How Many Portrait Tattoo Images Does It Take?

When you search for portrait tattoos on the internet you will likely find many pages that talk about horrible tattoos gone wrong. If you are thinking about honoring a loved one, a pet or even your favorite movie start, it is important you bring in the right picture.

What is the best way to do that? You need to bring in as many portrait tattoo images as possible to your artists. You may have a favorite but it might not necessarily be the one to tattoo.  Tattoo artists need a picture that provides enough light and shadows to work with.

Let’s face it, trying to duplicate a picture is hard enough with paint and a canvas, can you imagine doing on skin with needles? It might be a good idea to bring in close ups so your artists can really get a feel for the person you want tattooed on your skin.

woman portrait tattoo

By: mytat_2s

The Perfect Portrait Tattoo Image

Photographs with a lot of natural light are also good to bring in. Pictures taken with bright flashes might make it difficult to read the contours of the persons face. If the person is still alive, try taking several pictures of them close up, by a window for natural lighting.

If the person has passed away then obviously you are limited to what is available.  You could always ask other family members if they have photos of the person. Let them know it is for a portrait tattoo image and they may feel honored and willing to help you out.

Once you and your artist decide on the final image you will then need to decide if you want color in your tattoo or just black and grey.  Beautiful portraits can be produced with either so it is really a personal opinion. Just remember color has been known to fade faster than black and grey tattoos.

Chest daughter Portrait Tattoo

By: mytat_2s

Make sure you avoid your tattoo showing up on tattoo gone wrong list! Find an artist that you trust. Do some research and don’t be afraid to go talk to them and look at their portfolio. Look at past portrait tattoos that they have done.  Also remember to take good care of your new tattoo. This will go a long way in helping it last as long as it can.

Do you have a portrait tattoo? I would love to hear about your experience in the comments!



10 Replies to “How Many Portrait Tattoo Images Does It Take?”

  1. Ben

    Wow the Sweeney Todd portrait is spot on! I’ve been thinking of getting a fairly small tattoo for a bit now, and have been looking into how the body copes with having ink injected. I was wondering, how long do you think it would take for larger pieces like these portraits to heal?


    • Jeremy Post author

      Tattoos in general take about 2 weeks to feel healed to touch but then another 4-6 weeks before they are completely healed. Here are some tips on speeding that process up. Thanks for reading!

  2. Matt

    Nice article portrait tattoos can either go really wrong or really well. Although, I feel like if someone wanted to have my face on their arm or something I would be a bit creeped out. I probably wouldn’t be able to hang out with them because I would just keep looking at their arm and thinking about how my face is on their body! Maybe wait till I’m dead and then do what you want to your body haha.

  3. john savage

    This is a wicked idea!!

    The first thing I did was look behind at a portrait of my eldest when she 18 months!

    I’d love to have a portrait tattooed!

  4. David

    I do not have any tattoos myself, but I can appreciate them on other people.
    Some useful information for those looking to perhaps honour a loved one.
    Keep up the good work, Jeremy.

  5. Elektra

    Wow, great tattoos! I guess if you choose any tattoo, and especially the portrait ones, you will need to make sure to find good artist and supply right photos if you want good effects. Thanks for the post, lots of useful info!


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