Photo Essay Final: Inspirational Tattoos
From my perspective, getting a tattoo is a big commitment because it is something that stays with you for your entire life. It has always intrigued me to see what people have had inked on their bodies as a representation of themselves. I have seen numerous girls from my high school get a series of stars tattooed on their foot. Frustratingly enough, there is no real meaning or significance behind these cookie cutter tattoos except that the recipients think they are “cute.” I chose to photograph tattoos that were particularly inspirational to me. All of the subjects in the photos got tattoos as a means to express themselves and signify something of importance to them; none of them are meaningless.
Everyone who allowed me to photograph them explained to me the story behind their own individual tattoos. William had a stylized Keith Haring painting of a heart tattooed on his back to represent life and love, the two things he considers most important. Sarah got a tattoo of a circle on her wrist to signify the countless cycles in life as well as earth’s tendency to replenish itself. Riley had the word dandelion written in the ancient language of ruins tattooed on herself in memory of her best friend Ethan who died last year, who always scribbled it simply because he liked the way it looked. Natalie had the words dream, inspire, and create tattooed on her foot to portray an inspirational, yet straightforward message. Lydia had her family crest tattooed on her forearm, which she created in a story she wrote when she was younger, to symbolize her creativity. Kate had a Keith Haring painting of a tree on her back to symbolize all the life on planet earth, whether it be human or botanical. Joanne is a cancer survivor, so she had the inspirational phrase, “Hold your own, know your name, go your own way,” tattooed on her rib cage. Amy got a tattoo as a memorial to her father and her friend Cassie who both died in car accidents. Allee got a tattoo of an anchor on her hip to symbolize her love for her home state of Rhode Island, the ocean state. Alicia got a tattoo of the eight radial arrows to symbolize that there are many paths you can take in life, and the decision of which to choose is completely up to you.
All of these photos were taken with an Exilim Casio EX-S880 digital camera.