Everything You Should Know About Photorealism Tattoos

You will find that there are quite a few different types of tattoos that you can get. Some of these tattoos are colorful and some only consist of black ink forming a certain image that you wanted for your tattoo. One more difference is how realistic the tattoo looks and this can vary greatly from tattoo to tattoo. Some people prefer a very realistic tattoo, whereas others prefer a more exaggerated image for their tattoo instead. Either way, photorealism tattoos are some of the most realistic tattoos that you can get. Here is what you should know about tattoos that are made to be photorealistic.

Realism Tattoos 101

It is important to look at the origins of this type of tattoo. The entire realism tattoo movement was inspired by the realism movement, an art movement that took place back in the 1850s. The point of realism is that you utilize a number of techniques and details to make images that resemble a 3D object in real life or a photograph. Realism tattoos can look extremely lifelike. It is also worth noting that the tattoo artists who do photorealistic tattoos must be quite patient in order to get the required layering and amount of detail for the photorealistic tattoos. Tattoo artists who create photorealistic tattoos often have plenty of talent, which allows them to create such tattoos.

Are Photorealistic Tattoos More Painful?

There are many factors that go into how painful it is to get a certain tattoo. The location of your tattoo and the artist who is creating this tattoo are usually more relevant to how much it hurts than the tattoo’s style. However, photorealistic tattoos require much more time to apply when compared to other tattoos that have much less detail. As a result, photorealistic tattoos do tend to hurt more than other types of tattoos.

Do Photorealistic Tattoos Include Outlines?

If you have seen more traditional tattoos, then you are probably familiar with the fact that they include black outlines that are quite noticeable. However, this is not the case for photorealistic tattoos. Instead, photorealistic tattoos utilize layering in addition to gradual shading in order to achieve their desired effect. This layering and gradual shading help the artist create 3D tattoos that appear lifelike and really help your tattoo stand out from the crowd. Because there is no outline, it makes the photorealistic tattoo appear even more real than it would otherwise.

Do Photorealistic Tattoos Last for A Long Time?

One question that tends to come up when discussing photorealism tattoos is whether or not these types of tattoos last. Light shading or more minute details do tend to fade more quickly than darker ink or colorwork with plenty of saturation. However, it is not as simple as saying that photorealistic tattoos do not last as long as other types of tattoos.

You should make sure that you get a photorealistic tattoo from a tattoo artist that specializes in photorealistic tattoos and is quite experienced with photorealistic tattoos. It is also important to note that inks of lesser quality fade more quickly for both traditional and photorealistic tattoos. That is why it is crucial to make sure that the tattoo artist uses high-quality ink.

Pros and Cons of Photorealism Tattoos

Shot of a tattoo artist hands image

The Cons

  • They take a long time to complete because of the level of detail. It normally takes many sessions, possibly lasting for hours.
  • The cost may be another deterrent for some folks.
  • They need to be carefully considered before making the commitment because they take so long and this is reflected in the overall cost.
  • Even the most beautiful tattoos eventually fade, and photo-realistic ones are no exception.
  • Details may disappear as the body ages and the ink deteriorates, making the image less appealing than it was when it was first created.

The Pros

  • The apparent justification for choosing a photo-realistic tattoo is that they look amazing.
  • A truly stunning, hyper-realistic tattoo can genuinely take people’s breath away with the way it looks.
  • They spark conversation and frequently make the bearer the center of attention at gatherings.
  • Due to their attention to detail, they are typically portraits of loved ones, generally children, or maybe even a deceased person. They are distinctive because of this; thus, their tattoos aren’t found on any flashcards.

Choosing the right tattoo artist

The easiest and maybe best approach to discover a tattoo artist is to ask a friend or cousin who has amazing ink for a recommendation. If you love the artwork on their body, chances are they’ll be happy to recommend artists for you to check out. This is especially true if the artwork that they received from their artist matches what you are seeking for. Furthermore, viewing a piece of art in person rather than just seeing a photograph of it is preferable. Here are some helpful tips that might help you choose the artist that is best for you. 

Conduct research

From a person’s social media profiles, you may immediately determine whether or not their style is what you’re looking for. You’re definitely already familiar with Instagram, the sole social networking site dedicated to tattoos! Start there by looking. Tattoo artists typically utilize Instagram as their online portfolio these days because it is the quickest and easiest way to showcase their work.

Understand your personal style

There are many different tattoo styles, including classic, neotraditional, blackwork, realism, watercolour, fine line, and more. Knowing what you want is a fantastic place to start. Depending on the type of tattoo or experience you seek, the artist will vary. A walk-in store may be the best option if you simply want to choose a design from a book and have something done right away. But if you’re looking for a more imaginative and distinctive design, it could be worthwhile to conduct a little more research into what you want and who you want to achieve it. 

Make contact

Get in touch with the artist once you’ve discovered one you like. On their Instagram pages, the majority typically indicate that they would prefer to be contacted by email. Don’t be shy about talking to a few different tattoo artists as well. Include as much information as you can in the email you send them. Discuss the design, size, and location of the tattoo on your body. You can tell if the artist is going to be a good fit for you based on how they reply. The traditional face-to-face method is also an option. Visit them if they are around and say hello. Meeting the tattoo artist might help you and them feel more at comfortable with what you’re wanting. A first-time tattoo customer is obviously a little more hesitant than a seasoned collector.

Consult with others

Another effective marketing strategy is word-of-mouth. Ask your industry-savvy friends if they can recommend a tattoo artist who specializes in the design you want, in particular. When choosing an artist, consider your personal priorities and read reviews of the candidate. Your priorities may range from the artist’s skill level to their level of patience. You might want someone who will put you at ease if this is your tattoo. 

Make time for it

Slow down. Enjoy choosing your ideal tattoo artist, and make sure you’re happy with the individual you choose in the end. Be aware that many renowned tattoo artists will be fully booked several months in advance or may not be accepting new clients at the time you inquire. A tattoo is always worth the wait, as is finding the proper tattoo artist. 

Look over tattoo shop reviews

If you don’t actually know someone who has tattoos or who can recommend a place, you may always look for guidance online and on social media. The majority of businesses work hard to build their online reputation. Thus, if you use Google, Instagram, or Facebook to research a studio, you can expect to uncover a ton of information about it. You may have found the ideal studio if you find one that has outstanding ratings and produces the type of work you’re looking for. Of course, it’s a good idea to visit the location first before making that choice. 

Find a skilled tattoo artist that you like

The secret to choosing the ideal artist for you is to look over their portfolio. Make sure the tattoo artists you are considering have the required skill and are able to create the piece in precisely the way you want. One or even two unique artistic forms, such as realism, sacred geometry, blackwork, script, dotwork, illustration, or watercolor, are often the concentration of an artist. It might not be the best idea to commission a photorealistic portrait from an artist who only produces abstract work. Do your research, look them up on social media, and review the images and reviews of their work.


Keep in mind that having a tattoo may be a very intimate experience, so it’s crucial to feel entirely at ease with your artist and confident in their ability to deliver the results you want. Just take your time and think twice before making a decision.