People take one look at me and think they know who I am, but I can’t tell you how wrong they are. I am a family man. I am religious. I’ve gone through a lot in my life and I have turned out a better man because of it.
When I was a teen, I was mixed up with a few bad kids. It happens more than you think. I got my first tattoo at 15 years old. It’s awful, done in a friend's house by my friend. My reputation only got worse, and it soon caught up with me. When I was 23-years-old, I landed in jail. By that time half my body was covered in tattoos. I was a walking cliché.
Of course I got the traditional prison tattoos to add to my collection. But it was also in prison that my life started to change. I took some classes on subjects I liked.
I began to have an interest in education. I started reading, which became my new hobby. Then I began seeking religion. I know how cliché that sounds, but that’s my story. I became passionate about things and I, for once in my life, actually cared about my future and myself. After prison I was fortunate enough to land a job, where I met my wife.
I continued getting tattoos, the subjects and meanings may have changed, but I love all my tattoos; they tell my life story. Some of my tattoos reflect my past, others my future.
They’re a reminder of what I went through and how far I’ve come. My newer tattoos reflect who I’ve become. My latest tattoo I had my baby sons name tattooed across my chest.
“My newer tattoos reflect who I’ve become.”
I was always proud of my tattoos and when I photographer asked if I would be in a photo series she was doing, I gladly partook.
The cross I got on my finger is one of my favorite tattoos. It's small, but it's packed with a lot of meaning.
My neck tattoos are very intimidating to many people. I understand why, but at the same time I hate being judged for having them.
My son has changed my life in so many ways. I cannot wait to see what the future brings.
Playing With My Son
Father & Son
I don't know where I would be today without my wife and son. I am blessed to have them in my life.
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This PASHpost story has been shared with John Smith.