we get in to the details a little about me and what I am looking to achieve with this project.

       Working Title:  #TattooStory

My name is Rick and I am a portrait photographer based in Stockport, UK.  This project is not just simply personal work it’s about challenging my-self as a photographer, meeting new people, listening to new stories and also building a body of work that shows a different side of my photography.

If I said I wasn't as nervous as I am excited about this project I would be flat out lying to you.  I have asked myself am I making it too complicated but I just have to run with this layout/idea.. It just feels right.  Also I will pad this out with an image or 2 from the project once I have them shot.

I also want to make it known that I understand what I am asking could be difficult to do both time wise but also personally so please be sure you understand what this project is about, what is being asked of you and that the resulting body of work will be shown on my site/online.

Below are the details behind the project and hopefully enough information to answer any questions you might initially have.  If you have others then please just ask.           


       The Details


I am looking for 10 (this number may change) different subjects/people for this project each person will receive prints in return for their time/story given.  The prints will be one set of large and one set of small prints (18x12, 9x6) so you will have options on which you display should you wish to.  Should you want additional prints for family that can be arranged with digital files on a USB memory stick. 

Why Prints?  Simply they hold more value than a cd or memory stick with just digital files on, you can hold them, they make people talk… and more importantly they get seen and not locked in an a device and forgotten.  But don’t worry I will give you web sized images as well.

For each shoot/subject I will be making 3 images, 2 of which are portraits and the other is a detail shot.

  •  A ¾ Length Portrait – Tattoo to Be Visible.
  •  A Close Up of the Tattoo – Detail Shot.
  •  Environmental Portrait.

But there will be a 4th element that will start each set off, the TattooStory.  What I am asking is not only to come in to your home/place to make the portraits mentioned but to also get a story from you.  

This story will be the first plate shown in the gallery and will be written by you.. still reading?  Ok good.  It has to be your story from you to work; I can’t write that part or just make notes then ad-lib.  So I am looking for people that have a Tattoo that comes with a story….

  • To remember a loved one.
  • Signify an event or moment in life.
  • Something personal.

I get how this can be a big ask, really I do and I understand it could be a very personal story.  Now I don’t just want people who got a Tattoo whilst out drinking.. Or one that says Made In (insert town name).. Yeah trust me I have seen those… they suck. 

It’s about the story of the Tattoo and what it represents and not about the process of getting a Tattoo, lots of those sites around.

For the environmental portrait I am looking to photograph you in an environment (room or place) that also has something/an item that visually ties in with the Story behind the Tattoo and what it represents.  It could be a picture, an object, the room or place itself.


       Questions Answered


What Areas are you looking to work in?

Since I am based in the North west I am looking at that area first but will travel (within UK) if required. 

How much time will this process take? 

The first 2 shots are pretty easy to shoot but the environmental may take more time; it’s hard to say as it will depend on the environment and the elements to be included.

Once I have a few stories shot I will have a better idea of how long it should take and I will be able to show what the process is like in more detail.

Can we split the shoots in to multiple ones?

Yup no problem, I understand it’s your time, your place.  The first 2 shots can be done easily on the same day as the background and lighting are real close to being the same; the environmental can be done on another day.  If you are really pushed for time we can reschedule or split the 3 images across 3 shoots if needs be.  I am coming to you and will work around you.

Will my house become a studio?

Yeah kind of, I would need to set up 3-4 lights and a background for the first 2 shots and a few lights for the Environmental.  The first 2 images can be shot at the same time as they are in pretty much in the same lighting setup.

I have diagrammed the lighting and planned it all out as much as I can so it goes as smoothly as possible in terms or lighting and logistics.

Can we not come to your studio?

Absolutely. The studio is located in Stockport

How many people will be coming?

For the most part just me, unless I feel the need or have the availability of an assistant.  If I do need to bring an assistant I will let you know and to be honest it will speed up the whole process if I do.  I don’t have a full time assistant yet.

Any Paper Work?

In addition to you writing your story I will have a release form for you to fill in, it will lay out how the images will be used and what you will receive in compensation for your time.  Please know I will NOT sell these images or put them in a stock image library ever.  But the work will be displayed on my site/blog and on social media.

How can I take part?

The best way to contact me is via email or phone the details for which can be found on the( Contact / About Page ).  

If you have any other questions about this project or me and my work then please feel free to contact me.   I look forward to working with you and photographing your #TattooStory

P.S If you know someone who may be interested in this project then please pass the link on - here is a short link you can copy and paste or right click and copy link.



Update: 14/03/14   - You can see the first stories in the project gallery here which should give you an idea of the process, also I have a blog post about the first shoot here

Currently I am talking to 3 more subjects for this project and in total I am looking to photograph 10.  I look forward to hearing from you.


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