I jumped on Facebook this morning to a message from a friend linking to this article about the state of tattooing in the Charleston area. I was a bit surprised to see my “selfie” as the lead image of not only the article, but as the top story on the front page of the Post & Courier’s website!
After a minute of surprise, it kind of made sense to me – The tattoo in question is a Lowcountry tribute, with its fire ant, crescent moon & palmetto tree hilt/pommel. The idea I had was to incorporate a fire ant into a traditional tattoo dagger, and Jason Eisenberg over at Holy City Tattooing Collective made it way better than I envisioned. The reason I wanted the design was due to my recent discovery that I’m allergic to fire ants and how it made me feel like the south is trying to do me in – But what doesn’t kill me…
The part that does kill me (and every photographer who gets their photos published) is that you never know which photo an editor is going to use. And it’s never the ones you work hardest on! This photo of my sleeve just above represents many hours of sitting in the shop as Margo Venomous worked her ass off putting ink into my arm. It features multiple designs from some of my favorite pop-surrealism artists that Margo expertly corralled into a very Todd Schorr-esque mural on my flesh. I shot it with a full lighting setup and spent time putting it all together in Photoshop. They didn’t want that, instead they used a selfie that I quickly shot in my bathroom mirror to post on my personal Facebook page to show off my new ink.
What I’m getting at is that how we shoot is never as important as what we shoot, and the story that the shot is illustrating is the most important thing when it comes to getting published. Even if it’s a damn selfie.