Big Tat Tues, small credits

Tat Tues is Dead Deco‘s weekly dip into the tattoo pool of art to see what we can find.  Today’s piece comes from owner “Alex” as photographed by Catherine Duran.  This is an impressive tattoo for both its detail and its size.  While researching this photo, we noticed that the majority of comments posted to this picture mention an appreciation for the tattoo.  This then brings up a few questions.

In regard to the photograph we have chosen to display, who is best credited for this work?  The most striking thing about the photograph is the tattoo, yet nowhere in the photo’s description was the tattoo artist mentioned.  The tattoo artist is ultimately the craftsman that made this photograph interesting, yet there is no credit given to them.  What about the model and tattoo owner?  In 1/60th of a second Catherine seems to have taken credit for another artist’s hours of work.  Is this right?

This trend is much more noticeable in the digital era due to the fast cycle of capture-publish-sell that is permeating modern photography.  Taking pictures of other people’s art is a great way to appreciate good work but it is a lazy way to make art.  What do you think?


  1. First off I’d like to say that in no way did you ask for my permission to put this photo up, so I’m asking you kindly to please remove this photo & article. Secondly what if I was the tattoo artist? You kind of need to ask questions before you put up anything like that when you do not even know the story behind the photo.

    1. Hello Ms. Duran. In this instance, under the fair use law regarding copyrighted material, we have every right to use your photograph with or without your permission because it is being used for editorial purposes without the intention of profit. If you want to pretend you are a professional, you should familiarize yourself with the law before you go around making demands.

      In response to your statement, “You kind of need to ask questions before you put up anything like that when you do not even know the story behind the photo;” you do realize this article does ask questions regarding this image. It is peculiar that your response here is nothing more than hostility in regard to our inquiry.

      It is our suggestion to you for the future that if you do not wish to have your images critiqued in the public forum then you should refrain from publishing them on the internet.

      1. I’m an amateur not a professional, I never called myself a professional photographer. So technically I’m not pretending anything. I’m still learning all the copyright laws. If I want to make demands I can, it’s a free country, doesn’t mean you have to actually do what I demand.

        I honestly do not give a crap what you have to say. If you want to call how I talk hostility so be it but I’m a bitch, that’s just the way I talk and I don’t give a damn. But I think it would have been nice to actually interview me first and ask these questions instead of throwing accusations around. It’s only common sense.

        And if you would like to know the reason why I did not credit the tattoo artist is because my client requested that I did not. She and the tattoo artist were good friends at the time that he did her tattoo but after I had done the shoot with her they had gotten into a big argument and she requested that I not credit him at all when putting up the pictures publicly. I’ve learned that I have to keep my clients happy and so that’s just what I did. I never took credit for the tattoo just the photo. No where does it say that I ever took credit for the tattoo. You may disagree how ever you want but oh well I don’t care. And as for who the model is that is none of your concern, all you need to know is that her name is Alex and that’s all she wants you to know.

      2. Here: you state pricing for your photography; and, taking money for photography services is what makes someone a professional. It is not a value statement.

        Though we do not appreciate your use of vulgarity on our website, it is obvious that you passionately care about your work. We would suggest that you channel that passion into something more constructive than writing angry replies to us.

        The art world is filled with people much more aggressive and cruel than us, and you need to learn to be more mature in handling these situations.

        Thank you for that last paragraph of this reply, which clarified this entire subject for us. Maybe consider adding something to that effect in the description of this image for future references.

      3. Just like how you handle situations this is how I handle it, that’s all I know and learned. I never said anyone had to like it (:

      1. After searching through all the available images of this tattoo posted by this photographer, we recognized that not a single one (at that time) had the name of the model or the tattoo artist. We then notified the photographer that we were publishing this article with questions for her regarding the details of this image.

        The photographer still has failed to tell us who the model or the tattoo artist is. We are simply trying to give fair credit to whom credit is due in the instance of this art piece.

      2. So you’re saying that you never interviewed this photographer at all, correct? I would think that anyone writing anything about anyone would need to actually come up with facts before they write anything. Just like if you were to write an English paper and needed to back up what you wrote, you need to have a hard core evidence from a reliable source.

      3. Our reliable evidence is our first-hand witness to the fact that no attribution was stated by this photographer on this photograph crediting either the tattoo artist or model for their contribution. We then extended ample opportunity to the photographer to clarify and rectify the information situation. Those are facts.

        Perhaps on your website, you have different standards for photographers and attribution of subjects, but here at Dead Deco we vehemently believe in associating artists to their work.

  2. As a continuation to this discussion of artists photographing art, tattoo art in particular, I’d like to support the notion that the, 1) The model is superfluous and usually is and, 2) Crediting a tattoo artist is important if it’s indeed known but is, to me, a secondary consideration. While the image in question would be rather pedestrian without the tattoo and I would have loved to get the photographer’s responses to your questions, Louie, I think the thought of proper attribution comes down to context and importance. In the case of this image, since the tattoo is such a prominent part of the photo, attribution is necessary for the tattoo artist, if available, and not the model. Without the answers to your questions from the photographer, though, it’s guesswork on my part.

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