Tattoos have become so ubiquitous, the best way to stand apart is to not have any. We have always loved ink and are totally fascinated by the recent trend of finger tattoos popping up on hands all over the place. There are two types. The delicate, dainty and henna-like ornate patterns on girls’ hands, and the more bold, edgier, knuckle tats that harken back to an era when getting inked was the prerogative of sailors, prison mates, gangbangers and other members of society slightly frowned upon by the intolerant mainstream. We like them both, and wanted to show off a couple of great examples. It also so happens that one of our fave photographers has a couple of beauties, so we decided to ask him about them. After all, it’s one thing to pull pics off the web. It’s another to talk to an actual human.


allen-henson-finger-tattoosPhotographer Allen Henson’s “bad boys”, Allen Henson


finger-tattooThe dainty and delicate option, The Odyssey


breezymoonchildThe boho-chic model and muse Brianna-Lin Ackley, Ackley’s Instagram


Allen Henson is a successful editorial photographer in NYC, as well as a vet who has done two tours in Iraq. He caught our attention with his stunning, Helmut Newton-esque and very sexy pictures that capture feminine beauty in a powerful and inspired way. In his own words, he’s a “Visual artist. A social experimenter, documenter, manipulator.” He has worked with agencies such as Ford, New York Models, Elite, Wilhelmina and others, and his work has been showcased in Playboy, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Papercut Magazine and many more. He also has some tattoos, including some pretty noticeable hand and finger tattoos. Here’s what he said.

SB: How would you describe yourself?
AH: Chaotic, easily bored.

SB: What’s important to you?
AH: Staving off boredom.


allen-henson-photographyPhoto Credit: Allen Henson


SB: What or who inspires you?
AH: Travel mostly; old architecture and dead people. All the people I admire most seem to have passed. Authors and other visual artists. Hemingway, Hunter S. Thompson, Dali, Horst, Dick Avedon, Man Ray, Penn, Helmut Newton – cliché but a staple for any photographer, especially in editorial. There’s one living author I really dig: Chuck Palahniuk.

SB: 5 things you cannot live without?
AH: A good pen, a solid pair of boots, my Assault Pack (handed down to me by my old Platoon Sergeant), passport, cellphone.

SB: What is your greatest extravagance?
AH: Don’t get me wrong, I’m still basically poor white trash; but the last handful of years have probably spoiled me a bit. I fly first class and often. Nothing quite like traveling 500 miles per hour at 25 thousand feet from JFK to LAX on an Airbus321 laying completely flat on a rum IV in your own cocoon.

SB: What is your most treasured possession?
AH: I have to say camera. If that’s all I had, I’d be okay.


allen-henson-photogPhoto Credit: Allen Henson


SB: What do you love about tattoos?
AH: They often commemorate a time and a place, for me at least.

SB: How old were you when you got your first one(s) and why? What?
AH: Like 24 or so, mid-tour leave from Iraq. Drunk in Austin, TX.  Ready for it…. Tribal…. :/


finger-tattoo-exampleTribal style tattoos, Elite Daily  


SB: What made you get finger tattoos?
AH: Nerve damage. I shoot funny, so the finger I use says “click click.” The “boom” finger still works for rifles, so there’s that. The “f… you” was an I was drunk in Puerto Rico tattoo. There’s a bar with a parlor inside; how is that a good idea?

SB: Do you think anyone can get away with having tattoos or finger tattoos?
AH: Probably not a good move for the guys on Wall Street. Miley Cyrus could probably get one on her forehead and get away with it. Artists are invincible.


allen-henson-portraitPhoto Credit: Allen Henson

Learn more about Henson on his website and find loads of finger tattoo inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram. And if you don’t want to commit to the permanent option, you can always consider starting with Henna.


Henna inspiration, Outcasts of the Orient 

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