The first thing you notice about Madi is the big beautiful smile and then the giant personality. She genuinely has an aura about her that you can’t help but gravitate towards.

I need a drink…..I need Weed!……I’ll have a drink……Emma I need a drink….

Im nervous. I don’t care about being nude, i’m always nude…..but I hope the photos are ok…..

I explained that it was my problem if they weren’t, not hers. She didn’t seem nervous. She laughed. She talked. She smoked. She laughed some more.

She had enthusiasm. As a photographer that’s all you ever want. Madi’s enthusiasm….

So this is Madi’s story about her ink;

“First tattoo I ever got was my writing on my back – lyrics to “memories” by elvis. Not only do I love the king but I got it dedicated to my nan. In fact I missed out on my nans funeral and this was the song that was played at her funeral. It makes me feel like I have a piece of her with me at all times.

My next tattoo would be of my Sci fi girl on my navel. I came up with this idea of a powerful, strong women but I also didn’t want her to be just any human women. I wanted her to be mystical and strange – out of this world. Really she just gives me spiritual strength and reminds me to be strong in life.

The girl on my calf represents the world of bdsm and how much I want to always be reminded of who I am and what I enjoy. At first I wanted her to be a dominant women but the gag ball just has such an amazing affect. If anything she sands for a little bit of everything. The latex cap is a dominant aspect. The gag ball represents being a submissive. And I love rope…so we decided to tangle that into her hair.

The last tattoo is on the back of my right arm. And says “to infinity and beyond Heavy black heart️lil sis”. My half sister has the exact replica of it on her arm but has “Heavy black heart️big sis”. We both got this tattoo because we love each other and want to be reminded of our bond we have together. “To infinity and beyond” is a quote of toy story. My sister and I love kids movies, we always watch them together. But it’s a nice quote meaning life is limitless – the sky’s the limit. Me and my sister will always reach far in life and support each other.”

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I met Kate* at McDonalds as arranged. She had wanted me to tell “her story” for my blog. She is a Skin Picker. Dermatillomania, I have since learnt is the medical term for this compulsion. I researched it before I agreed to do the shoot.

How will I know you when we meet?

I’ll be in purple. I love purple.

No sooner had I introduced myself and sat down at the small McDonalds outdoor coffee table, she bounced up. Purple Doc Martens bounding away.

Lets go do this!

( Get it over with before I change my mind maybe?)

I knew from her messages she was petrified to be photographed without makeup. Sores open for the world to see, but craving it at the same time. Hoping the process of showing her scars and sores would work as a visual deterrent for her.

When it came time to take the makeup off, she was brave, but betrayed by her uncontrolled shaking. The camera looming over her.

”Lets do it” – she repeated.

Kate peeled away the layers and let out a loud yell when she had finished. More a gasp than a yell. A victory cry! A war dance!

This is Kate’s story.

“Ever since I can remember this is what I’ve been told. It started with my mother and grandmother. I would pick, pick, pick! Peel skin from my families bodies after being sunburnt…gosh I even remember peeling the wallpaper off my bedroom wall where I slept.

When I got older it would be by boyfriend “stop picking”.Then my husband “stop picking”. Then my kids.It is now at the stage where I pick my face bad, use whatever I can get to help do it. I have tried to stop many, many, many times using different techniques from cutting off my nails to admitting myself in a clinic for a month. So here I am now using the platform to hopefully stop my grandkids from ever saying “stop picking”…”
*Kate’s real name changed by request.

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