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Young girls and tattoos

Emily
Emily
Nathalie

I have photographed many young females with massive tattoo displays recently. Most all of them were strikingly colorful; both the young lady and her tattoos. They have held all sorts of jobs, been from various backgrounds and nearly all under 21.

The young never see themselves growing old or their bodies wearing out and loosing its youthful firmness. Although I do not have tattoos, almost got inked one night in Army boot camp back in '72 though, I can understand one, two or a few tats to mark an occasion, person or event. To have massive, highly visible sleeves at 18 or 19 is not looking beyond the rebellious moment of youthful freedom.

I did encounter a young woman about 2 years ago, she was in her late twenties, who realized life, to include her body, moves on. She asked if I would photograph her tattoos, after a short discussion we agreed on date, time and place. During the session she explained to me her body was 'failing her', her words, and she wanted to memorialize them as her body is now and not as her children and grandkids would eventually see them.

I am not against tattoos, I enjoy the photographic challenge of lighting them and posing the model to achieve the best effect. I never mention my thoughts about the years to come and how I have learned life and bodies change. I simply take the photographs for their grandkids.

3 responses

  • Lynn H

    Lynn H (Deleted) gave props (20 Nov 2008):

    Super essay and photos! I don't think they think far down the road, to when they will be my age....and the tats will be hanging 'round their knees LOL

  • Oregon Curly

    Oregon Curly (Deleted) gave props (20 Nov 2008):

    Lynn, that depends on where the tats are. ;-) But the essay is right on the mark. Most of them are not really attractive, especially if they cover large portions of an otherwise beautiful bare skin. Admittedly I do have one. Right after boot camp, Navy, it was a 'given'. That was 50 years ago this month! Thank goodness it is in a place where my subsequent addition of a couple of pounds over the years has kept it somewhat of normal configuration....and it doesn't get a heck of a lot of daylight either. All of this to say, excellent essay and photos.

  • Grace Thompson

    Grace Thompson gave props (10 May 2009):

    As a tatooed lady, nearing her forties I can attest to the fact that yes, time and mileage do wear upon our ink as well as our bodies, but do not be so quick to assume that time ravages. My once taught belly area where my totem fish swims was once an elegant coy pond, and now....it's more of an inland sea. But totem fish still swims amid gently waving sea grasses his fins a big bigger, his colors a bit muted...yet still he swims. And I see him as beautiful.

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