Cool photography tattoos *updated*


by Bellamy /

3 min read

Cool photography tattoos
I met up with my friend Mijonju today and he had something very cool to show me. He got an awesome new tattoo that is based on photographic film. It got me thinking about photography tattoos, so I decided to write a little bit about it.

Mijonju loves cameras, like a fat boy who loves chocolate cake. As the song goes. He lives, sleeps and drinks camera, so it really came as no surprise to me when he decided to get a photography based tattoo. If you don’t know who Mijonju is then you should pop over to his site or his youtube channel and have a look. He is seriously passionate about film and film cameras. A true film preacher! He had mentioned in the past that he would like to get a tattoo, I never thought it would be as cool as this one though.

Pretty awesome huh? If you didn’t guess this is a design that is based on the backing paper found in 120 film, with a few of Mijonju’s own tweaks. This is such a well thought out piece, almost like some kind of modern tribalism. I am really impressed by it and it has inspired me to get another tattoo (this time camera themed), though it will be a secret until it is done.
Here are some of the backing papers that he used for inspiration.

Mijonju really is a film ambassador and has really shown his dedication to his passion with this tattoo. It is beautifully done too, with the detailed parts having been done perfectly, not an easy task. The tattoo also works as an effective ruler, so he never needs to look around to measure things.

Mijonju told me that he got the idea from some friends of his who have something similar. Jimmy Phua and Noreen Loh Hui Miun are from Singapore and they are film crazy. Jimmy is the owner of 8storeytree, a toy camera boutique in Singapore. They are spreading the film camera love and decided to show that through their tattoos.

Jimmy’s Arm
Jimmy came up with the ruler idea first to use his arm as a focus gauge. Which is a brilliant idea. Then Noreen came up with the 120 film idea.

Noreen’s arm.
Pretty cool stuff. I love the simple style of these tattoos.

This also got me thinking, about other photo tattoos and what people would get. I dug about on the net and found that there is a large subculture of people who are having their passion etched into their skin.
There is a flickr group, a tumblr page and so much more. The guys over at PhotoJojo even offer temporary tattoos based on cameras. Very cool stuff. Just searching on google reveals that some people will put anything camera related onto their bodies. I am not going to post the shots, as they are not mine, but you can get the idea by just popping to google and having a quick look. It is amazing.

What would you do? I know that tattoos are not for everyone, but if you were so inclined to get a photography based tattoo what would it be? An f-stop measurement on your inner thigh? An aperture ring on your hand? A Leica logo on your forehead? I would love to hear what other people would do. I know what I will do, but it is a secret….for now.


21 comments on “Cool photography tattoos *updated*”

    ZDP-189 September 7, 2012 at 3:13 pm / Reply

    I would smack the chocolate cake out of my boy if he came home with one of those.

    Maybe not, but he would be grounded for life.

      Mijonju September 7, 2012 at 3:27 pm /

      yikes, thank goodness I’m not your son, just joking :)

      KG August 30, 2013 at 3:25 pm /

      wait, so you are his son? ;)

    John Berner September 7, 2012 at 3:20 pm / Reply

    I actually have two that are in the works. One of my first camera (Yashica FX-1) with vintage 70’s strap going over my shoulder and down my side. And another of a roll of 35mm down my forearm. I’ve been floating around some other ideas, this backing paper one is good too.

    travis mortz September 7, 2012 at 3:48 pm / Reply

    i have an entire photography based sleeve complete with a leica m3 a rolleiflex a quote from daguerre all the f stops from 1.4-22 a hasselblad logo and the lens specs from a nikon 50mm 1.1 as well as a hasselblad on my leg and polaroid frames on my other leg haha Ive gone a bit over the top here is a photo of some of my arm check out my flickr for the rest of it!

    Mijonju September 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm / Reply

    my inspiration

    gidion September 7, 2012 at 4:34 pm / Reply

    Never thought about a camera related tattoo. Some cool stuff out there.

    Jen Xi September 7, 2012 at 5:39 pm / Reply

    Very nice personalisation he did on the design. I thought of doing a Leica logo before. Still thinking of a good place to put it. A bit too in your face to have it on the forehead, IMO. :p

    David Bromley September 7, 2012 at 6:16 pm / Reply

    The backing paper tatt is cool. I’ve been wondering what to get for a while, think I’m going to go for a ‘sunny 16’ guide (like they used to do inside film boxes) on my leg.

    Adrian Binelli September 7, 2012 at 7:09 pm / Reply

    most possibly the worst tattoo I have ever seen,How cool do you think it will look if a girl in a bar asks you what the tattoo means….Exactly.

      Brian September 8, 2012 at 6:27 am /

      I don’t think he’d care. I’m pretty sure he’s married. And if it was a girl who was into film she’d probably think it was awesome and it’d be a great conversation starter.

    anon September 7, 2012 at 8:19 pm / Reply

    a few of my friends got tattoos of the fuji pro 160s 4×5 notch (just, like, a line with some squiggles!) when they discontinued that film. they loved it so much. hardcore.

    frrrank September 7, 2012 at 9:34 pm / Reply

    so interesting, but obvious upon reflection, that most of them are film-based. digital does not inspire the same love.

    Ilyas September 7, 2012 at 11:07 pm / Reply

    One of my friends got this freaky tattoo =)

    Brian September 8, 2012 at 6:28 am / Reply

    I think it’s pretty crazy, but awesome. I’d love to get a tattoo related to photography in some way, but no ideas on design or placement. I think i’ll probably do it at some point down the road though, and it’s nice to see some examples of what people have done.

    cuteamy18 September 8, 2012 at 11:05 am / Reply

    It’s on lomography too!

    officerX September 10, 2012 at 5:50 pm / Reply

    Like most things here, these are not “photography-related”, they are camera-related.

    In essence it is an enthusiasts group within a potentially creative pursuit. Nothing wrong with being an enthusiast, but these aren’t photographers because photographers are enthusiastic about photographs, not cameras (and not even photography).

      Bellamy September 10, 2012 at 8:59 pm /

      If you had met Mijonju you would know that he is very much a photographer, who is not just a camera fan, but a man who makes photography his whole life. I have never met anyone so passionate about every aspect of photography as himself.

    Heather December 17, 2012 at 6:19 am / Reply

    I absolutely love these tattoo’s – been looking for inspiration for a new photography themed tattoo for about a year now and this has certainly inspired me!! And as mother I would be very proud if my son came home with such a unique looking piece of art on his arm.

    Oliver Wales August 30, 2013 at 5:09 pm / Reply

    Hi, My father once presented me with a Nikon F3 and told me to learn light through the lens without a light meter. He founded my passion for film photography. So when he passed away in Oct 2011 i decided to get a Nikon F3 tattooed on my chest with the strap around my neck so i am always wearing it. The entire piece is done in shading with no actual firm lines. If you would like a photo please email me. The likeness is incredible.
    Many thanks
    PS im sending in a photo of my bag real soon

    Oliver Wales

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