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Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Addicted To The Needle


Jason Reed and Larry Downing traveled across the country recently to attend two different tattoo conventions in Hampton Roads, Virginia, and Cincinnati, Ohio, to produce the picture package and multi-media piece titled, “Addicted to the Needle” which opens a window into the private world and the culture of tattooing. First up was the Hampton Roads Tattoo Festival and then the National Tattoo Association’s 33rd
annual convention.

Addicted To The Needle
1Robert Seibert, 62, from Burlington, Kentucky, shows off his full body of tattoos, including the Celtic one 
on his head, accumulated over 40 years, during the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati,
 Ohio April 14, 2012. Of his art, Seibert says, I'm one of the people that can't have a favorite tattoo, each 
is like a certain phase of my life. To me it's a picture history of what I have gone through, through the years.
 Picture taken April 14, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Addicted To The Needle
2A tattoo artist works on the head of a client during the second annual Hampton Roads Tattoo Festival in Virginia
 March 2, 2012. The hobby of collecting tattoos has exploded into the mainstream of society with tattoo 
conventions and festivals held year-round across the United States. Picture taken March 2, 2012. 
Addicted To The Needle
3Artist Sean Karn applies a tattoo of Captain America on the leg of Ron Raucci during the Hampton Roads 
Tattoo Festival in Virginia March 2, 2012. The tattoo, completed from start to finish in just one five-and-a-
half hour session, won the prestigious tattoo of the day prize at the festival. Picture taken March 2, 2012. 
Addicted To The Needle
4Ron Raucci from Norfolk, Virginia, reacts to the needle while getting his Captain America tattoo at the 
Hampton Roads Tattoo Festival in Virginia March 2, 2012. Raucci, who serves in the U.S. Navy, grew up 
reading Marvel comic books and has a leg tattoo collage featuring Captain America and Wolverine, his next
 planned tattoo will feature The Hulk. Picture taken March 2, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing
Addicted To The Needle
5A tattoo artist wears a t-shirt supporting tattoos during the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati,
 Ohio April 14, 2012. The hobby of collecting tattoos has exploded into the mainstream in society with tattoo
 conventions and festivals held year-round across the United States and the world. Picture taken April 14, 
2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Addicted To The Needle
6A tattoo artist works on the shoulder of a client at the Hampton Roads Tattoo Festival in Virginia March 3, 
2012. The hobby of collecting tattoos has exploded into the mainstream in society with tattoo conventions 
and festivals held year-round across the United States and the world. Picture taken March 3, 2012. 
Addicted To The Needle
7Shannon Toohey, 23, works on one of her clients during the National Tattoo Association Convention in 
Cincinnati, Ohio April 14, 2012. Toohey, who has been surrounded by tattoo artists during most of her young
 life, drew her first tattoo on her mother at the age of ten and now works at a tattoo shop on Long Island, 
New York. Picture taken April 14, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Addicted To The Needle
8David Billings, from Abingdon, Maryland, wears a full-back tattoo featuring all nine members of his favorite
 band, Slipknot, as a woman admires the art at the Hampton Roads Tattoo Festival in Virginia March 2, 2012.
 Billings says he has had over 150 hours of tattoo work done over a 12 year period, now covering over half 
his body. He says tattoos are now as mainstream as Coca Cola. Picture taken March 2, 2012. 
Addicted To The Needle
9A client shows his new knife tattoo, which appears on both sides of his face, at the National Tattoo Association
 Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 14, 2012. The hobby of collecting tattoos has exploded into the mainstream
 of society with tattoo conventions and festivals held year-round across the United States and the world. 
 Picture taken April 14, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing
Addicted To The Needle
10Artist Greg French works on his client, Brittany Keylon, during the Hampton Roads Tattoo Festival in 
Virginia March 2, 2012. Brittany has recently separated from her husband, overcame a battle with cancer
 and the death of her father. She considers Greg her therapist during their sessions and says that each piece 
of work done on her represents her life story. Picture taken March 2, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Addicted To The Needle
11A woman lies on a table as he has a tattoo work applied to her leg by artist Cliff Evans at the Hampton 
Roads Tattoo Festival in Virginia March 2, 2012. The hobby of collecting tattoos has exploded into the
 mainstream of society with tattoo conventions and festivals held year-round across the United States. Picture
 taken March 2, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Addicted To The Needle
12A visitor shows off his neck tattoo at the Hampton Roads Tattoo Festival in Virginia March 3, 2012. The
 hobby of collecting tattoos has exploded into the mainstream of society with tattoo conventions and festivals
 held year-round across the United States and the world. Picture taken March 3, 2012. REUTERS/Larry 
Downing
Addicted To The Needle
13A group of women from an adjacent quilting fair sneak into the National Tattoo Association Convention in 
Cincinnati to take a picture of a heavily-tattooed convention-goer in Ohio April 14, 2012. The hobby of 
 collecting tattoos has exploded into the mainstream of society with tattoo conventions and festivals held
 year-round across the United States. Picture taken April 14, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing
Addicted To The Needle
14Male full-body tattoo contestants including Jeff Bitting (R) wait in line to be judged at the National Tattoo
 Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 13, 2012. In his 33 years of getting tattoos, Bitting says he
 has had about 500 hours of work and will complete his other leg in his bid to win more full-body contests. 
 Picture taken April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing
Addicted To The Needle
15Keisha Holcomb, 31, from Fort Collins, Colorado, shows the Mom and Dad tattoos she had applied to
 her feet as she participates in the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 13, 2012.
 Holcomb, the product of a military family upbringing, was 16 when she got her first tattoo and is now a 
budding tattoo artist herself. She wants to have a full-body tattoo eventually, with the exception of her hands, 
throat and head. Try to keep it classy, she says. Picture taken April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing
Addicted To The Needle
16Keisha Holcomb (R), 31, from Fort Collins, Colorado, waits in line to have her tattoos judged in a contest 
during the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 13, 2012. Holcomb, the product
 of a military family upbringing, was 16 when she got her first tattoo and is now a budding tattoo artist herself.
 She wants to have a full-body tattoo eventually, with the exception of her hands, throat and head. Try to keep
 it classy, she says. Picture taken April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing
Addicted To The Needle
17Tattoo judges inspect the tattoos of a competitor at the Hampton Roads Tattoo Festival in Virginia, March
 2, 2012. The hobby of collecting tattoos has exploded into the mainstream of society with tattoo conventions
 and festivals held year-round across the United States. Picture taken March 2, 2012. REUTERS/Larry 
Downing
Addicted To The Needle
18Jeff Bitting (R), from St Augustine, Florida, speaks back stage with fellow full-body tattoo contestants 
before judging at the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 13, 2012. In his 33
 years of getting tattoos, Bitting says he has had about 500 hours of work and will complete his other leg
 in his bid to win more full-body contests. Picture taken April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing
Addicted To The Needle
19Full-body tattoo competitors show their art to an audience during judging at the National Tattoo Association 
Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 13, 2012. The hobby of collecting tattoos has exploded into the mainstream 
 of society with tattoo conventions and festivals held year-round across the United States and the world. 
 Picture taken April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Addicted To The Needle
20A competitor has his work photographed for an industry magazine at the National Tattoo Association 
Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 13, 2012. The hobby of collecting tattoos has exploded into the
 mainstream of society with tattoo conventions and festivals held year-round across the United States and 
the world. Picture taken April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing
Addicted To The Needle
21Michael Newman, 60, an Aviation Technical School teacher, from Plainfield, Indiana, shows off his Pinocchio
 tattoo to the judges during the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 14, 2012. 
 Newman started late in life getting tattoos but has made up for lost time, having between 600-700 hours 
performed on him, costing around $50,000. Winning about 60 awards, mostly in the 'Unique' category, over
 the past 7 years, he claims his Pinocchio tattoo is always a crowd favourite. Picture taken April 14, 2012. 
Addicted To The Needle
22Keisha Holcomb (2nd R), 31, from Fort Collins, Colorado, waits in line to have her tattoos judged in a 
contest during the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 13, 2012. Holcomb, 
the product of a military family upbringing, was 16 when she got her first tattoo and is now a budding tattoo
 artist herself. She wants to have a full-body tattoo eventually, with the exception of her hands, throat and 
head. Try to keep it classy, she says. Picture taken April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing
Addicted To The Needle
23Contestant Yoshi shows off his full-body tattoo as a judge points to phallic symbols tattooed under his arm
 during judging at the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 13, 2012. Yoshi, from
 Japan, was tattooed by Horiyoshi III and is a multi-award winning contestant in the world of full-body tattoos.
 In Cincinnati he won third place in the 'Best Tattooed Male' category. Picture taken April 13, 2012. 
Addicted To The Needle
24Contestant Yoshi shows off the back of his full-body tattoo to the judges at the National Tattoo 
Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 13, 2012. Yoshi, from Japan, was tattooed by 
Horiyoshi III and is a multi-award winning contestant in the world of full-body tattoos. In Cincinnati
 he won third place in the 'Best Tattooed Male' category. Picture taken April 13, 2012. 
Addicted To The Needle
25Contestant Chay McCarty has her tattoos appraised by judges during a contest at the National Tattoo 
Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 13, 2012. The hobby of collecting tattoos has exploded
 into the mainstream in society with tattoo conventions and festivals held year-round across the United 
States and the world. Picture taken April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing
Addicted To The Needle
26A contestant has her tattoos judged at the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio
 April 13, 2012. The hobby of collecting tattoos has exploded into the mainstream of society with tattoo 
 conventions and festivals held year-round across the United States and the world. Picture taken April 13, 
2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing
Addicted To The Needle
27A female full-body tattoo contestant is judged during the National Tattoo Association Convention in 
Cincinnati, Ohio, April 13, 2012. The hobby of collecting tattoos has exploded into the mainstream in 
society with tattoo conventions and festivals held year-round across the United States and the world. 
Picture taken April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing
Addicted To The Needle
28Evelyne Greenwald, from Belgium, awaits her turn to be judged during the National Tattoo Association 
Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 13, 2012. Greenwald has traveled four times in the past year to Ukraine
 where tattoo artist Dmitriy Samohin has completed tattoos of a horse, bird, wild cats and American Indians. 
She claims she is addicted to the art because it is so beautiful. Picture taken April 13, 2012. 
Addicted To The Needle
29Robert Seibert, 62, from Burlington, Kentucky, shows off his full body of tattoos, including the tribal-inspired 
designs he has accumulated over 40 years, during the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, 
Ohio April 14, 2012. Of his art, Seibert says, I'm one of the people that can't have a favorite tattoo, each is
 like a certain phase of my life. To me it's a picture history of what I have gone through, through the years. 
 Picture taken April 14, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

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