Tattoo Shops Project

My first experience of being in a tattoo shop was walking into Great Wave in Austin, Texas and asking them if I could take pictures of their shop and them tattooing. They asked the one customer who was naked, finishing up a full body piece, if that was ok and after getting his approval let me take photos. I had no idea starting this project where it would take me and all the great artists and people I would meet along the way. Austin is home to one of the strongest tattoo scenes in the world with over a hundred shops within two hours of the city and dozens of established artists and shops.

This project has allowed me to go into shops and learn about the artistic process of putting sketches on ink and paper to skin. There are many things the public don’t see; the preparation, the study, the marketing and logistics to keep a shop open. My hope is that I capture what tattooing means now and highlight the amazing people doing it.

After two years of shooting locally I self published Tattoo Shops of Austin, TX in collaboration with Southern Cross Press. While I’m still focusing on covering as much of Texas as I can, I have trips scheduled for San Fransisco and Berlin to expand the project. There still isn’t an end point or grand narrative to this project, so feel free to follow along and reach out if you’d like to collaborate.