Home Tags Posts tagged with "tattoo photography"

tattoo photography

Crowdfunding a piece of modern tattoo history

“Beauty is skin deep, but a tattoo goes all the way to the bone.” 
~ Vince Hemingson.

Images from The Tattoo Project film on Kickstarter.

You can help to tell the story behind these images and many many more by supporting The Tattoo Project film on Kickstarter.

The Tattoo Project is Hemingson’s attempt to prove that his apocryphal quote is true. Experimental photo shoot, gallery exhibition, coffee table book—so far The Tattoo Project has made waves in the photo and tattoo worlds. But where’s the documentary film? It’s one Kickstarter campaign away, one Kickstarter pledge at a time.  Every dollar makes a difference.  $10 gets you a copy of the film, and that’s just the beginning.

The Tattoo Project documentary team is turning to you – the tattoo and photography and art communities to help them over the final financial hurdle of editing the over 24 hours of amazing footage captured from the original three-day Tattoo Project Photo Shoot and the opening night of our amazing, one-of-a-kind Gallery Exhibition. The funding campaign will result in a one-hour broadcast quality documentary, and for the Special Edition version, another hour of behind the scenes footage and interviews with the creative team.

What the heck is Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is the premier pioneering website that offers independent artists, musicians, writers, and other creative concepts the opportunity to source financing from numerous ‘backers’, or as it is often called, ‘crowdfunding’.  Kickstarter uses reward-based crowding funding, where backers at different levels of funding receive different rewards.  But backers can also help finance a project they believe in by pledging as little as $1. And with Kickstarter, if you do not raise your full financial campaign goal, no funds are transferred to the campaign. It is an all or nothing proposition and it is definitely not charity. The reward-based crowdfunding model means you get tangible benefits and goods in return for your hard earned money.

What this means for you

The Tattoo Project team has worked hard to create a package of rewards for our backers that we are incredibly proud of, that are original and unique, and that represent extraordinary value for our backers.  By purchasing a copy of the film for as little as $10, a 2 Hour Special Edition Version for $25, a package of the Tattoo Project book and the Special Edition for $75, or even booking your own portrait shoot with award-winning photographer, Vince Hemingson for $500 (which includes the Special Edition documentary, the Tattoo Project book, and your own fine art print), you get high quality premium goods at a fair market value PLUS the feel good factor of lending a hand to co-create tattoo art history. Every dollar you pledge helps us create a piece of modern tattoo history. When you watch, The Tattoo Project: body. art. image. documentary we’re confident when we say, you will never look at a tattoo in the same way again.


The Tattoo Project Book

The Tattoo Project Book featuring over 240 stunning fine art portraits. Part of the Kickstarter reward package for all pledges over $75.

A journey to the heart of “who we are.”

The film is our one chance to make sense of The Tattoo Project. To go beneath the skin and behind the eye to explore the zone where tattoo art meets portrait art. It’s a journey to the heart of “who we are.” In other words, the film is our big chance to give our audience—you—your money’s worth.

Says Hemingson:

“I have always been struck by the extraordinary power that tattoos have to reveal a person’s inner self. What we wear on our skin is an outward reflection of who we are on the inside. So the symbols people choose to decorate their bodies with, they’re proclaiming to the rest of the world, “This is who I am.”

Can photography capture both the external self and the inner self?  That’s the big question, and the heart and the soul of The Tattoo Project. As Hemingson says, “If the body is a temple, then our tattoos are its stained-glass windows.”  Tattoos tell stories. Our film reveals those stories to you.

The Kickstarter Guarantee

Due to the unique way in which Kickstarter works you don’t pay a penny unless enough other people support the project and it reaches its target before the deadline. It’s like a focus group and a funding platform all in one. The people really do get to decide what gets made and what doesn’t. So step up, have your say, make your voice heard, declare that you want to see this story told. Declare it with $10 or $1,000, either way you’ll have our gratitude and we’ll send you your reward as soon as we wrap that final glorious editing session!

Check out the rewards and support the film HERE 



Photo by Vince Hemingson

Four years ago this month, 100 hundred heavily tattooed people and 11 of Vancouver’s best photographers came together for The Tattoo Project:  Body. Art. Image:  a three-day event at the Vancouver Photo Workshops described as “a synthesis of portraiture and tattoo art that poses the eternal question, Who am I?”  The body of work born from the project explores tattooed bodies via diverse photographic philosophies. Vince Hemingson, creator of The Tattoo Project (as well as many other wonderful projects), has said that the images not only reflect who the subjects are but also the photographers, from their differing approaches to lighting, mood, and color to different methods for engaging the subjects. The subjects were quite diverse themselves and not just today’s standard “tattoo model” fare.  

Read the rest of the article as Vince explains his inspiration behind The Tattoo Project

Rita Ora tattoosBritish singer-songwriter, and soon to be thespian in ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, Rita Ora didn’t allow the controversy surrounding photographer Terry Richardson to stop her from shooting with him.  Quite the contrary.  Ora happily dropped her top to show off her impressive collection of tattoos and was all gung-ho to go full thumbs up with the Terrymeister.

For all of her tattoos and more story see: The Daily Mail Online and Terry Richardson’s website Terry’s Diary

Buzzfeed’s 40-Top-Models-With-Fashionable-Tattoos article ‘illustrates’ just how far the fashion world has come in terms of embracing body art as an expression of mainstream popular culture in the past two decades.  It was in the early 90’s that supermodels first began to sport tattoos, small and discrete at first, sported by the likes of Christy Turlington, Stephanie Seymour and Kate Moss.  One can’t help but surmise that these lovely ladies might have been influenced to embrace body art as a result of their exposure to the ‘bad boys’ they were dating at the time, Vince Neil of Motley Crue for Turlington, Seymour snuggling up to Axl Rose of Guns and Roses, and of course Kate Moss and Johnny Depp were the original Brangelina.

Miles Langford Lavin tattooNow, twenty years on, the tattoos are big and bold, and in the case of male models, they wouldn’t look out of place if they were fronting rock bands in the biggest stadiums in the world.  This is not body art that is tucked away, but tattoos meant to be seen.  It doesn’t hurt that the artwork is displayed on some of the most genetically blessed canvas to ever adorn the human race.  Enjoy!


It doesn’t seem like four years ago, but come May of this year, a full four years will have passed since the Tattoo Project: body. art. image. event took place in Vancouver.  The Tattoo Project sequestered 11 fine art photographers with a wide variety of personal styles in the VPW (Vancouver Photo Workshop) studios along with over 100 heavily tattooed individuals for a hectic and action-packed three day long-weekend.

Vince Hemingson Tattoo ProjectThousands of portraits were produced that aimed to explore the identity of each of these subjects through the portrayal of their body art and the photographic process.  Two documentary film crews prowled the crowded hallways, eves-dropped on photographers  as they shot in the studios, and interviewed dozens of models and all of the photographers.  Never before had an event like this been organized, let alone filmed, as photographers created fine art out of tattoo art on a human canvas. The weekend was an extraordinary experience that is still talked about with great affection by many of the participants.

Read Skin & Ink Editor, Bob Baxter’s gripping account.

In November of 2010, a Gallery Exhibition was held at Performance Works on Granville Island and more than 750 people attended the opening night.  The innovative and brilliant curation by Pennylane Shen showcased almost two hundred images and special guests included tattoo legend, Lyle Tuttle, famed tattoo photographer Bill deMichele, and Skin & Ink Editor Bob Baxter, among others.  Hundreds of copies of the Tattoo Project calendar were sold and all of the proceeds were donated to the Ray Cam Centre in the Downtown Eastside.

Read Skin & Ink Editor, Bob Baxter’s Gallery Exhibition Review.

Tattoo Project BookIn August of 2012, Schiffer Books published the Tattoo Project: body. art. image. book and it has been a critical and commercial success.  The volume features more than 200 images and truly reflects not only who the subjects are, but the photographers as well.  From differing approaches to lighting, mood, and colour to different methods for engaging the subjects, each of the artists clearly has a unique vision and personal style. The book has become a must have for both tattoo collectors and  photography enthusiasts.

And what does the Tattoo Project have in store next?  This Summer we’re going to be asking the tattoo and photography communities help us in finishing the post production on what we think is an amazing and important documentary film through a Kickstarter.com crowd funding campaign.  So stay tuned as we will reveal and roll out what we think are a really extraordinary list of rewards for our supporters.

And just to give you a taste, here’s a quick trailer from our talented Editor, Alec McNeil:

How to shoot cover worthy tattoo photography – a lesson from Joey L

Photographer Joey L. used a classic image from Salvador Dali as inspiration for his latest shoot with Zombie Boy, Rick Genest for Rebel Ink Magazine and the results are outstanding. It’s not easy to create a new image of one of the most photographed tattooed models but Joey L managed to. Not only that but he’s also willing to share his secrets of what it take to create cover worthy tattoo photography. Check out the teaser for his tutorial above or see more results from the shoot over on his blog.