Part One: PROBLEMS!
How do you capture what a tattoo really looks like in a photograph?
Like me, you’ve probably looked at many tattoos in real life. Then, when you look at an artist’s portfolio you inevitably see several strips of images that attempt to show a tattoo from various angles. But looking at those image strips is so far removed from looking at the tattoo in real life that it is confusing and difficult to assemble in your mind’s eye. Other photographs show the person posed where you can’t really see the whole tattoo design. You can get a sense of what the tattoo looks like, but you know it would look different and much more impressive in real life.
Many times there is a shadow and the lighting just makes it difficult to get a good look.
Then there simply is the fact that the photograph is much smaller than the tattoo in real life, so the design has a look that sharpens it in a way that looks unnatural. Furthermore, magazines photoshop the images like they do for fashion magazines and soften the details and boost the color to make the image “pop”. But this gives the tattoo a look that often takes on a cartoonish look.
Considering all of the above, most just ignore the problems and shrug shoulders accepting that there isn’t any way to do better. Just be happy with what everyone does and leave it at that.
Sorry, but I can’t go along with that attitude. An amazing tattoo deserves an amazing photograph. How is it possible to gan an amazing tattoo photograph? See Part Two: Getting better results with the equipment you have.