Why didn’t my tattoo get uploaded to social media?

I’ve had a couple of clients ask if their tattoo will be posted to my Instagram page, and if not why not?

A lot of people find their preferred tattoo artist by looking at social media, usually Instagram or Facebook. There’s no doubt that social media plays a huge roll in getting us (tattoo artists) seen and more importantly, getting us bookings. Because of this, it’s very important that we keep on top of when we post and more importantly what we post.

There could be several reasons that your tattoo didn’t make it to our social media pages and I’m about to list a few of the factors that I personally consider when posting a tattoo.


Style of the tattoo – sometimes as artists we get asked to design something that may not necessarily fit our preferred style; and while were happy to do it for you, it may not be something we’d wish to advertise that we do. Thinking of our social media in terms of an advert for our services. Put very simply, if you ran a burger bar but someone wanted a hot dog, you may be able to make this for them but you wouldn’t want to advertise it if all you want to serve is burgers. It’s a similar sort of thing.


• Redness and swelling – some people puff up and swell like there’s no tomorrow when getting a tattoo, particularly during longer sessions. This can distort lines and affect the over all look of the tattoo. The same goes for redness. Obviously there’s going to be some redness but sometimes, especially with colour tattoos, this can change the look of certain colours so they aren’t as bright and contrasting as they otherwise would be once the tattoo is settled.


• Lighting – I’m lucky enough to work in a studio where there is tonnes of natural light. This is great in the summer when it’s lighter for longer but with the changeable Great British weather, it’s never guaranteed. Having the right lighting when taking pictures of a tattoo can make all the difference. Colours will show true, details will be visible and the tattoo will look it’s best. Sometimes even using lamps doesn’t help as they can cause glare and shadows which is just as annoying as no light at all!


• Wrapping – larger scale tattoos (sleeves particularly) wrap around the limb, this obviously makes it basically impossible to be able to get one clean picture of the whole tattoo. A lot of the time artists will take several and piece them together to post them on social media but this doesn’t always show the tattoo in its best light. Some people may opt to show just a snippet of the tattoo instead of the whole thing, or, alternatively, take a video instead.


• Unfinished work – the majority of the time people want to see finished pieces. It can be interesting to see how a tattoo is done from lines to building up the colour, but essentially it’s the finished product that people are interested in and that we are proud to show. Because of this, half finished tattoos don’t often make the cut of being posted to social media.

So as you can see there is a lot for us to consider when we do something as simple as posting on social media. Don’t take it personally if your tattoo doesn’t get uploaded. It’s no reflection on the quality of the tattoo or what we think of it.

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