Tagged: Heather Shuker

A Things&Ink wedding, our editor @morewhitequeen married her prince

Friday 14 October 2016, our editor Alice Snape got married to her love James. It was a day filled with love and fun, from getting ready with the bridesmaids and the beautiful ceremony in the Council Chamber at Islington Town Hall to the party at Wunderlust in Deptford and drunken dancing. Beautiful memories were made and captured in these stunning photos by Eclection Photography and Lisa Jane Photography.

 

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Garter compulsory

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Makeup by Keely Reichardt

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Alice through the looking glass, a present from mother of the bride

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Hair by Lou Culley, slavehair.com

Getting ready photos all by Eclection Photography

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Bridesmaids and bride, by Eclection Photography

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James and Alice, the bride and groom say “I Do” Islington Town Hall

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The perfect confetti moment outside Islington Town Hall

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The bus from Islington Town Hall to Deptford South East London

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Capturing moments on the bus Lisa Jane Photography

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Say something funny bridesmaids! 

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Take a moment with your sister…

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The newlyweds 

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Let the party commence #stittlewedding

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Location: Wunderlust at the Big Red

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Guests!

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aj-eclectionphoto733The bride with tattoo artist Emily Johnston

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The happy ending, the most perfect end to a perfect day. The bride and her groom. Love.

Tattoo Journeys – Portraits from London Tattoo Convention

Portraits from London Tattoo Convention 2015 byHeather Shuker Photography

A snapshot of people who attended the infamous London Tattoo Convention 2016 including artists, the general public, organisers, performers and more. As they posed, they were interviewed by Alice Snape and Keely Reichardt.

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Sonja Punktum, 38, tattoo artist, Hamburg
“I’m not an angry person, but people who aren’t tattooed see rebellion, so are sometimes scared. People often comment on my tattoos, even if I don’t ask for it. Tattoos make people react, but I think that is because they are intense, they are created through pain and last forever, there is nothing else like it.”

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Arrienette Ashman, 26, tattoo artist, Bournemouth
“I was 19 when I got my first tattoo, I went big straight away, as I always knew wanted to be heavily tattooed. My mum picked me up after the appointment and was shocked, but she has learnt to love them over the years. I love the thought of having art on me always. It is not just physical – it is a spiritual process.”

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Ashley Green, 27, sports coach, Harrow
“I was drunk when I got my first tattoo at 16, it was a Chinese symbol. All my other tattoos are now family related, including a portrait of my mum.”

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George Crew, 21, tattoo artist, Leicester
“I was 16 when I got my first tattoos, it was a rose on my stomach. I got it because everyone around me was getting tattooed. If I could go back, I would think about it more and get something of better quality. I am saving my back, though, as a backpiece is the most important tattoo you will ever get, as it is the biggest canvas.”

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Monami Frost, 21, model/blogger/social media, Liverpool
“I cannot imagine my life without tattoos. Getting tattooed, for me, is a never-ending process. They are part of who I am. I think they are beautiful and they make me feel more full.”

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Ermine Hunte, 37, buyer for an airline, Luton
“Tattoos and piercings are so empowering and can change who you are as a person. I have gained more confidence as they have covered scars from a kidney transplant. I am constantly evolving and gaining control over my body.”

The Bearded Lady

This is an article and photo shoot called The Bearded Lady that was originally published in issue 10 of Things&Ink magazine (February 2015).

Meet an inspirational woman called Harnaam Kaur… She is a 24-year-old teaching assistant who has hopes of becoming a body confidence activist. Here she shares her story of overcoming bullies, taking control of her own journey and learning to love her body…

Photographs by Heather Shuker / Assisted by Maisie Jo Manning / Hair and make-up by Keely Reichardt using MAC Cosmetics / Styled by Olivia Snape / Gold earrings and head pieces by Gypsy East / Editorial by Alice Snape / Photo editing by Lydia Rayner

I am a British-born Sikh female living in Slough in the UK. I had a fairly “normal” upbringing, my parents gave me a lot of love, and we had a lot of fun on numerous family holidays and days out. But on the other side of happy families, I also remember being severely bullied in primary school – starting from as far back as nursery – and even getting beaten up, the bullying lasted until late secondary school. Being bullied day in, day out, led me to become very suicidal and I also used to self harm to release some of the hurt I was suffering. But I managed to stop myself as I realised that I was just causing myself more emotional and physical pain.

Over the years, I feel like I have gone through a rough time with my body. I have always been a chubby child, but then I was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries – it was around the time I hit puberty. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in which there is an imbalance in hormones within the female body, this has led me to have more male hormones than female hormones, and it is also the reason why I have a beard. I used to remove my facial hair every other day by travelling to beauty salons. I had to have my face waxed two to three times a week, and on the days I couldn’t bare the pain I would simply shave. Having this medical condition also made me to put on a lot of weight, and losing weight with a hormonal imbalance is really tough for me. Now I have come to realise that this body is mine, I own it, and I do not have any other body to live in, so I may as well love it unconditionally. I have now fallen in love with the elements on my body that people may call flaws. I adore my beard, my stretch marks, my scars, these elements make me who I am now, and they make me whole.

But I haven’t always been so positive. When I was diagnosed I hit my biggest low. I hid myself away, I didn’t want to venture out into the public. My bedroom was my home, it was my heaven and it was my tomb – my safe haven. I was hugely depressed. I remember sitting on my bed and thinking about my life. It takes a lot of guts, strength and energy for someone to actually end their life. So I sat on my bed and counselled myself. I told myself “the energy you are putting into thinking about ending your life, put all that energy into turning your life around and doing something better.” At that point I was 16 years old, I decided I wanted to be me, I decided to keep my beard and step forward against society’s expectations of what a woman should look like. Today I am not suicidal and I do not self harm. Today I am happy living as a young, beautiful bearded woman.

Going out into the public for the first time with a beard was a horrifying experience. I remember going out in London with a group of friends, there was about 15 of us altogether. When I arrived in London, it seemed like the whole world had come out to look and point at me. I was stared at everywhere I went, by everyone. I remember being very miserable, but my friends were there to help me and try to keep me happy. After that experience, I started going out more and started to enjoy myself. I do get the odd looks from people, young and old, but I am used to them now. I mean I have been a bearded lady for seven and a half years, if I am not used to it now when will I ever be?

I want people to realise that each and every one of us is different. We are all imperfectly perfect. I want to show society that beauty isn’t just about looking a certain way, we should all celebrate individuality. I used to keep my beard for religious reasons, as Sikhs we are not supposed to remove our hair, but now I keep my hair to show the world a different, confident, strong image of a woman. I love my beard, it has become a part of my body and I do not want to remove it – it is the source of my strength and confidence. People just see the beard as hair, but my beard is much more than that. My beard gives me comfort as a woman, when I look at it I am reminded that we are all different and none of us are born the same. I adore my lady beard and I will forever cherish it. I do not trim my beard at all, I love how it freely curls and flows. People do make comments about it looking messy, but I love how it carelessly twangs in different directions. I love how my beard has body, that my beard has clean lineage on my cheeks and I guess I love the big volume that my beard has.

Now things have changed for me a little, as people have read about my story online and in magazines, they sort of understand who I am. I am currently working in a nursery as a teaching assistant, I love my job and it’s great for the children to see a bearded lady, they love my beard nearly as much as I do. People tend to be genuinely very intrigued and inquisitive about my beard, I do have a lot of people approach me about it and ask me questions – some people even want pictures with me, and I happily pose for them. Many women, who are going through the same medical condition as I am, also contact me for comfort, support and inspiration – I do try and help as much as I can.

In the future, my dream is to become a full-time body confidence activist. I would love to share my story more and help women empower themselves. I want nothing more than to see women fall completely in love with their bodies. I always say to both men and women that they need to love themselves and accept any quirks that they have. We all deserve to celebrate our bodies – we are all beautiful. Growing my beard has taught me that as humans we are all so different in our own wonderful ways. Every person living on this earth right now is different from the next. I have learnt that there is no such thing as being “normal”. I have learnt to accept my body for the way that it has grown. I have learnt to love myself unconditionally. Life is too precious not to.

As far as relationships go, I am not in one, but I would love to be. I want to meet someone who sees me for who I am. I believe that there is someone special out there who will see me for the beautiful, sparkling soul that I carry. I feel that a lot of people tend to judge me just by looking at my face. Only that special someone will realise that I am a woman with feelings, a heart, a soul, an aura and a personality. I shall always keep hold of the hope that I will find love one day, just one day.

My tattoos are also another part of my mind, body and soul, I love each and every one of them. I find peace just looking at them. Every tattoo symbolises a specific event in my life. My phoenix/peacock with the words “strength is beauty” around the wings was tattooed on me a few months after I came out of hospital after an operation. In my life I have been forced to face and battle with awful things and every time I have had to jump back up. I feel that I am a very resilient woman, I face my problems head on and I won’t stop tackling issues in this way. This past year has been the real turning point for me, when I metaphorically killed my old self and gave birth to a more powerful, confident and happier self and that to me is beauty. Strength is beauty. The phoenix to me represents birth, death, and rebirth, and the peacock feathers represent beauty.

I also have a lotus flower surrounded by a henna-style design located on my upper back. The lotus flower sits on top of murky ponds and rivers, which is really symbolic of why I chose this tattoo. I feel that even after all the bad that has happened in my life, and all the bad that I have to face daily, I have stayed afloat and carried on living in this world. The henna design represents those murky waters, even these are beautiful for having created such a stunning flower. I also have the word “love” on my left wrist and “faith” written on my right wrist, just to remind me to always live in love, to forever have faith in what ever I do and in what ever path I choose to take. The butterfly on my right foot reminds me to always spread my wings, to fly happily and beautifully to my next destination.

My bearded lady tattoo is very important to me, she represents me and I love her. The whole design has a story to tell. The tear drops on the roses are there to show the tears that I have shed, and the single petals represent the times I have fallen and hit my lows. The roses remind me of life and how beautiful it is. I also have the words “The Dame” written underneath, this was a title given to me by Brock Elbank and Jimmy Niggles. I am a part of their Project60 portrait series to help show awareness for melanoma cancer. Out of 60 men, I am the only female who is a part of this beard project.

In the future, I really want to have two half sleeves, I am hoping to have a Medusa piece started soon, she is such a beautifully powerful woman. I would love to have my spine tattooed, one more bearded lady tattoo and my left foot done to match my right. I would love to be heavily tattooed, and I am sure that each tattoo will represent me in some way or form. My body is a blank canvas and I am ready to cover it in beautiful art that tells my life story. ❦

And the winner is…

A year ago today – yep Christmas day – we launched a competition to find the ultimate tattooed love story, and the winner would receive a prize of wedding photography for their big day from Heather Shuker, of Brighton-Photo. We were overwhelmed by all the entries and completely entranced by their love stories.

So much so that before we could decide a winner, we announced three finalists and did an engagement photo shoot with them all to help us decide… read more about why we picked our finalist couples in this blog post announcing the finalists, and view the engagement shoots on Facebook.

The couple who we have picked to win captured our hearts from the beginning, and when we met up with them in real life their love for each other just shone through – you can see it in their photos too… so without further ado, we would like to introduce you to our winners, Roxanne and Greg… who met on a film set and talked about dragon tattoos. Read more about how they met below… and we really look forward to the wedding… bring on the rum. We can’t wait to share the pictures with you too. Have a wonderful Christmas Roxanne and Greg, see you at the wedding.

With love from us all at Things&Ink

 

ROXANNE DONOVAN & GREG FURBER, 28 AND 31, FROM LONDON 

Where did you meet? Roxanne: ‘On a film set. My first job was on Fantastic Mr Fox and Greg was one of the assistant directors on the film.’

How were tattoos involved? Roxanne: ‘On my first day, Greg was asking me my interests and at the time I was reading this book about dragons (which I thought was a bit dorky). A bit embarrassed, I told him about the book, to which he replied: “I have two large dragon tattoos on my back.” Call me weird but, SWOON! We also have matching tattoos that we got while in Coney Island, NYC. It was Halloween and we were a bit tipsy (read: drunk as a skunk). We ended up in a bar called Tattoos and Shots, you can see where this story goes… Needless to say the next morning we woke up with two matching skull tattoos on our wrists with no recollection of getting them. The weekend after that Greg proposed!’

Have you already planned your day? Roxanne: ‘We are getting married on 28/08/2015 at Trinity Buoy Wharf, London. The wedding has snippets of Romany Gypsy traditions in memory of my granddad. Also Spanish Culture as we are travelling South America for our honeymoon and we love everything Spanish.’

How do you see your wedding day? Roxanne: ‘Our wedding is all about partying and rum. On the morning of our wedding we’ll meet at a tattoo parlour and have our wedding bands tattooed onto us. We wanted to make sure in all of the wedding crazy, we had a moment to be together and really make a mark on our day.’

The Things&Ink Wedding Competition Finalists – The Engagement Shoot

Are you linked by ink?

Back in December 2013 (issue 5, The Celebration Issue), we launched a competition to win wedding photography for your big day. The best, tattooed love story would win… And the entrants were amazing  – so amazing that we have picked three finalists (they’re so cute).  The engagement shoots in this blog post, by photographer Heather Shuker, of Brighton-Photo, will help us pick the ultimate winner. Who is your favourite couple? Let us know on Instagram @thingsandink.com or facebook.com/thingsandink

The final winner will be announced on Christmas Day! Watch this space…

Vicky Morgan & Lee Withey – 31 and 27 from Nottingham

Where did you meet? Vicky: ‘He bought me a drink to congratulate me on getting a receptionist job at the studio he worked at, that was 10 years ago.’

 

How were tattoos involved? Vicky: ‘We worked together for over 10 years in a tattoo studio, and he also played a big part in helping me learn to tattoo.’

Have you already planned your day?  Vicky: ‘We are getting married in Phuket, Thailand, on the 4th of February 2015.’

How do you see your wedding day? What are you most excited about? Vicky: ‘I want it to be magical. We got engaged in Phuket under a full moon and it will be the same for our wedding, but with our closest friends and family, a baby elephant and fireworks. Every Disney princess needs fireworks!’ 

ROXANNE DONOVAN & GREG FURBER, 28 AND 31, FROM LONDON 

 

Where did you meet? Roxanne: ‘On a film set. My first job was on Fantastic Mr Fox and Greg was one of the assistant directors on the film.’

How were tattoos involved? Roxanne: ‘On my first day, Greg was asking me my interests and at the time I was reading this book about dragons (which I thought was a bit dorky). A bit embarrassed, I told him about the book, to which he replied: “I have two large dragon tattoos on my back.” Call me weird but, SWOON! We also have matching tattoos that we got while in Coney Island, NYC. It was Halloween and we were a bit tipsy (read: drunk as a skunk). We ended up in a bar called Tattoos and Shots, you can see where this story goes… Needless to say the next morning we woke up with two matching skull tattoos on our wrists with no recollection of getting them. The weekend after that Greg proposed!’

 

Have you already planned your day? Roxanne: ‘We are getting married on 28/08/2015 at Trinity Buoy Wharf, London. The wedding has snippets of Romany Gypsy traditions in memory of my granddad. Also Spanish Culture as we are travelling South America for our honeymoon and we love everything Spanish.’

How do you see your wedding day? Roxanne: ‘Our wedding is all about partying and rum. On the morning of our wedding we’ll meet at a tattoo parlour and have our wedding bands tattooed onto us. We wanted to make sure in all of the wedding crazy, we had a moment to be together and really make a mark on our day.’ 

 

TANYA MAYOR & CHRIS BAKER, BOTH 26, FROM STOKE-ON-TRENT AND BARNSLEY

 

Where did you meet? Tanya: ‘We met on Instagram.’

How were tattoos involved?  Tanya: ‘Chris had been asked to draw a pin-up burlesque dancer (he’s a tattooist), so he searched for reference on Instagram and I popped up in the results. He contacted me and asked if he could draw me for a tattoo on a client. Since that moment, barely a day has gone by that we haven’t spoken to each other. Chris even came to live with me while I nursed my sick nan and he worked at a studio in Stoke-on-Trent to support me. After this, we began to look for our own studio, so that we could grow artistically as a couple. It has been the biggest struggle of our lives, but we now run a studio together. Tattoos are what brought us together.’

 

How do you see your wedding day? What are you most excited about?  Tanya: ‘We would love to get married in a low-key ceremony with a few select close friends and family. We want to custom make most things for the wedding, including the outfits and wedding favours, and we want candles and fairy lights. It’ll be romantic and based around a twisted theme, taking influence from Tim Burton and Sailor Jerry. We are most excited about getting married and making the further commitment to each other.’ 

Let us know your favourite couple… and the winner will be announced on Christmas Day.

 

Things&Ink The Identity Issue Review

Editorial assistant Rosalie Woodward reviews the Identity Issue out now. Purchase your copy here

 

Peacocks in Afghanistan – Page 18

Photo by Heather Shuker

Tattoo artist Axa Shireen talks to us about  growing up between suburban Manchester and dangerously enchanting Afghanistan and how art has always been a driving force, steering her towards new worlds, whether these be tattooing or love. The sense of her own identity comes from not constraining herself with boundaries, but embracing it all…

Her interview is accompanied with stunning images of ornate sarees, intricate henna and a peacock stealing a sneaky glance at beautiful Axa covered in glittering finery.

 

Laura Jane Grace – Page 57

Photo by Heather Shuker

Our music editor Jen Adamson interviews Laura Jane Grace from Against Me!, formally Tom Gables, about her struggle to show the world who she really is.  Laura explains how her song lyrics allowed her to explore and release her inner self, allowing her to cross the lines of socially defined gender boundaries.  Laura has many crow tattoos, these important birds have perhaps given her the wings she needed in order to be free…

 

Tattooing in Prison – Page 34 and New York Prisoner – Page 38

Ever wondered how inmates tattoo each other when tattooing is prohibited in prisons? What do they use for ink? How do they make a machine? The men behind their crimes are revealed in their honest discussion of prison life. In jail, tattoos become even more important, playing the part of a bargaining tool as well as a seemingly simple way to pass the hours.  This was one aspect of the prisoners’ lives that the officers could not control and they weren’t going to give up.

 

Meet the Customers – Page 26

Photo by Heather Shuker

Meet tattooist Dominique Holmes and her customers, in The Royal Albert pub (where we did the photo shoot), why not follow their lead and crack out the vino! Unique relationships are built when people are regularly tattooed by the same artist, way more so than if they had stepped off the street for a bit of flash.  Dom and her customers alike explore how tattoos add to their sense of identity and how both their friendships and art have evolved.

To read these articles in full purchase your copy of The Identity Issue here


Wedding competition announcement

Our competition to win photography for your big day from Heather Shuker at Brighton-Photo.com is now closed. We have had soooo many amazing entries. See original blog post with competition info here.

Here’s a selection of entries, we’re looking for the ultimate tattooed love story – it’s going to be hard to pick…

 

So we have decided to recruit the help of some extra judges, in addition to Rock N Roll Bride and Alex and Zoe Binnie –  we introduce Things&Ink Beauty Editor, Marina, and blogger Marry me Ink. Information below. Good luck everyone.

 

Marina De Salis Beauty Editor aka Magic Carpet Bride
Magic Carpet Bride is a brand new wedding blog featuring imaginative ideas, detailed tutorials and practical advice for couples.

“I don’t follow trends or read wedding magazines, and I’m not particularly interested in making things look ‘pretty’. I’m throwing away all the rulebooks and inventing affordable projects that anyone can do or adapt to suit them. Basically, I’m obsessed with weddings. Traditional, non-traditional, straight, gay, underwater, under the stars, covered in glitter or covered in mud…I love celebrations that express individuality!”

 

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Rachael Urquhart aka blogger at Marry Me Ink

Marry Me Ink is dedicated to one simple premise… that you can actually be YOU on your wedding day. For anyone who’s ever been asked “What will you look like in a wedding dress with all of those tattoos?!” I am here to provide you with the answer: utterly fabulous!

From real-life brides, to inspirational shoots from photographers and of the suppliers of the wedding trade, Marry Me Ink is here to help you show off your tattooed self, especially on your big day! From rockabilly receptions and steampunk ceremonies to indie celebrations and festival weekenders, Marry Me Ink is the ideal place to find inspiration for your alternative wedding.

Are you a collector of ink and things?

Are you a collector of things as well as ink?

Things & Ink photographer Heather Shuker is looking for people with tattoos and collections to photograph for a personal portrait series. Heather would like to hear from any tattooed individuals who have interesting, obscure or even just a large collection of everyday items that they can be photographed with.

 

Cat lady collector Photograph of Lou LaLa collector of tattoos and cats, by Heather Shuker

 

Contact Heather via www.facebook.com/heathershukerphotography or email heather@thingsandink.com.

Is your relationship linked by ink? It’s wedding competition time.

Did someone pop the question this Christmas?

We’re looking for the ultimate tattoo love story, as we are giving away wedding photography for your big day worth £1850

Did you fall in love with an artist while under the needle? Or did you start your tattoo journeys together? We want to know all about it. We’re looking for couples who or may not have already planned their wedding. From backyard to town hall, it’s less about location and more about you and your unique story.

The Thing & Ink team and special guest tattoo celebrity judges (who will be announced very soon) will select FOUR couples as finalists. All finalists will receive a love photo shoot from Brighton-Photo and a set of images worth £350. The winner will be selected by a public vote and will receive a wedding commission from Heather Shuker from Brighton-Photo.com, including a disc of beautifully images (up to 500) worth £1850.

ENTER HERE NOW.

Spot the difference – Edward Hopper Nighthawks, the tattooed version

In issue 4 of Things&InkThe Art Issue – we recreated four iconic works of art with our very own tattoo twist. One of the paintings featured was Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks.

And here’s our original recreation, as featured in the magazine, but can you spot the differences between our original version and the photo underneath?

Comment below, good luck.

Things and Ink original recreation

Nighthawks, Things&Ink tattooed version starring:  photographer Al Overdrive, art historian Doctor Matt Lodder, vintage hairdresser Lucie Luella and apprentice barber Ryan Costello. Photography by Heather Shuker, assisted by James Sheen-Stevens, styling by Olivia Snape.

Can you spot the differences?

Nighthawks spot the difference

Read more about Edward Hopper on www.artsy.net