Cade Martin Showcases the Beauty of Full Body Tattoos in Character, not Characters

“Tattoos: The thought of people with their stories written on their bodies was something I immediately wanted to photograph.”

Cade Martin

By Missy Hunter

Telling a story through their imagery is any photographer’s goal. Cade Martin seeks stories and chases characters in his travels around the world on commercial shoots and personal projects alike. It was on a break from a commercial project where Cade drank the creative kool-aid, compelled to document the tales of tattoo collectors and champions.

Cade’s project titled “Character, not Characters,” showcases tattoo enthusiasts at two different conventions. In the narrator business, Cade had hit the motherlode: Here was an opportunity where each person was giving outward clues, through their body art, to the stories that lie within.

“The people I gravitated to had complete coverage and amazingly detailed tattoo work; it was such a clear commitment & passion on their part.”

Cade strives to create a narrative living beyond any one moment with his imagery. Cade worked with his post-production team to continue the storytelling beyond the one started in a makeshift photo booth. Together with his team, they created individualized backdrops based on each person’s tattooed torso, with the thought being that the stories contained multiple layers and complexities.

This collection has been an art exhibition at The Mansion on O Street in Washington, D.C. a highlighted project in The Art of the Personal Project on Aphotoeditor, and featured in INKed magazine where the PDF can be downloaded.

Check out the Behind the Scenes video of Character, Not Characters.

Follow Cade on Instagram to see the results of him chasing characters and stories, and finding beauty in the unfamiliar.

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