“I got these in prison,” 2012
(Click on images to see larger)
In my limited experience trying to become better at photographing people, I’ve learned that the easiest people to photograph are people with tattoos. Really, they’re the photographic version of shooting fish in a barrel,
People with lots of tattoos may look mean. But relatively speaking they're easy to approach. They’re not reticent. They want to make a statement. They’re flattered if you ask to photograph them and will go out of their way to show you their best sides.
Case in point: When I approached the young man shown above all I could see was the trail of tattoos down his arm. Before I even got close I'd already worked out the framing of the arm and the t-shirt. When I asked if I could photograph him, though, he immediately pulled the t-shirt off so that I could see the full inked tableau.
“I got these in prison,” he proclaimed proudly.
I didn’t get the story of his friend, below. He was just pissed that I hadn’t asked to photograph him first. So you can be sure I didn’t miss him before I moved on. I didn’t even have to ask. He just thrust his hands out and turned them over for me to see.
Good as a Dollar Bill, 2012