I describe myself as a social butterfly, so let this collaboration be a testament to that! I met Sam, the owner of Brass Dragon Tattoo Studio, while I accompanied my friend to her tattoo appointment. 

No, he wasn’t the artist. He didn’t even work there. We were at Red Rose Tattoo Parlour in Lancaster City. When we arrived, there was another patron getting a tattoo. Then they left. Yet there were still several guys lingering in the back room. This was around 7PM on a weekday night. I of course started asking questions, working the room. 

Turns out, the other artist who had been tattooing was visiting from another state. So friends came to visit, hence the extra people. 

Sam has been tattooing for over a decade, but opened up his own studio earlier this year. He needed a website, Instagram refresh, Google Business Profile, and of course, branding photos!

When his site is complete, I’ll link it here, along with a full project breakdown on my other website, but for now, I’ll focus on the photography portion of this project. 

We met for coffee and I got a tour of his studio! He’s in a unique spot- an office building. With amazing natural light! I’ve only been to a few tattoo shops, but what I really appreciate about Sam’s space is it’s bright, clean, and private. And there’s parking, lol. Quite possibly the most important feature for any business in the city (in my book anyways). 

I wanted to capture not only Sam working, but also his space. You want clients to feel comfortable, and part of achieving that is showing them what to expect. 

Sam waited for an appointment with a client that would (1) be okay with being photographed and (2) was getting a tattoo in a photographable spot. This was the client’s third session, where Sam was adding shading. 

I grabbed a few headshots and studio shots before the client arrived, then got a ton of different angles while Sam was tattooing. During a break, we got some more headshots and photos of the design/art process. 

Sam has no headshots on his Instagram (a sin in my world), and of course needed some for the site. He’ll also be using them for 2 tattoo conferences this fall!

Like any other field, you don’t realize how much talent, knowledge, and experience goes into it, until you’re chatting with the professional or you’re in the field yourself. My mom had a tattoo done years ago, where the ink bled. I asked Sam what her options were and he explained how it happened and recommended a place to actually get part of it lasered off. 

Sam is an incredible artist (I legitimately thought some of his artwork had been printed, not hand drawn) and provides a clean, comfortable space for his clients. 

Congrats on the new-ish studio Sam!!!