Tattoos done in the past can often be silly or embarrassing. But that’s nothing compared to when they have a serious and harmful impact on your life. That’s the notion photographer Steven Burton explores in his photo series Skin Deep, featuring the ex-gang members struggling to come back to society.
“When I started Skin Deep I had a simple concept: take portraits of heavily tattooed ex-gang members and remove the tattoos using digital re-touching to create before and after portraits,” Burton writes on his Kickstarter page. “Most of the homeboys/girls hadn’t seen themselves without tattoos for decades, so during the interviews, I presented the images. There was a deep emotional response by the subjects.“
“These images inspire personal insight from the subjects and elicit questions of how we as a society perceive and judge those with tattoos and how this stigma goes so far as to influence these former gang member’s perception of themselves.“
The photographer spent two years and over 400 hours on Photoshop to make this book a reality. The last thing that’s missing is your support on Kickstarter.