Gang Members React to Photos of Themselves with Tattoos Removed

For his endeavor Skin Deep, photographer Steven Burton shot portraits of current and former gang members after which used the power of Photoshop to reveal what they’d look like with out their face and physique tattoos. This 4-minute video reveals the reactions of the themes seeing their ‘shopped portraits for the first time.

Many of the themes are clearly moved as soon as they see themselves with out the facial tattoos which have come to define them throughout the eyes of others.

“Many of the themes have not seen themselves with out tattoos for a few years!” writes Burton, a portrait and industrial photographer based totally in New York Metropolis and Los Angeles. “The images catch the themes off guard and sometimes create a reflective and profoundly contemplative ambiance, extremely efficient, emotional and reliable dialog is possible.

“The interviews inform many truths about being in gangs and the realities of leaving them. It moreover reveals some of the idea points that drive youthful people into the arms of gang life.”

Do you have to’d like to see a gallery of these before-and-after portraits, attempt our earlier feature of Burton’s project from back in 2016. There are moreover longer interviews with specific individual matters on the project’s website.

Pores and pores and skin Deep has been revealed as {a photograph} e-book after a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign once more in 2016. The 168-page hardcover book could possibly be purchased for $22.

Proper right here’s a portion of the e-book’s description:

For a few years now tattoos have been potent symbols of the Los Angeles gang-life scene. The black and white tattoos with recognizable gang symbols appear on members’ faces, necks and all through their our our bodies, making their gang affiliation immediately clear to whomever crosses their path. This may occasionally indicate the excellence between life and loss of life on he streets, and easily as usually, in jail.

What does this prominently positioned imagery indicate for these men and women who come what may extricate themselves from gang life or are launched from jail or want to separate themselves from the gang and start life anew? The very tattoos which might have helped guard in opposition to the fastened menace of rival gangs now bar many ex-gang members from employment, life with out harassment, and the freedom to switch on from a earlier they’ve labored arduous to overcome. […]

Utilizing sooner than and, thanks to the advantages of Photoshop, after photos, these men and women obtained a chance to see what they’d look like with out the inked seen armor. After the bare pictures had been launched to each, they’d been requested to discuss themselves and their households, what tattoos characterize to them, and their aspirations for the long run.

It is also doable to uncover further of Burton’s completely different photographic work on his website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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