Category: News

Skin Deep – an exhibition featuring photographic portraits of male models

Cheshire born and now London based, photographer Danny Baldwin explored a range of art forms, from drawing and drama to music and modelling, before finding his niche as a photographer. It was actually while modelling that Danny discovered a world where his creative vision could be channelled by flipping sides from in front to behind the lens. Influenced by fashion and counter-culture, Danny’s style mixes colours, tones and textures, and emphasises the power of beauty and shapes.
In his new exhibition, Skin Deep, Danny  documents a seismic mood change within the fashion industry that has seen agencies shift from representing only models with no tattoos, or those that are easily hidden, to building entire campaigns around elaborately inked individuals. Encouraging acceptance and celebrating individuality, freedom of expression and creativity, Skin Deep features 100 black and white nude images of professional tattooed male models shot against a stark black, signature background.
We found out more in this interview with Danny…


> What attracted you to photographing tattooed models? Why?

The underlying message is to encourage acceptance and freedom of expression, Skin Deep has been created over the course of a year to show the versatility of beauty and ink, and is something I could relate to myself. I needed it to be something that I understood, had knowledge about and was part of my life – and I wanted to represent and celebrate the rise of the tattooed model and its acceptance, slowly, into the fashion industry.



> What is your background? Have you always photographed people?

Yes I did a general photography course at college in Cheshire when I first started as a photographer and this covered all types of photography, when I was doing landscapes etc i used to have imagine people there to be able to create the image. I decided very quickly one of the main reasons I am a photographer is because of the people, so I continued my studies at London College of Fashion studying fashion photography

> Why only men in the project?

I decided when I started this as a personal project that It had to be relatable to myself, it had to say something from me and be pure to my vision and I felt – as a tattooed male myself – I would be able to better understand the body of the male and their process of thought. I want to represent the male models in a way I haven’t always been able to represent them due to client limitations.



> The portraits are in black and white… is there a particular reason for this?

Due to the scale of the project and the timeframe of over a year of shooting, I wanted to create something distinctive that showcased the models and their tattoos in a consistent way and I felt this was the best way to do it. I shoot a lot in black and white as I love shape, line, texture and movement and really feel this can be explored a lot deeper with a black and white image.



Are you tattooed yourself?

I do have a collection of tattoos and plan to have more done in the future months and years. I have my left top arm , finger, both feet, all my toes and most recently I have had the title of this project “skin deep” on my inner lip which was done at One By One tattoo studio in soho, London. All my tattoos have a deep rooted and significant meaning to me and are connected to parts of my job as a photographer, people who have impacted my life and the evolution of myself. They look quite macabre but they are more my own personal affirmations.

What are your hopes for this exhibition? How many portraits does it include?

The exhibition will feature over 100 portraits of the selected agency signed male models, which I hope will showcase their diversity. I want to show a wider audience something that is visually stimulating and celebrates how these people are breaking the mould. They are being true to themselves in an elite industry and expressing who they are through the medium of tattooing, which I think is an incredible art form and I don’t know why it has taken so long for the two worlds of tattooing and fashion to collide and be more accepted in the mainstream. I think the bigger picture is about encouraging acceptance and celebrating individuality, freedom of expression and creativity.

Danny has just reached his fundraising target on Kickstarter, so it looks like there will be a physical exhibition of Skin Deep in London next year. Look out for updates from @thingsandink and @skindeeplondon.

Covered: a photo project where tattooed people bare all

Covered: a portrait project of tattooed people. This beautiful photographic project illustrates the variety of people who get tattooed and the vastly different reasons why…

Photographs by Alan Powdrill | Interviews by  | Feature from

Woman tattoos underneath

Victoria Clarke, 37, Coventry
My tattoos are part of who I am, and I’ll always love my bodysuit, now and when I’m 80. The respect and love I get for what I look like is what it’s all about.

Woman tattoos underneath 2

Man tattoo underneath

Graham Platts, 58, Cleethorpes
I was 51 when I started getting tattoos. I wanted one in my teens but my parents wouldn’t have agreed. About 10 years ago, I stopped smoking and thought, “I ought to do something with the money, to have something to show for it”; I decided to get a tattoo. I got one on my right arm. Then I got one on my left arm. Then on my right leg, then my left leg – it just escalated. I’ve replaced one addiction with another, but a healthier one. When I see a gap, I want it filled. Once I’m covered, I think I’ll start saving for a nice holiday.

Man tattoo underneath 2

Tattoo underneath

Izzy Nash, 48, Maidstone
I was 16 when I got my first tattoo, a tiny rose on my thigh. For me, it’s about being different. You’re never naked, because you’re covered in artwork. My bottom is always the talking point: I’m forever showing people.
I’m talking with my tattooist in Brighton about doing my neck and my legs – then there’s only my stomach left. My kids love it. I’ve told them, “When I die, you need to skin me, dry me out and put me on the wall.”

Tattoos underneath 2

Tattoos underneath photo

Alex Coates, 49, Whitby
When I started getting tattooed, over 30 years ago, it was frowned upon. It was the skinhead era, and I saw a guy with two swallows on his hands. That was it: I wanted them, too. My mum wasn’t happy. Now I’m completely covered. Recently, I asked my mother if she’d mind if I got some little tattoos on my face: a cross and a few dots. She said, “As long as they’re not too big.” I had it done that day. I woke up the next day, and thought, “What have I done?” But everyone said they looked cool and now I love them.

Tattoos underneath photo 2

Drew tattoos

Drew Beckett, 32, London
When I was 27, my hair fell out. I have total alopecia. I decided to reinvent myself so that the first thing people see is my tattoos, rather than the fact I have no eyebrows. I thought, “I’m a blank slate.” I started, embarrassingly, with a 90s tribal dragon on my stomach. I was 18, and thought it was the coolest thing ever. The artist was a Goldsmiths graduate called Thomas Hooper, who is now an internationally famous tattooist. I’m a civil servant; I check with my boss before I get a tattoo. If I was told no, that would be OK. It’s good manners to ask.

Drew tattoos 2

You can view more portraits on photographer Alan’s website, the Covered portrait exhibition of tattooed people will open on 11 November 2015 at Mother, in east London, RSVP

The Horror Issue starring Emily Alice Johnston

She’s recently moved to London to work at Into You, and now tattoo artist Emily Alice Johnston, 26, is star of The Horror Issue in a photoshoot that emulates the essence of one of her bad-ass babe drawings come to life… 

The Horror Issue Cover Emily Alice Johnston

Issue 12 of Things&Ink magazine features the full set of ‘Femme Fatale’ images and an interview with Emily about how she got into the tattoo world, her favourite horror films and how she felt about the photoshoot we created for her… order your copy now from our website:

PHOTOGRAPHY » PROKOPIOUSET AND PROP DESIGN » PANAGIOTIS POIMENIDIS | MAKE-UP » KEELY REICHARDT using Nars cosmetics | STYLING » LUKE ANDERSON  | HAIR AND WIG DESIGN » DORIS DESIGNS | CLOTHING » supplied by FLORENCE DRUART |  Swarovski X McQueen ‘Savage Beauty’ claw by Dennis Song | Shoes by Natacha Marro | JOROGUMO corset, Torture Garden Clothing

Front and back horror issue

Alzheimer’s: A tattoo to remember


58-year-old Rita Stonecipher has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, a disease which damages the brain leading to memory loss, difficulties with thinking, language and problem-solving. As Rita experienced gaps in her memories and trouble completing sentences she decided that it was time to immortalise her son, Tanner, with a portrait tattoo.

Tanner fought in Iraq and on returning home suffered post traumatic stress, he later committed suicide after running into trouble with the law and turning to alcohol for comfort. Rita hopes that the tattoo will keep the memory of her son alive long after she forgets his name

Watch the video below to hear Rita’s story:

Image from Times Free Press

Flavia Carvalho: Transforming Scars

Brazilian tattooist Flavia Carvalho has been tattooing women who have encountered domestic violence or have had mastectomies. The marks caused by abuse and cancer are there for life, even though the scars will fade, the memories will always be visible.


Flavia is transforming these scars into beautiful tattoos, for free, so that women can reclaim their bodies, find closure and love themselves again. Flavia’s project has been running for over two years , and is named “A Pele da Flor” which translates as The Skin of the Flower, taken from the Portuguese expression “A flor da pele” meaning deeper than skin. Flavia explains that “women are like flowers and deserve to have our skin protected and embellished.”


Speaking to the Huffington Post Flavia explains how the project started:

It all started about two years ago, when I worked with a client who wanted to cover a large scar on her abdomen. She told me that she was at a nightclub, and when she turned down a man who approached her, he stabbed her with an switchblade. When she saw the finished tattoo, she was extremely moved, and that deeply touched me. I was suddenly struck by the idea of providing free tattoos to women who were left with scars following domestic violence or mastectomies. Each tattoo would act as an instrument for empowerment and a self-esteem booster.



Images and quotes Huffington Post

Tattoo love story – The Wedding

Almost two years ago, we launched a competition to find the ultimate tattooed love story, we wanted to know if your relationship was linked by ink… (Original comp here.) The winners would receive wedding photography, by Eclection Photography, for their big day.

And the winners were Roxanne And Greg (read their story in this blog post with the other two finalists)… our Things & Ink Tattoo Love Story Wedding Competition Winners. And on Wednesday of this week, they made their commitments to each other in Ink, by getting their wedding fingers tattooed by Alexis Camburn at her studio  Two Snakes Tattoo in Hastings.


Greg and Roxanne designed the ring/tattoo together. The star and the moon simply symbolising that they are each other’s moon and stars. The four dots represent Roxanne, Greg and their two cats (cute!).  Who, btw, will be at the wedding… in the form of cardboard cut outs!

Roxanne was first in the chair and Greg joked: “at least I know the odds of you turning up are pretty high now.” Greg and Roxanne both had their wedding bands tattooed within 30 minutes.  Less time than your average wedding!


We are all very excited over here at Things &Ink HQ,  the wedding of Roxanne and Greg – the Things & Ink Tattoo Love Story Wedding Competition Winners.  They will tie the knot officially today (Friday 28 August) in East London…

Tattoo artist Alexis does lots of wedding band tattoos and people like the freedom to create what they like as opposed to being limited by what your can wear as a ring.  She has tattoeed couple’s  dates,  initials and also made wedding rings from simple bands to extensive patterns.


We will keep you all updated on the big day!



Miniature Ink II

Miniature Ink II kewpie by Jondix sneak peek


Atomica Gallery and Things&Ink magazine are delighted to announce Miniature Ink II, the second exhibition featuring miniature original artworks from over 100 of the world’s leading tattoo artists.

Join us for the opening reception on Wednesday 23rd September (exact location to be revealed soon) with complimentary drinks kindly provided by Sailor Jerry., or attend our Facebook event.

There will be no preview list of artworks, first come first served!


Have a look at last year’s celebrity and cocktail filled Miniature Ink opening night.

Keep an eye on the #MinitaureInk and #MiniatureInkII hashtags for more kewpie capers.

Check out what some of the artists have been up to on Instagram…






 Top image by James Stittle

Focus Group: Tattoo Spotting

Last night we had a focus group in London to find out what our readers love and don’t love about Things&Ink magazine. We met these three lovely ladies who shared their opinions about our articles, layout and, of course, tattoos! There are lots of exciting changes ahead for Things&Ink


Above from left: Columnist ReeRee Rockette, editor Alice Snape, editorial assistant Rosalie Woodward and our three panel members… 

We couldn’t resist the opportunity to street spot and chat tattoos to our panel members…

Name: Emma Age: 27 Lives: London  Job: Photograph researcher for Merlin
Tattoo: Skull by Ray Hunt at Diablo Tattoo in Kent



Name: Laura Age: 40 Lives: Maidstone, Kent  Job: Dinner lady/ toddler rugby coach
Tattoo: Abi Cornell at Inkfish in Maidstone


Name: Silvia Age: 24 Lives: London Job: Digital marketing executive
Tattoo: Lady by Angelique Houtkamp at Salon Serpent Tattoo in Amsterdam

If you have any suggestions or comments about the magazine get in touch, email us at

Dad gets cochlear implant tattoo to support daughter

Alistair Campbell, a father from New Zealand, has got a cochlear implant tattoo to support his hearing impaired daughter. His six-year-old daughter has two of the implants to help her hear, as she is profoundly deaf in one ear and has a condition which limits the amount of sound transmitted to her brain. Now her dad has one to match.

He had the tattoo to show his daughter that “he could go through a little bit of pain for her too.”

When Charlotte saw her dad’s version of a cochlear implant she giggled, touched it and told him it was “cool”. Charlotte’s mum, Anita Campbell, wasn’t so sure her daughter had quite grasped the significance of the tattoo yet.

Images and family quoted from NZ Herald

Feminism, periods and the London Marathon

“It’s a radical notion realising that on a marathon course you don’t have to worry about how you look for others.”

Feminist Kiran Gandhi, (she’s also drummer for MIA and a Harvard graduate), got her period on the eve of the London Marathon 2015, and decided to ditch the tampons and towels and go with the flow while she ran it.

A marathon in itself is a centuries old symbolic act. Why not use it as a means to draw light to my sisters who don’t have access to tampons and, despite cramping and pain, hide it away like it doesn’t exist?

Said Kiran about her decision to bleed freely during her marathon…



You can read Kiran’s blog post about the experience here: A Modern Period Piece by Kiran Gandhi… In it she describes the decision-making process behind running and bleeding freely, and how she felt from mile one to 26.2.