all you ever wanted to know
Realism (sometimes “photorealism”) is a style which incorporates heavy shading and multiple texture effects to make a tattoo appear as lifelike as possible.
  • Photo-realistic subject
  • Heavy shading and gradients
  • Minimal outlines
  • 3D elements

Realism Style tattoos commonly focus on faces, animals, objects and scenery due to them being instantly recognizable, although it’s by no means limited to these subjects.

One of the most defining characteristics of realism tattoos is the lack of bold outlines, instead focusing on deep shading and contrasts to make the tattoo appear as similar to a photograph as possible.

Realism is perhaps one of the most difficult styles to master, given the skills required to pull it off effectively. However, when done correctly, realism is one of the most strikingly beautiful styles out there.

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Need Help?

We are devoted to everyone having a great tattoo experience. Visit our Ultimate Guide to Getting a Tattoo or our Style Guide for more information on different styles. It all starts with a good idea and the right artists. If you have an idea but not sure on how to make it a reality, please let us know and we’ll do our best to hook you up with the right artist in your area.

How does it work


Browse and discover shops and artists in your area, look through their portfolio, check the reviews, make sure you pick the right place for your next tattoo. Good research is where it all starts, and Inkably makes it so easy!


With a little help from our guided contact form, reach out to desired shops. Upload design references and ideas, personalize the request… On Inkably it’s really simple to communicate with multiple shops from one place. Super convenient!

Get Inked!

After sending your request, you’ll hear back from the shop of your choice to arrange a consultation and soon you are on your way to get a new tattoo. It is that easy!

Make sure you read our Guide to getting a tattoo.

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Tell us about the tattoo you are looking to get, the more detail you provide, the better.