Jason Reed and Larry Downing traveled across the country recently to attend two different tattoo conventions in Hampton Roads, Virginia, and Cincinnati, Ohio, to produce the picture package and multi-media piece titled, “Addicted to the Needle” which opens a window into the private world and the culture of tattooing. First up was the Hampton Roads Tattoo Festival and then the National Tattoo Association’s 33rd
annual convention.

Addicted To The Needle

Robert Seibert, 62, from Burlington, Kentucky, shows off his full body of tattoos, including the Celtic one on his head, accumulated over 40 years, during the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 14, 2012. Of his art, Seibert says, I'm one of the people that can't have a favorite tattoo, each is like a certain phase of my life. To me it's a picture history of what I have gone through, through the years. Picture taken April 14, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Addicted To The Needle

A tattoo artist works on the head of a client during the second annual Hampton Roads Tattoo Festival in Virginia March 2, 2012. The hobby of collecting tattoos has exploded into the mainstream of society with tattoo conventions and festivals held year-round across the United States. Picture taken March 2, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Addicted To The Needle

Artist Sean Karn applies a tattoo of Captain America on the leg of Ron Raucci during the Hampton Roads Tattoo Festival in Virginia March 2, 2012. The tattoo, completed from start to finish in just one five-and-a-half hour session, won the prestigious tattoo of the day prize at the festival. Picture taken March 2, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Addicted To The Needle

Ron Raucci from Norfolk, Virginia, reacts to the needle while getting his Captain America tattoo at the Hampton Roads Tattoo Festival in Virginia March 2, 2012. Raucci, who serves in the U.S. Navy, grew up reading Marvel comic books and has a leg tattoo collage featuring Captain America and Wolverine, his next planned tattoo will feature The Hulk. Picture taken March 2, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Addicted To The Needle

A tattoo artist wears a t-shirt supporting tattoos during the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 14, 2012. The hobby of collecting tattoos has exploded into the mainstream in society with tattoo conventions and festivals held year-round across the United States and the world. Picture taken April 14, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Addicted To The Needle

A tattoo artist works on the shoulder of a client at the Hampton Roads Tattoo Festival in Virginia March 3, 2012. The hobby of collecting tattoos has exploded into the mainstream in society with tattoo conventions and festivals held year-round across the United States and the world. Picture taken March 3, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Addicted To The Needle

Shannon Toohey, 23, works on one of her clients during the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 14, 2012. Toohey, who has been surrounded by tattoo artists during most of her young life, drew her first tattoo on her mother at the age of ten and now works at a tattoo shop on Long Island, New York. Picture taken April 14, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Addicted To The Needle

David Billings, from Abingdon, Maryland, wears a full-back tattoo featuring all nine members of his favorite band, Slipknot, as a woman admires the art at the Hampton Roads Tattoo Festival in Virginia March 2, 2012. Billings says he has had over 150 hours of tattoo work done over a 12 year period, now covering over half his body. He says tattoos are now as mainstream as Coca Cola. Picture taken March 2, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Addicted To The Needle

A client shows his new knife tattoo, which appears on both sides of his face, at the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 14, 2012. The hobby of collecting tattoos has exploded into the mainstream of society with tattoo conventions and festivals held year-round across the United States and the world. Picture taken April 14, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Addicted To The Needle

Artist Greg French works on his client, Brittany Keylon, during the Hampton Roads Tattoo Festival in Virginia March 2, 2012. Brittany has recently separated from her husband, overcame a battle with cancer and the death of her father. She considers Greg her therapist during their sessions and says that each piece of work done on her represents her life story. Picture taken March 2, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Addicted To The Needle

A woman lies on a table as he has a tattoo work applied to her leg by artist Cliff Evans at the Hampton Roads Tattoo Festival in Virginia March 2, 2012. The hobby of collecting tattoos has exploded into the mainstream of society with tattoo conventions and festivals held year-round across the United States. Picture taken March 2, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Addicted To The Needle

A visitor shows off his neck tattoo at the Hampton Roads Tattoo Festival in Virginia March 3, 2012. The hobby of collecting tattoos has exploded into the mainstream of society with tattoo conventions and festivals held year-round across the United States and the world. Picture taken March 3, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Addicted To The Needle

A group of women from an adjacent quilting fair sneak into the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati to take a picture of a heavily-tattooed convention-goer in Ohio April 14, 2012. The hobby of collecting tattoos has exploded into the mainstream of society with tattoo conventions and festivals held year-round across the United States. Picture taken April 14, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Addicted To The Needle

Male full-body tattoo contestants including Jeff Bitting (R) wait in line to be judged at the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 13, 2012. In his 33 years of getting tattoos, Bitting says he has had about 500 hours of work and will complete his other leg in his bid to win more full-body contests. Picture taken April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Addicted To The Needle

Keisha Holcomb, 31, from Fort Collins, Colorado, shows the Mom and Dad tattoos she had applied to her feet as she participates in the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 13, 2012. Holcomb, the product of a military family upbringing, was 16 when she got her first tattoo and is now a budding tattoo artist herself. She wants to have a full-body tattoo eventually, with the exception of her hands, throat and head. Try to keep it classy, she says. Picture taken April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Addicted To The Needle

Keisha Holcomb (R), 31, from Fort Collins, Colorado, waits in line to have her tattoos judged in a contest during the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 13, 2012. Holcomb, the product of a military family upbringing, was 16 when she got her first tattoo and is now a budding tattoo artist herself. She wants to have a full-body tattoo eventually, with the exception of her hands, throat and head. Try to keep it classy, she says. Picture taken April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Addicted To The Needle

Tattoo judges inspect the tattoos of a competitor at the Hampton Roads Tattoo Festival in Virginia, March 2, 2012. The hobby of collecting tattoos has exploded into the mainstream of society with tattoo conventions and festivals held year-round across the United States. Picture taken March 2, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Addicted To The Needle

Jeff Bitting (R), from St Augustine, Florida, speaks back stage with fellow full-body tattoo contestants before judging at the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 13, 2012. In his 33 years of getting tattoos, Bitting says he has had about 500 hours of work and will complete his other leg in his bid to win more full-body contests. Picture taken April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Addicted To The Needle

Full-body tattoo competitors show their art to an audience during judging at the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 13, 2012. The hobby of collecting tattoos has exploded into the mainstream of society with tattoo conventions and festivals held year-round across the United States and the world. Picture taken April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Addicted To The Needle

A competitor has his work photographed for an industry magazine at the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 13, 2012. The hobby of collecting tattoos has exploded into the mainstream of society with tattoo conventions and festivals held year-round across the United States and the world. Picture taken April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Addicted To The Needle

Michael Newman, 60, an Aviation Technical School teacher, from Plainfield, Indiana, shows off his Pinocchio tattoo to the judges during the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 14, 2012. Newman started late in life getting tattoos but has made up for lost time, having between 600-700 hours performed on him, costing around $50,000. Winning about 60 awards, mostly in the 'Unique' category, over the past 7 years, he claims his Pinocchio tattoo is always a crowd favourite. Picture taken April 14, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Addicted To The Needle

Keisha Holcomb (2nd R), 31, from Fort Collins, Colorado, waits in line to have her tattoos judged in a contest during the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 13, 2012. Holcomb, the product of a military family upbringing, was 16 when she got her first tattoo and is now a budding tattoo artist herself. She wants to have a full-body tattoo eventually, with the exception of her hands, throat and head. Try to keep it classy, she says. Picture taken April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Addicted To The Needle

Contestant Yoshi shows off his full-body tattoo as a judge points to phallic symbols tattooed under his arm during judging at the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 13, 2012. Yoshi, from Japan, was tattooed by Horiyoshi III and is a multi-award winning contestant in the world of full-body tattoos. In Cincinnati he won third place in the 'Best Tattooed Male' category. Picture taken April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Addicted To The Needle

Contestant Yoshi shows off the back of his full-body tattoo to the judges at the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 13, 2012. Yoshi, from Japan, was tattooed by Horiyoshi III and is a multi-award winning contestant in the world of full-body tattoos. In Cincinnati he won third place in the 'Best Tattooed Male' category. Picture taken April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Addicted To The Needle

Contestant Chay McCarty has her tattoos appraised by judges during a contest at the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 13, 2012. The hobby of collecting tattoos has exploded into the mainstream in society with tattoo conventions and festivals held year-round across the United States and the world. Picture taken April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Addicted To The Needle

A contestant has her tattoos judged at the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 13, 2012. The hobby of collecting tattoos has exploded into the mainstream of society with tattoo conventions and festivals held year-round across the United States and the world. Picture taken April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Addicted To The Needle

A female full-body tattoo contestant is judged during the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 13, 2012. The hobby of collecting tattoos has exploded into the mainstream in society with tattoo conventions and festivals held year-round across the United States and the world. Picture taken April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Addicted To The Needle

Evelyne Greenwald, from Belgium, awaits her turn to be judged during the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 13, 2012. Greenwald has traveled four times in the past year to Ukraine where tattoo artist Dmitriy Samohin has completed tattoos of a horse, bird, wild cats and American Indians. She claims she is addicted to the art because it is so beautiful. Picture taken April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Addicted To The Needle

Robert Seibert, 62, from Burlington, Kentucky, shows off his full body of tattoos, including the tribal-inspired designs he has accumulated over 40 years, during the National Tattoo Association Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio April 14, 2012. Of his art, Seibert says, I'm one of the people that can't have a favorite tattoo, each is like a certain phase of my life. To me it's a picture history of what I have gone through, through the years. Picture taken April 14, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Jul 02, 2012