If you’ve been tattooed within the last five years then chances are you’ve posted a photo of said tattoo on one or 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 LWG, 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 and already has a huge following, we believe that it is important that tattoo collectors do their part in promoting tattooers and good tattooing on social media – Instagram, in particular.
Instagram is one of the best resources and is our 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.
One thing you could be doing to help 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 steps 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 we are 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 and for tattoos with a certain theme. Some artists don’t have the time, or just choose not to post every single piece they tattoo, so using these hashtags may uncover more of their work which has been posted by their clients.
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 individually. 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:
Tattooed pizza babe by @daniqueipo on YouTuber @treacletatts
#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 we have included them all so that the image gets the most exposure;
- Traditional may be referred to in full or shortened to trad;
- We’ve mentioned both food and the type of food (pizza) featured in the tattoo so that the image can been seen by 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.
Neo trad whippets by @lucylucyhorsehead
#animaltattoo #dogtattoo #whippet #whippettattoo #neotrad #neotraditional #neotradtattoo #neotraditionaltattoo #neotradeu #lucylucyhorsehead #lucylucyhorseheadtattoo #lucyoconnell #lucyoconnelltattoo
Some things to note from this post:
- We 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;
- We 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 we like to add them to every tattoo image we post to Instagram:
#tattoo – #tattoos – #tattooideas – #tattooinspiration
Some of these hashtags are into the tens of millions, however it still can 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 you 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 we do on the website and on our Instagram account – we’re posting tattoos related to articles on the website, and others are images of tattoos that we find online and really love. We always endeavour to have the artists name in the photo caption and tag them on the image itself, in addition to crediting them in each website post.
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.