Mark V iNTERVIEW
Do you remember the first time you saw a tattoo, and what your reaction was?
The first time I can remember ever seeing a tattoo was way back being a kid in NYC in the 70’s! Hanging out with my Uncle Jeff and his muscle car building buddies
Do you have any tattoos yourself?
I am double sleeved… Have a kick ass rib piece done by Greg Fly and have a should tatt in memory of my Big Brother Michael.
As a photographer, do you approach shooting a photographer with body art any differently than a photographer without tattoos?
No… Beauty and art are both subjective to the eye. Ech subject is an adventure in themselves.
Any tips for other photographers, for working with photographers who have tattoos?
I like to try and find out a bit about the subject if times allows. Find out what makes them tick. Also look at the body ( or canvas ) as a whole and then break it down. Just don’t shoot it! Capture the image beyond the ink.
Are tattoos and body modifications a problem in other work that you do? Do you ever have to shoot around tattoos or use cover-up make-up? Do you ever Photo Shop out tattoos?
Tattoos and body modifications are never a problem when I shoot. Times are changing. However I also like to think I am smart enough to put the right person in the right shoot and make it work.
What is it about a particular tattoo or a photographer with tattoos that you find interesting? Have you ever seen a tattoo, or a person with tattoos and said, "I have to shoot that!"?
I wish I could shoot every person that crossed my path who carries a tattoo! What is really cool is when you have the time to get to know that person then look at their ink and see the connection.
As a photographer and visual artist, what defines a good tattoo in your eyes? What design and aesthetic qualities are you looking for?
Tough question… to me each person’s tattoo’s are perfect and art even if for their own pleasure, which in the end should be the only reason anyone should have one. So in a nutshell I love them all and do not have a particular style which appeals to me.
What would be your advice to someone who wants a great photo that shows their body art to its best advantage?
Try and capture the person somehow some way as well as the tattoo. If you can walk away with a image that tell why that person has that tattoo then wow!
What is the biggest difference between shooting editorial work - say for someone like Bob Baxter at Skin & Ink - and working in a studio?
To me there is no difference. I shoot every shoot like it is my first and last. Give the people what they want but keep it my own.
Any tips for taking good photos at tattoo conventions?
None.. It’s tough and your shooting with poor light unless you have a shoot room. So just so try and capture their character as well as their ink.
What do you think of the growing numbers of celebrities and photographers who have tattoos?
I think it’s great! I am sure for some it’s just a fad but it is nice to see that times are changing.
What tips would you give to the home photographer, tattoo enthusiast or tattoo artist who wants to take a great photograph of a tattoo?
Try to find the image within the image. Make it special …find your way.
What would be your dream tattoo photography assignment?
I would love to be able to just travel the world for a year…maybe two and just shoot people and their ink. Then put them all in one book!
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Want to find out what some of MARK V's tattoo designs & symbols
Check out: Koi Tattoos, Anchor Tattoos, Swallow Tattoos, Flower Tattoos, Tribal Tattoos, Flames Tattoos, Web Tattoos, Wing Tattoos, Wolf Tattoos, Script Tattoos, Skull Tattoos, Dragon Tattoos, Star Tattoos.