The Tattoo Photography Portfolio Project
The Tattoo Photography Portfolio Project was my first endeavor in the world of REALLY shooting with a purpose.
In photography, especially now that digital is here, it’s very easy to shoot hundreds of shots you never look at more than a few seconds and never use. This project is designed to help make me a better photographer and a better judge of what is a good photograph, and what fits the “portfolio” better.
A portfolio can be made up of a variety of images like waterfalls, mountains, cities or people. The key is what images you choose to place in the portfolio. Ansel Adams said that a good portfolio should only consists of a dozen images. Now I don’t want to question the master of photography about the number but let’s just say that a dozen of your best images in a portfolio really makes you think about what belongs and what doesn’t.
The first process of the project is two fold: narrow down your subject and write an artist statement defining what the project is. Here we go!
Project: Tattoo Photography Portfolio
Artist Statement: I have chosen to photographically convey the narrative blending of art, culture and mystique of tattoos. I have fashioned this series to follow the art form that is a tattoo from conceptual thought in a person’s mind through its creation; finally resulting in a new person who is the embodiment of that conceptual art. My goal is to convey the evolving cultural movement that tattooing is, and transport my viewers by depicting the experiences of different tattoo artists and their clients.
Ok, that process took me about 3 months! I wanted to do a project that not only challenged me to narrow down my selected image, but also challenged my photographic skills and ability to “capture a moment”. That’s easier done in a landscape because you know when the sun will rise and set, you know when the moon is full or not, you know if it’s cloudy or not and you can always go back if the conditions are not right. In candid portraiture the “moment” only happens once. As the photographer I have to be there and capture it. The shot has to be sharp, in focus, exposed appropriately, correct white balance AND it has to capture and convey emotion! After spending months looking for the right subject/s I decided to photograph tattoos. Now, it’s real easy to photograph people showing off their tattoos. I’ve done some of that and captured some real nice images. It’s a much different story shooting in a cubicle like setting with (God forbid) gold yellow walls.
Hope you enjoy viewing and learning about the project.
Mike Jensen – April 20, 2016
Here’s the portfolio after the process was finished. Click on them to make them larger.