If you’ve been tattooed within the last five years then chances are you’ve posted a photo of said tattoo on one of more social media platforms.
You have likely used social media to find inspiration for your next piece, thanks to the images posted by artists and clients. Maybe you’ve read articles on websites, or blogs like mine, which have introduced you to new styles and tattoo artists unfamiliar to you.
Could you be doing something to help others like others have helped you?
No matter whether your tattoo artist is a social media whiz or already has a huge following, I think it’s important that tattoo collectors do their part in promoting tattooers and good tattooing on social media – Instagram, in particular.
I believe Instagram is the best resource and is my social media platform of choice for all things tattoo related. There are, however, some downsides and frustrations when using the search function. Some tattoo artists don’t use hashtags on their post which means we’re all missing out on seeing their work. Then there’s others who use the wrong hashtags which leads to hours spent scrolling through images unrelated to tattooing.
What you can do to help promote the work of your tattoo artist is by making your own Instagram post.
This is a way to contribute to the tattoo community you (hopefully) love and respect so much. If everyone does their bit to promote safe, competent and talented tattooers, then perhaps we’ll see some change – fewer people opting for price over skill, and a reduction in the number of bad tattoos acquired in unsanitary conditions. One can only hope.
There’s really not much to this – just three parts and a few minutes of your time.
1. Photographing your tattoo
There are a few options when it comes to this:
- Take a well-lit photo of your tattoo a few hours after your session, and after you’ve cleaned all the gunk off it. Get someone to help if the tattoo is in an awkward spot on your body;
- A few weeks later, after your tattoo has fully healed, take another photo and post it on Instagram;
- What’s even more helpful is posting a side-by-side comparison post from when the tattoo was fresh and now that it is healed – this really shows people a true reflection of your tattoo artist’s skill;
- If photography isn’t your thing or your phone/camera isn’t the best, your tattoo artist may have taken a great shot. Don’t be afraid to re-post it – just remember to credit them both with the tattoo and the photo.
2. What to include in the caption/photo description
Try to keep this short and sweet, and include only essential information. People scroll through their feeds fast and have short attention spans; don’t be going on and on like I am right now. Here are four pieces of information that you should always include:
- A few words to describe what the piece is: portrait of [insert name], quote or lyrics from a book/movie or a song, the specific species or breed of a plant or animal etc.
- Tattoo artists name + Instagram handle (tag them on the photo too).
- Tattoo shop name or Instagram account.
- Whether the tattoo is fresh or healed.
That’s it! If you want to say more about the meaning of the piece, to give detail about the tattooing experience, or to chuck a few more compliments your tattooer’s way, leave that for the comments section.
3. Don’t forget about the hashtags
Hashtags are everything – they’re what people use to search for tattoos in a particular styles, tattoos with a certain theme, or more work from a tattoo artist that has been posted by their clients but not by the tattoo artist themselves (some artists don’t have the time or just choose not to post every single piece they tattoo).
You don’t need to add a tonne of hashtags – just the important and most helpful ones.
Choose a few key words to describe the main elements of the piece and hashtag each once individual. Then repeat these again, but add tattoo at the end of the word – people will often check both hashtags for inspiration. Move onto the tattoo style and tattoo artist’s name, again hashtagging them individually and again with tattoo added.
Take a look at these examples
#tattooedtattoos #tattoosontattoos #tattooswithtattoos #tattoo #tattoos #ink #inked #tattooideas #tattooinspiration #traditionaltattoo #tradtattoo #pinup #pinuptattoo #foodtattoo #pizza #pizzatattoo #boldwillhold #daniqueipo #daniqueipotattoo
Some things to note from this post:
- There are three hashtags which relate to tattoos like this, so I’ve included them all so that the image gets the most exposure.
- Traditional may be referred to in full or shortened to trad.
- I’ve mentioned both food and the type of food (pizza) featured in the tattoo so that the image can been seen to both people who are unsure of what kind of food tattoo they want, and specifically for people who want to see only pizza themed tattoos.
#animaltattoo #dogtattoo #whippet #whippettattoo #neotrad #neotraditional #neotradtattoo #neotraditionaltattoo #neotradeu #lucylucyhorsehead #lucylucyhorseheadtattoo #lucyoconnell #lucyoconnelltattoo
Some things to note from this post:
- I have been overly specific with the animal featured because it falls into the category of being an animal and a dog, and naming the dog breed will assist those looking specifically for this type of tattoo.
- I have hashtagged both the artist’s Instagram handle and their real name so that people will find the image no matter which search term they use or which hashtag they click on.
- There is a hashtag specific to neo traditional tattoos produced by European tattooers – it pays to research if there are region-specific hashtags for certain styles.
- Neo traditional may also be referred to as neo trad or new traditional, so you may want to remember to include these bonus hashtags on your own posts.
These hashtags are completely optional, but I like to add them to every tattoo image I add to Instagram:
Some of these hashtags are into the tens of millions, however it does mean more eyes on your image.
You’re ready to post!
It may seem insignificant to some of you, but you’re doing your bit to positively promote tattooing and, while you may not realise it, tattoo artists and tattoo collectors are thankful for that.
And just one last thing before I go…
What if I want to share an image of a tattoo which I like, that is not tattooed on me?
This is the bulk of what I do on my Instagram account – I’m posting tattoos related to articles I write here on the blog, and others are images of tattoos that I find online and really love. I might not always have the artist’s Instagram handle in the caption (since I have so much other information there) but I always tag them on the photo and every artist is credited on the blog.
There is nothing wrong with doing this, as long as you give credit where it’s due. Simply follow all the tips mentioned above in regards to naming the tattooer and using the appropriate hashtags.
Did you find this post helpful? Do you have any other tips? Leave them in the comments section below.