How I Feel About My Tattoos, Years Later

Photographed by Matilda Hill-Jenkins
There are different levels of tattoo regret. I know this because I only regret the tattoo of a heart behind my ear a little bit. And the sketchy outline of a hot air balloon on my right breast a little bit more. And the satanic symbol on the back of my head quite a lot. But I dislike none of them enough to bother with removal. I'm used to them, and although I might choose not to get them in the first place if I had the chance again, they don't bother me too much.

That's because every tattoo has a story – of irresponsibility, friendship, a trip abroad. A story of letting a friend practice their tattooing skills, or letting a tattoo artist demonstrate their lack thereof. Tattoos tell us something about a person, whether that person intends them to or not.

Here, with beautiful portraits by London-based photographer Matilda Hill-Jenkins, we ask nine people to talk about their feelings towards their own tattoos. What's the story? Do they regret their decisions? What would they do differently?

This article was originally published on April 9, 2016