Meet Mark (we can’t show his face on television). We photographed his wedding in 2007 (which was 159% awesome). He is the last full-blood Samoan male in his family & late last year he travelled back to his home land to undergo an amazing process/ceremony/ritual.. The full traditional application of Samoan tatau (tattoo).
We’re talking long sessions under the hammer & needles – & I mean literally under the hammer. Traditional tattoo is applied using a sharpened pigs tooth & a hammer! The needles are struck by the artist in rhythmical patterns & the designs are very intricate.. For more info re this technique, click here ..
So yes, I said to Mark.. ”so.. it hurts then?”.. not surprisingly, he said “yes.. it is quite painful.” 12 sessions over about 2 weeks I think. His longest session was from about 9.30am to 6pm… solid.. (ouchy). But if the tattoo process is not painful enough for you, don’t despair – after every session, the fresh tattoo must be massaged to encourage the skin to take the ink. Please note, this is not like an aromatherapy party with candles, forest sounds, & enya.. this is like kneading bread! The “massage” is apparently more painful than the tattooing..
So Mark.. one word for you my friend.. RESPEC !
ps.. Seriously, Mark is one of the nicest guys I have ever met & he has very kindly granted permission for his images to be posted (which I appreciate big time), & ladies, sorry but Mark is very happily married to Prue – a stunning woman in every way (with the voice of an angel)! See the lovely Prue in my weddings portfolio here ..
As you can see, Mark looks and is very… “fit”.. & yes, never have I felt more inadequate as a man while photographing someone’s portrait.. Needless to say I have since joined a gym & can pretty much do 19 pushups without stopping once ! *insert victorious high-fives here*
posted by : Arnold Toddzenegger.. (GET TO THE CHOPPER!)