Photographer Andy Lo Pò documented the London Tattoo Convention in September 2014 and shot beautiful portraits of the exhibition’s visitors. It was the 10th annual show and attendees came perfectly groomed, proudly presenting their tattooed bodies, subdermal implants and other physical memoirs. “Tattoos appear to be just as common as any other fashion accessory,” Andy explains. His high-contrast portraits communicate the artistry and aptitude of tattoo professionals and highlight the beauty of this painful bodyart. For more of his works visit his website www.andylopo.com.
How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
That’s a tough question… perhaps individual and thoughtful with a good sense of humour.
Whom do you look up to?
I look up to several people but three of the key ones would have to be Stanley Kubrick, David Bowie and Richard Avedon.
Are there any personalities that have contributed to your successful career path?
There are a range of people but the first one that comes to mind is my architectural photography teacher, Rob Brown, from university. He was extremely passionate about large format photography. In an age of digital photography, he really inspired me to start working with 5×4 and get into the darkroom. Although I now use both film and digital cameras I feel like starting out with 5×4 made me work in a different way, thinking more about composition and requiring more patience, including with the subject – when shooting portraiture. I think having this foundation really influenced my style and set me up for my career as it is now.
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced during your career as a photographer?
The biggest challenge has been getting to where I am now because it is not an easy career path. It takes a lot of time and hard work and determination to become a successful photographer.
Quotes and Wisdoms
How do you define creativity?
The freedom to express yourself artistically and having complete control and freedom over your ideas and concepts.
If you had one advice for someone seeking to live a creative life, what would you tell him?
It can be very difficult but worthwhile, and truly rewarding if you can stick it out. To make it sustainable I think you need to be doing something you are incredibly passionate about, and then you also need to have a combination of talent, determination and luck!
What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?
I’m grateful for the life experiences I have had – they have helped to shape who I am today.
Is there anything for which you would be ready to give up your passion for photography?
No but I love cinema, so if I were to be swayed it might be something in that realm.
All images © Andy Lo Pò
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