Tips for obtaining that perfect Portrait tattoo

Many people who choose to get a tattoo do so because they want something that will permanently honor a loved one. While these types of tattoos are often made up of symbols, flowers, dates, or religious iconography, there are some who believe that the best way to honor someone is in the form of a portrait tattoo. Done correctly, these tattoos certainly make a statement, but they can also turn into a total disaster in the hands of the wrong artist. We have already discussed how to choose the right artist for the piece that you want, but let’s get into some detail about what you can do to help make your portrait tattoo the best it can be.
Your job should be to give the artist the best possible source material to work with, and that means choosing a photograph that is not only one that you cherish, but also one that will help the artist do the job to the best of their ability. Just because you love a particular photo of a friend or family member does not mean that it will be the right one for the job. Here are some things to consider when choosing the photograph:
• Make sure the picture is in focus – It is the small details of a face that makes someone recognizable, and you just don’t get to see those in a blurry photograph. The same rules apply with older photos that are faded or damaged. The clearer and more expressive the face, the better the tattoo portrait is likely to be.
• Single portraits only – Asking a tattoo artist to pluck a face from out of a crowd, such as a family photo is essentially asking the impossible. The best type of picture to choose is one that contains the subject only, and shows as much of their face as possible.
• Pay attention to lighting – Similar to a blurry photograph, one that is either too dark or too bright is just not a good choice. Again, it all comes back to being able to see distinguishing marks and characteristics on the face, as those are what will bring a tattoo portrait to life.
• Facial expressions – It’s perfectly fine to choose a photograph that shows your subject with a goofy facial expression, as that may well be something that perfectly shows off their character. That said, you should not ask the tattoo artist to change what is shown in the picture. For example, if the subject is not smiling, it becomes tough to create a smile in the tattoo without knowing how that persons face changes when they smile. Take time to find the right picture, expression and all, and you will have the best shot at getting a great portrait tattoo.
We have to finish this up by quickly reminding you of the importance of finding the right artist for the job. Not every tattooist is confident in doing portraits, but there are plenty that are. Look at portfolios and talk to artists to get a feel for their skill and confidence level with this particular style.