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    • Chris
      Chris MacAskill

      More of my friends than ever are getting tattoos and their faces light up when I ask about them. They tell fascinating, emotional stories about how they choose their art.

      So I decided to take my camera to the Body Art Expo and speak with people who were dedicating part of their bodies to the art they love.

    • Chris
      Chris MacAskill

      This is Susan. She was there all day getting a portrait of her fabulous grandmother permanently enshrined on her arm. Her sister was there to support her. She said her grandma raised them and passed away a few years ago at 84.

    • Chris
      Chris MacAskill

      After 8 hours, this is how far they got with the tattoo. Susan's grandma loved elaborate hats. The tattoo artist had his hands full finishing the hat, so they called it a day and scheduled her to come back in three weeks.

      As with all fresh tattoos, there is redness in the area until they heal.

    • Chris
      Chris MacAskill

      This gentleman got the first of three tattoos that he plans for his three adorable children. His wife and children were there to support him.

      You can get a glimpse of the son portrayed in the tattoo in the lower right of the following photo. He's a few years older now than in the photo and his missing tooth in the tattoo has grown in. 😁

    • Chris
      Chris MacAskill

      This is Colleen Cameron. I stopped to introduce myself because I had to know why she was getting a tattoo of a calf. Was it her calf? Adorable calf, but I was seeing dogs & cats as tattoos, not calves.

      Colleen and her husband are animal rights activists. Their faces brightened as they told me all about the things they do for animals and challenged me to come, participate, and take pictures.

    • Shay

      tattoos have come a long way from my teen years, it's an art form now. Great photos

    • flei

      Although I have an appreciation for good tattoos, I don't have any, as I do not want any portraits and there is nothing else I am enough attached to that I want to have it permanently etched into me. A friend of mine owns some fine tattoo shops and has an excellent website where some amazing art can be seen; if you are getting a tattoo, I think you owe it to yourself to puruse the site: http://www.tattoonow.com

    • Chris
      Chris MacAskill

      There was a hair weaving booth, which seemed very unfair because I wanted to try it but I'm bald. However, this friendly Asian guy let me watch and take photos as his new braids totally transformed his look. He says they last a month so every month he can have a new look.

    • Chris
      Chris MacAskill

      This cutie got her first set of braids at the show. This is the moment she saw herself in the mirror for the first time. Pure joy.

    • Chris
      Chris MacAskill

      So many piercings at the show. Zack is an aspiring tattoo artist who had great printed artwork for sale. Each side of his head had different piercings.

    • ia

      I love the stories behind tattoos. I don’t have any but when I look, the ones that are most interesting are those with a theme woven in. Less of an interest in the “book” tattoos too.

    • Chris
      Chris MacAskill

      Aren't they amazing!? I watched the loving care that went into this one over many hours. I asked the tattoo artist how the subtle shades of color like this evolved and she said it was just many years of making it up as she went.

    • Chris
      Chris MacAskill

      Ian, you need to catch up to this gentleman. He started later in life and chose themes that are prominent in books he loves. He's a software engineer.

    • Bradford

      i think the stories are the amazing part. Great shots. I would be interested in a similar visit with an aural component to hear the person’s voice and their stories.

      I have recently purchased a portable digital audio recorder for better quality portable recordings. Still haven’t found a good story to record.

    • Chris
      Chris MacAskill

      I loved Friday so much I went back with the incomparable @SarahBethArnold on Saturday. She's a photographer whose superpower is charming everyone she meets, even half-naked strangers getting tattoos.

      It helped that she's adorned with beautiful tattoos and a piercing in her nose. She couldn't resist having her hair braided in the AR/TISTRY booth when she arrived.

    • Chris
      Chris MacAskill

      Along the way we met this beautiful woman and asked if we could take her photo. Like everyone else, she graciously smiled, let us click away, and answered questions about her body art.

      I noticed as she smiled that she had diamonds on two of her teeth! The rest of the day Paul Simon's song, Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes, played in my head as I privately schemed about how to get Sarah to try them. 💥

    • Chris
      Chris MacAskill

      So while Sarah took photos of JB, who is a super cool guy to talk to, and he laid down ink for another portrait of a beloved grandmother, I snuck off to see how this diamonds on teeth thing works.

      This is the first and maybe only tattoo for the grandson in this photo. He said granny was wonderful but she couldn't cook. If she said, "baby can I cook you something?" you needed a reason to be somewhere else. That was the family joke. And yet she could bake great pies and cakes. "Baking is not the same thing as cooking a meal."

    • Chris
      Chris MacAskill

      Well it turns out fake diamonds on teeth happen with a pretty simple bonding process. Who knew? Yes, please, I'll take two for a canine tooth.

    • ia

      Speaking of Diamonds on the soles...one of my favorite versions of that song is Paul Simon singing with Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Especially, the intro.

      Ladysmith Black Mambazo have put out some great music that I wouldn't have heard if it were not for Diamonds.

    • Us

      it is such an interesting form of expression, mine all tell a story or are related to people in my life, or have a symbolic reason. Certainly a interesting art form, Chris you should put “state of grace” in the calendar for late summer (near SFO, in the Hyatt), great show and lots of artists from around the world. I stick to one artist, it is a journey. I took lots of in progress images, as it was cool to see the needle, blood and color interact. Great shots, nice shallow depth of field.

    • Alex

      I love this entire conversation! Chris, this is amazing and I'm glad you and Sarah made it out there to experience this event. I love reading the stories above about why people were getting their permanent art :)

      I'm a big supporter of self expressions, especially when it comes to art and the body.

    • Alex

      Those portraits look amazing! The detail is just incredible.

    • Alex

      You're never too old to get a tattoo! Maybe we should take you and Toni next time ;)

    • Alex

      Sarah is such a beautiful soul! And I love seeing the artwork spread through her skin so strongly.

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