Nick Amrhein The Shop – Tattoo Portrait Photography Series
The tattoo portrait series I’ve created is called THE SHOP, which is a series of 10 heavily tattooed individuals. I wanted to feature not only their tattoos but their personality as well. I shot the portraits waist up and close so they would stand out and pop. The photos were all shot in studio on a white background and then cut out and composited onto a grungy brick wall to make it more fitting for the style I wanted to provoke. The concept was just to shoot unique individuals with tattoos and showcase them in a series.
They came from all walks of life from a stay at home mom, a chef, hairstylist, business owner etc just all passionate about getting ink. The only challenge I had was narrowing down my subjects I would include for the series. I used social media to find my individuals by asking people who were tattooed and showcased personality to volunteer for the shoot if they were interested or if they knew someone to tag them. The response was bigger than I had imagined, so it made it difficult to narrow down the people I chose. To capture someone’s look, personality and get the shot that will pop, I tend to use inspiration images that Ill pull online to help guide their posing. Once we get shooting, I’ll let the subjects just be themselves and not pose them too much and see what we can get with just shooting and being in the moment. I tether all my shoots to a computer monitor to reference the shots with the subjects so they can see what we’re getting. It helps make changes on the fly, and be in a collaboration with the subjects. For myself to grind and push comes naturally, I’m always wanting to push myself and see what I can come up with. I love shooting and creating, especially when it’s my own passion project that I’ve created and concepted. Sometimes just creating without any guidelines, or a client can be awesome and can be more self-expressive. I think the important part for me is to always find that happy balance between paid work and passion work.
Also making sure to take on work that makes you love your job at the end of the day. If the job makes you say Fu*% Yeah then take it, but if you question it and are not 100% about the job you should take a pass on it. As for tattoos in American Culture, I think it stands as a way of self-expression. I feel it’s a statement to others without even have to speak any words. Many of us that are tattooed have tattoos that symbolize are beliefs, or what we stand for. I was always drawn to artwork, designs. I use to draw on my arms in high school with markers for fun, so it was just natural for me to get tattooed earlier on at the age of 18 years old. The feedback on the series has been good! I only have released them on social media which has gotten love, and I have received several in-person compliments on the series. I plan to submit them in future contests for photography categories.
My name is Nick Amrhein photographer + director. I’m 32 years old from Toledo, Ohio. I have been shooting since I was 15 years old when I picked up my first camera to shoot skateboarding. I’m happily taken, Type 1 Diabetic, heavily tattooed, ride a Harley Seventy – Two Sportster, enjoy CrossFit, hanging with my dog Chopper a Chihuahua mix, and shredding at the local skatepark on my days off from work. I specialize in commercial & advertising imagery. Last Words: What you put out, is What you get in return.