Capture the Ink
The Right Light
What constitutes a good photo? As business owners and artists, being able to capture your ink is a valuable skill to acquire while living in a digitally driven world. Your design is your product, and to build clientele, as well as create a higher demand for your product, knowing the basics when it comes to taking a decent photo is important. If you ask most of your clients how they heard of you, don’t be surprised if they say it’s from Instagram or Facebook. And, well, that’s the secret: the photos of your ink. We want you to succeed, which is why we’ve outlined a few tips and tricks for you to apply to your everyday photo game.
A few things you want to avoid when photographing your art is redness, swelling, and a glare. No one digs a glare. When shooting your final design, matte is a must. The ultimate solution for glare-free ink is natural light, but if you are nestled away in the back corners of an obscure studio, chances are natural lighting isn’t very accessible. So, your best bet is to go with HD LED lighting. When it comes to choosing which type, try to avoid floodlighting with a direct spotlight or source. This might cause your ink to lose quality and fine detailing in the final image, so we suggest something with a flexible or adjustable base. We also suggest going for a more daylight color temperature, since bright white or warm light might drown out the color accuracy and contrast when it comes to highlighting the shading.
“There is such thing as too bright. A simple trick is to place white printer paper over the light. That will defuse it so it’s not too harsh and will also help with less glare. If you’re working with no spotlight and your studio has light fixtures, always try to place your fixture in a way that won’t cast a shadow. Shadow casting could be problematic and very strenuous for the eyes over years of tattooing. This could lead to eye damage and unforeseen circumstances. Understanding little tricks can help with longevity for your eyes, as well as produce better results for your tattoo photo. Healthy light source will give you a longer and more sustainable career.” - Logan Aguilar, WF Pro Artist & Soho Ink Resident
Discover more of Logan Aguilar's incredible work here, or by using his IG handle, @loganaguilarart
Key Things to Consider
- Experiment with positioning. Discover the best angles by testing out the ones that eliminate those unwanted shadows and glares.
- With headlamps, phone lenses, clip-ons and more, we suggest trying out a few before buying to see what works best within your workflow and studio.
- Portable soft box lights are killer. They allow you to create the perfect diffused lighting, perfect for capturing any ink.
- Don’t forget to lessen the swelling and redness of the skin you inked. Minimizing these two things will prevent any glares you might capture in your photo.
- Low aperture settings. This allows the focus to be put solely on your incredible piece. Don’t have it? Move further back when taking the photo and zoom in as close as possible to create the same effect.