I shot HG while I was on tour - my only connection of the tour, despite trying quite a few times. With only a couple of days in any given city and almost no notice, it was a pleasant surprise that I managed to get anyone at all. I'm happy to say that with my tenth shoot, I applied everything I'd learned so far and, after quite a few fits and starts I ended up with a shoot I really liked and could be proud of.
I did the shoot mostly at a hotel in Des Moines with no backdrop, no special lights and a lot of patience from a willing model, and the story HG had to tell was interesting, both for the tattoo portion and from a life-experience perspective.
BRANDED: Is there a story [of your lower-back tattoo]?
HG: A little bit.
HG: (laughter) Um, I was fifteen when I got it done. I asked my mom if I could get a tattoo and the first thing she said was “you need to talk to your grandparents” because she was not going to let me do anything they didn't approve of.
HG: So I went and asked them and at first they said “no”. They worried about me doing something for life. Then I told them that I'm designing the tattoo, I'm drawing it out myself. I'm deciding everything on it. It's going on my lower back. I can cover it if I want to, but I want it to show, I can show it off, whatever. And they finally agreed to it. And my grandpa actually took me to get it done and he held my hand the whole time.
BRANDED: So your mom was okay with it. Your grandparents were okay with it. Did anybody in your family see it and freak out?
BRANDED: Nope? It was all..?
HG: As long as it was okay with my grandparents, it was fine. (laughter)