Tattoos and Taboos

I don’t have any tattoos.
I don’t think I could.
I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to needles.
When I got my ear pierced at 15 I fainted on the High Street outside the shop and forever lost my chance to look cool in front of the girl I was trying so hard to impress.
But I’m fascinated by people who put themselves under the needle to adorn their bodies in ink.
While getting a tattoo is now so commonplace as to be considered ‘normal’ what makes someone want to go beyond convention and express themselves through the artwork on their bodies.
Exploring areas of taboos and tattoos I’m indebted to Emma Garrard and Joe Munroe for inviting me into their world.

George Portrait by John Hicks

Joe Munroe Tattoo Artist by john Hicks

Deryn Tattoo Artist by John Hicks

Chris Tattoo portrait by John Hicks

Tattoo Artist by John Hicks

Sara Tattoo by John Hicks

Self Made Tattoo by John Hicks

Justin Tattoo by John Hicks

Emma Tattoo Artist by John Hicks

10 second portrait

It’s funny how you become known for a certain style, a certain signature ‘look’ to your images.
Encouraged by the industry that feeds you to define and identify that ‘style’, you find yourself exploring less and less avenues as you close down on your own visual eye and work on specialising your ‘branded’ identity.
Trouble is, the danger is, that along the way you lose yourself and it’s not until you strip everything away and start back with the basics – just you, a camera, an open mind and your own creative vision that you can start seeing again.
Recently I decided to give myself a task.
Take a photo.
Sounds simple doesn’t it? And it is!!!!!
But, sometimes, the further you get from that place you first started out in the harder it is to stop obsessing about the light, the location, the set up and just seize the moment to take the shot.
I’d been invited to a boxing match and after his fight I grabbed this 10 second portrait.
It’s not my best work but I like it because I took it.
I like it because I didn’t let the fluorescent lighting talk me out of taking it.
I just took it.

suspended in motion

I’m obsessed with movement and I just LOVE the way things fall through the sky and seem to hang there – suspended in motion. It’s my take on the ‘decisive moment’ and it doesn’t get much better than this Vincent Haycock Music Video for Mellowdrone

It reminds me of some shots I took one twilight of local kids playing on the trampoline in their backyard.
There’s something fearless and uninhibited and spontaneous about kids that we totally take for granted and never quite recapture as adults

Rafa Botello – twilight portraits shot on flash

shooting professional athlete Rafa Botello for my ‘Twilight Portraits’ series of images, I had the shot set up perfectly and was all prepped and ready for that all too short window of twilight that comes and goes in a flash.
Here you see the light and the balance is perfect but I had wanted to make this a moving image and just as Rafa set off his tyre blew out and he had to do a quick change…Fast as he was the light fell faster into the night to make this much of a differnce but while, to me at least, the top shot is more technically well balanced I still prefer the moving one below.