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?