The start of Beauty Is Not Only Ink Deep v1
This is a post i have been meaning to cover for quite some time now, I wanted to cover the journey of my Book project Beauty Is Not Only Ink Deep ( BINOID ) so far and where i want to take it.
So where should i start i suppose with how i got to start this project and what it means to myself.
well i started this journey a few years back actually with a short series which i did for a short time, at this point i was not anticipating how far i would ever go with this, defentily wasn't thinking of making this in to a book at this point. My reason for doing this was based on my own experiences at this time i was looking at getting my first tattoo which was a little hard for me at the time not knowing if this would suit me or how people would react to me, i know it all sounds a little stupid but this is what was going on in my head at the time, i wanted to create a set of portraits that would show people with this amazing art work permanentlyetched on there skin , to show there beauty as well as been a canvas full of beautiful art work. At this time i thought this would help with my own decisions to get a tattoo in the up and coming future
here is a few examples of how i started off with BINOID back in the day
i loved the style these were done in and i still do but i think after doing these sets i wanted to set it more as a portrait series, in the time that i started BINOID i was doing shots like this above and a set of each person on a black back drop. i had only photographed i think six people for this short series at that point, i did the normal thing at this time blogged it all up and uploaded it the web not thinking to much would come from it and put it to bed. which i did for a long time actually i think it was nearly 18 months before i would venture back to it and when i did i was thankful that i did
Beauty Is Not Only Ink Deep v2
One day i had been looking through some old work and came across BINOID once again and thinking to myself i had no idea how come i had stopped doing this series, i sat there for a while going over ideas to re vamp the series, playing around with ideas of again shooting it on location and people that i would love to work with on this, i contacted a few people tying to explain my idea of what i wanted to do and what it was for now it was more than a project for myself i wanted to develop the idea more and i wanted to show these individuals for more than i did before the concept to show the beauty of the person and the art work on there body was still key to me but i wanted to try and push this more to the none tattooed community to show them this is a art form not a act of rebellion and to try to erase the other stigmas that were based around tattooed individuals.
i was set with a idea and a cause so if i remember rightly the person i got to work with was a young girl from Birmingham called Kayleigh Peach , we did two shoots for this one on location and one in the studio that i lucky enough to use the flash centre in aston, these guys have helped me so much in the last few years i have a lot to thank them for .
after the shoot i sat down and took a closer look through the images side by side i thought it would make it a lot stronger portrait series if i was to do the whole thing in the studio so that there was no main distractions to the subject matter, i still loved the location based images and maybe this is something i will go back to in further work but this is the style that i wanted to create a clean set of images from.
After a few months of doing this style of work things started to flow a lot easier and i was building a strong set of images, also with these images myself and Beccy Rimmer ( Inkluded ) came up with a set of questions to ask each subject to get there views on tattooing and how it is seen by others, with these quotes i feel it just adds another depth to the image.
A few months in to this series i thought a lot more in to what i wanted to do with this, were the images just going to stay on the web and get lost? i didn't want this i wanted to go to the next step i wanted to see these put in to print, I have set myself a lot of goals with this project in to making it in to a coffee table book to try to spread the word more.
i was lucky enough to photograph the beautiful Beccy Rimmer ( Above ) who after i had interviewed her on the photoshoot did a small interview with myself for her new project at the time INKLUDED which was amazing to see that she had saw potential in what i was going and thought that the word should be spread about what i was doing she also did another fantastic piece for me for her first feature in skin deep magazine it was a huge 5 page spread all about my work, I was so happy with this and how it came out
After doing this a number of people contacted me to do interviews such as the likes of the huffington post, A+ , tattooed , the-ink & tattoo fu to name a few , at this point i knew this was something i could actually do and it has pushed me a lot to do this for myself and for everyone thats been involved.
I have so far photographed about 35 people for this project so far, i have aimed to photograph roughly 80 people before i start to look at sending it to print, the aim for the book is that it will have 100 images in there with a portrait and a full length image for each person who goes in to this volume of the book, i also plan on doing another gallery opening to celebrate the launch of the book with all the portraits on show.
here is a few examples of mock up pages i have put together to show you what sort of thing i have been playing with
The idea of doing all this is overwhelming but so exciting for me, I have gone through ups and downs doing all of this so far but i can honestly say its such an amazing feeling to work with these people who i have not only spent time photographing but i have also become close friends with so many of them even photographing one of there weddings =] she looked beautiful by the way. izzy has also been working hard to fill my first sleeve up and it looks awesome so I'm really thankful to her for everything she has done for me from the start to becoming a great friend
it proves my point that they are not only beautiful people covered in amazing artwork but there beautiful people on the inside as well i wouldn't change my experiences with them at all and i am thankful to everyone who has been involved.
I'm looking forward to sharing more with you soon