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How To Become A Tattoo Model And Earn Money

Are you interested in learning how to become a tattoo model? Do you have tattoos that cover a significant amount of your body?

If so, you may be wondering how you can get started in the industry.

While there are no guarantees, there are certain things you can do to increase your chances of success.

In this post, we will outline some tips for becoming a tattoo model. Keep reading to learn more!

how to become a tattoo model

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How To Become A Tattoo Model

If you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in becoming a tattoo model. And why not?

It’s a fun and exciting career with plenty of opportunities for creativity and expression. So, how do you get started?

In this post, we’ll walk you through the process of becoming a tattoo model and give you some tips on how to make your portfolio stand out. Keep reading to learn more!

Make a career with your body art!

One of the ways that people can make a career out of their body art is by becoming tattoo models.

While you can certainly get paid to get tattoos on your body, making money as a tattoo model is the best way for people who are already inked to turn tattoos into a side hustle.

What Does a Tattoo Model Do?

A tattoo model is someone who models with tattoos or piercings.

They can also be seen as alternative models because they are not usually associated with a specific industry or the norm when it comes to what a model looks like.

To demonstrate how a clothes looks on people with tattoos or to market a certain clothing style, tattoo models are often hired by brands and designers.

As the popularity of tattoos and piercings has grown in recent years, there is now a demand for more tattoo models tan ever.

If you are someone who loves tattoos, Becoming a model for body art is great way to get paid for your body art.

How to Become a Tattoo Model

Having tattoos is the first requirement for becoming a tattoo model. This includes having real, permanent ink on your body.

Additionally, you will need to be good in front of the camera and know how to pose in order to show your tattoos in their best light.

Most of the things you need to be a tattoo model are the same as if you wanted to become a freelance model so I highly recommend you read my guide on that too. 

Requirements To Become A Tattoo Model

Becoming a tattoo model requires real tattoos, interest in the fashion industry, and communication skills.

If you are wondering how to become a male tattoo model, the good news is – it is exactly the same for both men and women and both are in demand.

It is not just about how heavily adorned you are with tattoos because it is important to know what kind of clientele you’ll be working with.

A successful Tattoo model meets the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years old to get started in the industry.
  • Tattoo models should have real tattoos that are not faded or blurry
  • Great communication skills
  • Be good in front of a camera
  • Willing to work different jobs
  • Interest in fashion

Here are the steps to take in order to become a tattoo model:

1. Build Your Portfolio

Becoming a tattoo and piercing model is a great way to get paid for your artwork.

To become a model, you must build an art portfolio and apply for apprenticeship with experienced, reputable tattoo artist.

You can also work on professional photo shoots to build your portfolio.

Having a portfolio will allow you to apply for modeling jobs through alternative modelling agencies that specialize in tattoo models.

What is a portfolio?

A model portfolio is a collection of photos and other artistic materials related to your career as a tattoo model.

It can be as simple as a folder of photos or it can be a professionally bound book of your previous work.

One of the most important pieces of your portfolio is your resume, which you should build out before you start contacting potential clients.

Your resume should include the following information:

  • name
  • age
  • height and weight
  • hair color and length
  • eye color and shape
  • residence
  • references
  • portfolio of pictures
  • Information about the tattoos you have

An essential item in your portfolio is a list of your physical measurements and characteristics such as age, height, weight, shoe size, hair colour, eye colour, hair length, etc.

This is important as you may be modelling certain clothing that only come in sample sizes.

Do You Need A Professional Portfolio?

When you are first starting out, you can probably get away with your own portfolio of quality photos but the sooner you get some professional shots done, the better.

It is not too expensive to get a professional photoshoot done (you might be able to find one for under $300 for an hour) and it is well worth it.

Look on Craigslist and Kijji for a professional photographer who is looking to build their own photography portfolio and you might have a mutually beneficial business deal!

Other ways to build up your modelling portfolio include:

  • Take small jobs or volunteer to promote brands for friends in exchange for photos
  • Participate in TFP shoots (time for photos) where the freelance community (photographer, model, makeup artists, set designer etc) gets together to contribute to a shoot resulting in photos they can all use.
  • Do promotional work for small businesses in your area in exchange for photos showing you working

The more diverse the photos that you can use in your portfolio, the more range of modelling you will be able to show to a new client.

2. Self-Promote

If you’re love tattoos and are interested in getting your face out there, you should consider becoming a tattoo model.

You can network to find work as a tattoo or piercing model, research the agencies that might be best for your style of work, and apply to those that seem like they would be good matches.

The most important thing you can do to be successful as a tattoo model is to promote yourself.

Many really well-known tattoo models have hundreds of thousands of followers on social media and these platforms can be a great way to get new modelling jobs.

To get started, make sure to create profiles on all the main social media channels:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • Snapchat

Create galleries of your work and your tattoos on your feeds and engage with followers.

Make sure to put lots of different photos on your accounts with different angles and poses.

Creating your own tattoo modelling website is another great way to boost your chances of success.

Here is a step by step guide to creating your own freelance website.

What To Include in Your Website

It is possible that prospective clients will look for you online so you want your website to really showcase you and your tattoos.

  • A photo gallery with regular updates
  • Link to your Instagram feed
  • Contact Information
  • An about page
  • An “as seen on ” page highlighting your previous work

3. Network

Another really important piece of the puzzle is to network with tattoo artists and other people in the industry.

Get to know local photographers and you might be recommended for jobs.

The more people you can get to know, the more chance you have at success as a tattoo model.

4. How Do I Apply to Become a Model?

To become a tattoo model, you have to build your portfolio and take professional photos of all types.

Once you are ready, start looking for modeling jobs.

Here is how it works:

– You must be able to create the perfect image of yourself with a good headshot

– Provide images that show off your tattoos

– Be available for photoshoots at least 3 times each week

There are a number of modelling agencies that specialize in alternative models such as inked people.

Here are some of the top ones to try:

Go Models

Go Models is great for diverse models because they really place in an importance in training and giving everyone an opportunity regardless of their height, weight, age or sex.

If you want to know how to become a plus size tattoo model, then Go Models might be for you.

To reach this goal, they created the go-Academy.

The Go Academy is perfect for helping you know exactly what being a model entails. It consists of informative and interesting videos, blogs and courses.

You can receive badges if they complete courses and tests that will be visible on your profile for potential clients to see.

Reach the “Master Level” to show clients that you are a go-Model with Know-How!

Tattoo Models

This modelling agency is the first worldwide online modelling agency for tattooed women and men, the headquarters are located in Berlin. 

You can apply to be a tattoo model on the website and have your profile available for brands and companies to search.

They can then contact you for jobs.

Model Management

Model management is a great marketplace for siring models to find work.

Currently they have a listing for an international company that is looking for tattoo models.

The Models

This German based modelling agency only works with Tattoo models.

No matter if male or female, The Models can help you with your career as a tattoo model! You can apply with some significant pictures via our online application form.

Just like every other model, you have to be communicative, confident and charismatic to get jobs with the agency.

Other Places Hiring Tattoo Models


Do you want to become a famous pin-up model? Get free pin up clothes by becoming a model for Punkabilly.

All you have to do is take a clear photo/s (Rules and Guidelines below) of you wearing any Punkabilly item of the following products; Dress, Swimwear or any kind of Shirts (Man/Women).

If your photo is chosen for the website, you will get refunded the full cost of your clothing via PayPal.

Istanbul Tattoo Convention

This is one of many conventions where you can get inked for free in return for displaying your tattoos for artists at the convention.

Tattoo artists, who will work in different styles, make design tattoos for our models that they specially prepared for the festival.

If you want to get paid to get tattoos on your body, this is a great option.

You can get more information and apply here.


This clothing brand is always looking for great tattoo models for their modern line of men and women’s clothing.

You can apply directly on their website.

How to become a model for tattoo magazines

If you want to become a tattoo model in magazines, you can either apply directly to the magazine in question or join the modelling agencies above.

Even if the pay isn’t great for some magazines, it can be a great way to build up your modelling portfolio and get you lots of great photos to kick start your modelling career.

Here are some magazines that are looking for tattoo models now:

Paperchasers Ink

This tattoo magazine is currently looking for tattoo models to grace its pages.

You can apply directly on their website – don’t forget to include some good photos of your ink.

West Coast Ink Magazine

Here’s another magazine that is always looking for tattoo models.

Getting featured in a magazine like this can be a great way to expand your portfolio and make money with your tattoos.

How To Become A Tattoo Model On Instagram

One of the best places to start work as a Tattoo model is on Instagram.

If you don’t have a profile on there, it’s time to start one ASAP.

Successful models can get sponsored instagram posts from brands and also get paid to be an influencer.

Here are the steps to take to make money on Instagram with your tattoos:

Get Followers

In order to work with brands and sponsorships, you need to have lots of followers. Aim for a minimum of 10,000 which may seem like a lot but it is doable.

In order to get followers, engage with other people and follow lots of relevant hashtags.

Curate your feed

Make sure your feed is eye-catching and really shows off your skills as a tattoo model.

Contact brands

Once you have an engaged feed, you can start applying for influencer gigs or reaching out to brands directly.

You might be able to make money as a tattoo model on Instagram with:

  • Sponsored posts
  • Promotions
  • Giveaways
  • Event appearances

Become A Tattoo Model – FAQs

How Much Do Tattoo Models Make?

According to Zip Recruiter, the average tattoo model makes around $70,000 a year while some really successful models may make good six figure incomes.

How many tattoos do you need to be a tattoo model?

There’s no minimum number of tattoos to become a tattoo model.

Obviously you will need at least one permanent tattoo on your body but there is no requirement to have a full sleeve or many tattoos.

Different brands will be looking for different models for their campaigns.

If you’ve ever thought about becoming a tattoo model, now is the time to do something about it.

While the competition for these jobs may be stiff, if you have the look and attitude that clients are looking for, you could find yourself in high demand. I

In this post, we have given you some tips on how to become a tattoo model and what you can do to set yourself apart from the competition. Good luck!

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How to become a tattoo model