Recently someone on TikTok asked me how tattoos would work for the traditional style of portraits and boudoir portraits that I create
I photograph a lot of people with tattoos. Let’s talk a little bit about how it works.

Many of the artists that I draw inspiration from artist like John Singer Sargent, Frank Duveneck, and Van Dyke were painting their subjects in period-appropriate clothing. Attire that would have actually been worn during the day. When we see that now it looks costumey because it’s not the sort of thing that we would be wearing all the time.

In my opinion, what really makes the traditional portrait a traditional portrait is it’s capturing the essence of the person in the photo. It’s only about what they’re wearing from the standpoint of what they’re wearing represents who they are.

How do traditional portraits and boudoir portraits look with people who have tattoos?

Simply put, tattoos are part of the person in the photo and is a huge part of their story. In that regard, they were really well.

Let me show you.

This is a portrait of Brooke. Brooke is fairly heavily tattooed with a lot of black and gray work. Because they are a part of her and they fit with the aesthetic of she is, it works beautifully.

Traditional Portrait of Brooke

This is an example of a boudoir portrait of Lyndsey.

As a matter of fact, my wife is tattooed. This is a milestone portrait we did for her.

This is an award-winning boudoir portrait of Tracey. Her tattoos work beautifully in this portrait.

All of that to say if you love your tattoos and are comfortable with them being seen, then they absolutely belong in your traditional portraits and you’re fine art boudoir.

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