Category: Photo inspiration

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.

Interview with Tattoo Artist: Betty Latusek

London based photographer Marta Hawrylow interviewed Betty Beata Latusek who along with her partner Kamil work at Betty Tattoo in Wroclaw, Poland. On the day Betty organised a few of her clients, with healed tattoos, to come into the studio to talk about their tattoos and allow Marta to photograph them… 

Betty Tattoo color-1

How long do you know each other? Gosh, ages, we’ve met when we were only kids,  14 years old. We have been inseparable since.

Was tattooing important to you back then? Our love for art and tattoo flourished few years after we met.  Kamil was my first skin, he trusted me enough when I was training, now he laughs that one day I’ll have to cover up my first tattoos.

Betty Tattoo color-12

How long have you been collaborating? How is it working out for you guys? We do everything together, always have been. This isn’t our first job under one roof. Our roles are very clear, I draw and tattoo, Kamil focuses on customer service, the clients are very important to him and he is the CEO.

Betty Tattoo color-7
How do you work with clients in order to design a project for them? This is Kamil’s part. He meets every client during the first consultation, he discusses what they want- the colours, size and placement. He also does the first draft, most clients bring in photos and other materials  to show what they want in their design. During the session, I chat with the client before we start, over a cuppa.

Does your work depict your personality? I don’t think so. I try to get to know the client and their wishes, I try to portray them, not myself in my work.

Betty Tattoo color-4

What do you like to tattoo most? What is your favourite theme? I love portrait, realism, always have. Even in art school I loved painting faces.

Is there something you wouldn’t tattoo or a part of the body? I’d always said I will never tattoo faces. But broke that rule, and with pleasure I now say to never say never. I love a challenge and nothing surprises or scares me.

Betty Tattoo color-5


What or who inspires you? Do you have any favourite artists? Everything what surrounds me inspires me, from changing seasons to people who come to the studio. There are many ultra talented polish artists whose art I admire like Marcin Surowiec or Giena Todryk. However, I might surprise you here, my favourite artist is our eight year old daughter Nadia, who is so gifted. She became a little star and I tattooed a few of her art work onto people already.

When was the first time you knew you wanted to be a tattoo artist? I knew in high school, when I was studying art and got my first tattoo. After that I was drawing projects for friends and their friends and that is how the love started.

And how did you get into tattoo world? Well, it was a bet with my nephew. And as very stubborn being, I did (and still would do) anything to achieve what I set my mind to.

Betty Tattoo color-6

How long have you been tattooing it? Only seven years, five of which as Betty Tattoo.

How does your own tattoos make you feel? I always wait for super special moments in my life to get them on my skin. Few are a spur of the moment, but most are done by person who helped to change my life, Damian Kowal, my dear friend and my teacher.

Betty Tattoo color-11

If you weren’t a tattooist, what would you be? I probably would still paint or draw, just using different tools. I am a jeweller by profession. Surely I would be doing something creative and interesting.

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

Horror influencing fashion

Our guest blogger is Jade-Bailey Dowling, fashion writer and creator of Nouvelle Noir, a blog dedicated to dark fashion. This is the first in a series of post where she looks at how horror influences fashion and how you can draw fashion inspiration from the movies… 

Horror has influenced fashion in many aspects over the years. Designers have taken obvious inspiration from a particular horror heroine, such as Carrie or Wednesday Addams, or adapted their new season style to fit the aesthetic of a film or genre; it is undoubted that horror and fashion sit on a precarious diversionary line.


Wednesday Addams

In this fashion series, I will discuss how designers past and present have looked to the horror genre to gain inspiration for their clothes, and further still how these have been translated by the high street and enable horror fans to take their love of horror from film to fashion.

First up, Stephen King’s coming-of-age combined with kinetic powers heroine Carrie White. The novel has been adapted for film various times, most recently in 2013 with Chloe Grace Moretz featuring as the infamous Carrie.

Carrie is a firm favourite costume choice for Halloween and fans often pour red paint or dye over any cheap white or light coloured dress they can find for an easy yet striking outfit for the night. Carrie can be a fashion icon without the need to reference this, albeit pivotal, moment.



The infamous blood scene from Carrie 1976

For those familiar with the novel or film, Carrie White’s style is very much reflective of the modest, strict upbringing inflicted by her religious mother, Margaret White. However, this granny chic style is set to be very much en vogue for Autumn/Winter 2015, as seen on the catwalks of Miu Miu, and Prada.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 12.05.35

Mui Mui A/W

Although the 2013 version, directed by Kimberly Peirce, is set in a modern setting, the fashion choices of the costume designer follows that of the original film that aligns itself with the novel and is set in the 70s, another source of A/W 2015 style inspiration such as at Burberry.


Screen shot from Carrie (2013)

Channel your inner Carrie White with 70s inspired florals, a-line denim skirts and chunky shoes.


Denim dungaree dress, £20, Boohoo
Shirt £19.99, New Look
Brogues, £19.99, H&M
Knee High Socks, £2.99, New Look
A Line Demin Skirt, £30, Topshop

Despite Margaret White famously stating “Red. I might have known it would be red”, the famous prom dress is actually very light pink. For those who wish to steal Carrie’s prom look, pre pig’s blood of course, opting for a nude, or light pink dress can pay homage in a delicate and sophisticated way. With loads available on the high street at reasonable prices, should you wish to cover yourself with a red substance that will, hopefully, come out in the wash you can transform your look from Prom Carrie to Bloody Carrie with no major expense, while looking more authentic than other Carrie Costumers.


Screen Shot Carrie 2013

Carrie Dress

Left to right:  Miss Selfridge – £55, Rare @ Topshop – £45, Glamorous – £25

Next time, see how the 90s iconic witch film, “The Craft” has inspired fashion, from catwalk to street style.

Bieke Depoorter: Night journeys in Sète

Bieke Depoorter is a photographer and associate member of Magnum Photos. She works mainly on autonomous projects, including travelling through Russia and photographing subjects whose houses she had stayed in for a single night.

Christian Caujolle (associate professor at the National Superior School Louis Lumière, specialising in film, sound engineering and photography) explains that in Night journeys in Sète  Bieke does not follow routes planned out for her, but instead makes her own path. He comments on her subject matter, her form and the ways we can interpret her art:

Faced with images that are free, enigmatic or descriptive, but which can never be limited to one single interpretation, we stop, just as the woman visitor had to stop.

No stereotype, not even an informative one. No acceptance of technical constraints: it is the night that best reveals the light, and not the sun-drenched town.

The mystery deepens when we see that these elements grabbed from reality are naturally structured to found a story of which we do not know the scenario, of which we can only follow the inexplicably harmonious thread as it seems to feed on digressions or chance.

Free photographers, like free travellers, get to know themselves in what they experience of elsewhere and of others. Happy is he who, like Ulysses or Bieke Depoorter, has been on a beautiful voyage..

The Horror Issue: Meg Langdale

The Horror Issue of Things&Ink features a music playlist by apprentice tattooer 28-year-old Meg Langdale. We visited Meg at The Burton Tattoo Collective in Leiceter for an evening filled with creepy yet cute kewpies. As our editorial assistant Rosie was being tattooed, we chatted to Meg about her developing style, how she started out and her tattoo collection… 


What first attracted you to the tattoo world?
I’ve always known I wanted to do something creative but I just wasn’t too sure what. I did a fashion and design degree at university, and at the time all the design and illustration jobs I looked at just seemed like glorified office jobs, which wasn’t for me. Tattooing has given me the freedom I wanted creatively and in an environment I feel comfortable. I think my illustration work was the stepping stone into the tattoo world. Meeting my boyfriend, who is a tattoo artist, of course had a huge influence. I feel like it’s what I was meant to do, it maybe just took me a little longer than others to realise.


How did you get your apprenticeship?
I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity by my boyfriend, which I will be forever grateful for. I started my apprenticeship in September last year and I’ve only been tattooing around four months. So far I have really enjoyed tattooing lots of floral pieces, but a lot of my illustrations are quite dark and creepy, I want to bring this into my tattooing. None of it would have been possible if it hadn’t been for the support from my whole family. I feel very lucky how things have worked out.

How would you describe your style?
My style is still evolving but its super illustrative, and it includes flaws and imperfections. I really want my tattoos to look like illustrations. When I draw, I like that my designs aren’t perfect, don’t get me wrong I spend hours drawing and redrawing designs. But I sometimes like the little wobbles in lines and lack of symmetry. I also weirdly like tiny little flaws in my own tattoos. I’m lucky enough to have some beautiful pieces down by amazing artists but I quite like that in most tattoos you can find tiny little imperfections. It’s not a question of liking or having bad tattoos, mine are perfect to me and I love them. But I think flaws make them real. I’m not perfect and neither are my tattoos.


What inspires you?
I’m really critical of myself and my work, so that in itself inspires me to want to keep improving and keep pushing myself. I really hope to be respected as an artist by other artists too, and not just for drawing pretty stuff. I want to be able to put in solid lines, and produce really nice quality tattoos.
I also collect old reference books; I adore medical illustrations in old anatomy books, and simple line drawings in books of wild flowers. I like combining quite delicate floral stuff with elements of darker stuff. I’d much rather draw from real life or old books than have to rely on the internet.


How did it feel doing your first tattoo?
Terrifying. I tattooed pig skin a lot to build my confidence initially. Then myself which was just dreadful. It’s so hard to overcome inflicting pain on yourself to focus on putting in decent lines. My first tattoo on someone other than myself was on Dane’s brother in law, it was so nerve wracking. He’s always been really supportive of my work and was quick to offer up some skin for me to practice on. At the same time I just remember thinking this is it, this is what I’m going to be doing forever now. I get nervous before I tattoo, but I’m always fine once I start and I just get into my little zone. My confidence has definitely been one of my biggest hurdles.


Can you tell us about the tattoos on your body?
My own tattoos are a combination of styles, mostly black and grey. Weirdly enough I don’t have any that are that similar to my own style, but I’m saving my right arm for lots of illustrative floral bits and bones, I’m just undecided on who I want to do it yet. I’ve been lucky enough to get tattooed by some amazing artists in the last couple of years, and of course Dane, he’s done a lot of my favourite pieces. I do have a few colour tattoos too, currently no plans for any more, although I had considered having some really muted colours on my legs in-between lots of black of course.

Photographs by William Kirk 

Pastel Paradise: Lemon Freckles

Toni or Lemon Freckles is a 30-year-old illustrator and blogger from Sheffield who lives in a pastel paradise of pink hair, her pugs and girl gang inspired drawings. We chatted to Toni to find out more about her fashion and artistic style, how she became a blogger and her tattoo collection… 

Processed with Rookie Cam

When did you start blogging? How did you get into it? I originally started blogging around 10 years ago under a different name but Lemon Freckles is around five years old I think. At the time I was working full-time in mental health and in need of a creative outlet, blogging seemed like something I was able to do while working full-time, I didn’t really think anyone would ever read it.

What things can people expect to see on your blogA mixture of things, I like being able to share what is happening in my world; from my latest cute find to things that inspire me. I want Lemon Freckles to be a positive place, full of colour and silliness.

Processed with Rookie Cam
Do you have a background in art? No, my degree is in mental health but I have always been a doodler. After 10 years of working in the mental health industry, I decided to take a step back and reflect on what I enjoy doing and last year I enrolled in a year long course in design. A few months ago I went self-employed full-time and it has been one of the best decisions I have made.

What inspires you? Colour and my ever so slight obsessive collecting of cute toys from my childhood. I want to bring back a little bit of that magic I left at the school gates sometime between the late 80s and early 90s. I am a firm believer that just because you’re an adult, it doesn’t mean you have to act like a grown up.

What things to do you like to draw? The more colour the better in my eyes. I love doodling toys and making characters out of everyday objects.

Processed with Rookie Cam

What medium do you use? Pen and paper, Illustrator, whatever is to hand.

How would you describe your style, both in art and fashion? I think they are both the same, eclectic. It’s all in the detail, from the Polly Pocket earrings to the denim jacket covered in patches, the more cute the better!


Can you tell us a little bit about your tattoos? Of course! I actually only got my first tattoo last year, which was a pug (a forever reminder of my two furry pug babies, Doug and Lola) and since then I have got three more; a My Little Pony, a Lefton, Miss Priss Kitty tea pot and a sewing related one. Sam Whitehead of Blind Eye Tattoo Company in Leeds has done all of mine and also has the same love of cuteness that I do, which makes her wonderful to work with.

Processed with Rookie Cam

Do you think they have to have meanings? Nothing deep and meaningful I’m afraid. I get tattoos of things I love, things that make me happy and of course, the more colour the better.

Do you have any future tattoo plans? I’ve got one later this month actually, a Roly-Poly doll, which will be going on my arm. I’m wanting to get my full arm covered in cuteness over the next year, much like my style, eclectic and cute.

Come and take a seat…

Come and take a seat… in the Things&Ink pop-up photo studio, exclusively at London Tattoo Convention 2015.


Become part of London Tattoo Convention history in a very special portrait project by Things&Ink magazine. The pop-up photo studio will be located on the upper floor in Tobacco Dock and will be set up for the duration of the convention from Friday 25 September – Sunday 27 September.

Floor plan convention

London Tattoo Convention Floor Plan

Come and see us at the Things&Ink stand to grab a copy of The Horror Issue, as well as back issues of the magazine.

A selection of kewpies from Miniature Ink II, a collaborative exhibition with Atomica Gallery, will available to buy at the convention in the Sailor Jerry room down in the basement, with proceeds going to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

The convention address is Tobacco Docks, 50 Porters Walk, London, E1W 2SF and the closet tube station is Shadwell.  This year the convention are providing free travel on classic London Routemaster buses, taking you from Tower Hill to Porters Walk everyday of the show from 10am- 2.30pm.

Advance tickets are available online until 12pm tonight, get yours here. You can also buy tickets on the door.

Nick Knight’s fetish inspired photoshoot

The photographer Nick Knight has created a beautiful shoot with the London based model Tessa Kuragi for AnOther magazine which has a focus on inspired realities and a persons ever changing sexual fantasies.
Knight discovered Kuragi via Instagram and became intrigued by her fascination with shibari bondage and psychoanalysis.  He then relied on her expertise and narration throughout the shoot which chartered an interesting collaboration between photographer and model.


The most intriguing shot is of Tessa adorning some piercings over her left shoulder which were done by the talented Sean Ebb from King of Hearts tattoo studio in New Cross.



FullSizeRenderThe entire shoot can be see over at the Show Studio website.

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