Model Pro Tips #5: Let's Talk Tattoos

Hey guys! This was talk number five. I can’t believe that I’ve been doing this for five weeks now. There’s just so much to cover and I have so many more exciting topics for all of you for many Mondays to come. 


This talk was about tattoos. Tattoos are kind of a hot topic amongst the modeling community right now. I have a whole bunch of tattoos, but they’re all very small because my career depends on it since I do a lot of commercial and product modeling. I’m not an alternative model, nor am I looking to become an alternative model anytime soon, so I have to limit the number and size of my tattoos.


I get a ton of messages asking me about tattoos and modeling. It matters a lot less if you want to be “an Instagram model” or just a freelance model who does independent work all the time. Where it matters more is with commercial clients and businesses. You may love your tattoos, but that doesn’t mean your clients will. It is important to learn how to cover them and how to talk to clients about them. I will typically ask my clients if they would like me to cover them and I will send them a picture that from my work portfolio that shows them. This is helpful for the client because they can see how small and easily concealed they are. 


I only have five small ones, and two of those are behind my ear is where you can’t see them unless my hair is up. During the live chat I talked about the Disney princess gig I did in May. I had to cover my behind the ear tattoos (Disney princesses do not have Jack and Sally tattoos). This was super easy to do, and I just had someone else do it for me once my wig was on. It is super easy for me to cover the ones in my arms myself and only takes a few minutes. 


Tattoos can be distracting from a product or service in an advertisement, and that’s one reason why my clients will have me cover mine. Tattoos are personal identifiers, and if your character isn’t supposed to have them, you shouldn’t have them. It’s nothing personal against you-  tattoos are cool but they need to be covered in order for the job to get done right.


And I know a lot of you are wondering why a photographer can’t just edit them out? Sometimes they don’t want to spend all of the time it takes to edit out a sleeve. Sometimes a company would rather just use a model who has no tattoos rather than having to deal with them. Claps for all the photographers who know how to edit out full sleeves. I’ve seen it done- it’s super cool. Now for a list of people who may not like your tattoos.


Ad agencies for tv/web/social media commercials, clients who are shooting their products for Amazon listings, art nude photographers, trade show clients (especially medical and technology clients), and grandma, but you already knew that she wasn’t crazy about your ink. 


Quick side note here to talk about art nude stuff. I’m not the best person to talk to you about this because I really don’t know too much about it. I don’t do nude modeling but I’ve seen photographers looking specifically both for art nude models with a ton of tattoos and art nude models without any tattoos at all. If you’re looking to get into art nude modeling and you have no tattoos, it may benefit you to advertise yourself as a fine art nude model who has zero tattoos. It can also work to your advantage to be covered in tattoos- for example if your goal is to become one of those Suicide Girls models. (Ps- I think they are owned by MyFreeCams now. Not sure how they changed things but it might, so look into it?).


I really enjoy working as a convention model at technology trade-shows. It’s a very professional environment and a lot of those people just don’t want to see tattoos on a pretty girl. I’m working as a model at an optometry convention this week and all of my tattoos will be covered for that as well. 


If your goal is just to be a freelance Instagram model you can basically ignore everything that I’ve said because it really doesn’t matter for you. The same thing goes for you if you want to be in Instagram influencer. That’s a different type of thing compared to commercial and fashion modeling.


All right, that’s enough of my rambling on about this. Time to show you how I cover my tattoo. During the live chat I grabbed two different shades of “MILK” brand foundation, some powder, two different brushes, and my Makeup Forever Mist and Fix setting spray. What I’m going to talk you through is my go to routine for covering my tattoos. It’s pretty simple and easy to do. I will typically cover mine up when I arrive to set so that I can test my cover job with the lighting. 


Just start with a layer of foundation and pat it down, then blend it out into the rest of your arm (or whatever body part your tattoo is on). I keep adding layers and blending out until i can no longer see the tattoo. Then I use the setting spray on the area. This routine works pretty well and if you guys have other foundations that work really awesome shoot me a DM so I can talk about them online so that people have more options. I use one called “MILK.” I heard a while ago there was a Kat Von D one that worked really well.


Other announcements- I will be coming out with an E back at the end of the summer on the basics of modeling, so if you guys are looking for more info from me but aren’t ready to commit to the private course, this will be a good starting point for you. It will cover all the basics and I will have posing tips in there. It’s going to be amazing for you all getting started. Also, thank you to everyone who sent me a DM this week wanting to be interviewed I will be starting in our in mental health series on my blog. Shoot me a message if you’d like to be interviewed. Everyone will be anonymous. Lastly, I take off for LA in a few weeks and I am so pumped for this trip. If you’re in the Los Angeles area I just had a slot open up, so send me a email if you like to shoot. I am offering discounted rates if you ask me about them. 


That’s all, guys. What a fun live chat. I had so much fun interacting with all of you. 


As per usual shoot me a DM if you have questions. Send me a DM if you’re looking to get into modeling classes as well.






Ashlie Wynne