135 Realistic Portrait Tattoos That Represent Life

Portrait tattoos are some of the most gorgeous designs that you can get. Some people get portraits of family members that they love whether it be children or family members that have passed on. Not everyone gets real-life portraits done, sometimes they get celebrities or people that they admire like Keanu Reeves or Bob Marley. You can get a portrait tattoo of just about anyone.

When it comes to remembering someone, it’s all about finding a permanent but respectful way of remembering them. The tattoos are a wonderful way of showing someone just how important they are to your life. People do that whether the family member is still alive or not. These portraits are usually done from photographs whether they are of real people or people that aren’t necessarily in your life.

Both men and women alike love to get these types of tattoos done because they are special. Portraits can also blend in well with other elements to make a tattoo that is truly original. You can do portrait tattoos by using a simple background. Or you can try it out with scenery in the background or by adding artistic designs. There are a lot of great ways that portraits can be created so that they are special to you.

With the wonderful technology that we have today, it is easier than ever to get an amazing tattoo of a portrait that you can ever have. You can literally transform a picture into a portrait tattoo very easily with the technology we have today and some of the tattoos are so realistic that it’s hard to tell the difference between the photo and the tattoo. Portrait tattoos are the kind that is reverent to the point that people won’t be able to stop talking about them.

The Yoda Tattoo

This is a beloved character that a lot of people love and it makes for a great talking piece. We love the colors because it really brightens up the tattoo. 

The Family Portrait

This is likely a mother and daughter portrait and it’s a beautiful way to represent a loving relationship. 

The American Horror Story

We love how realistic this tattoo is and it’s also a little terrifying. It’s a character from the popular show America Horror Story and if you like this type of tattoo then you might have found the right one. It’s a badass way of representing a character that you love. 

Representing A Loved One

As you can see this is a great way to represent someone that you love. Here we have a portrait with RIP and a name and it works out perfectly. You can also add a date to the tattoo if you want. 

Stunning Examples

We love this tattoo because it’s so detailed. It’s a gorgeous look that is great for a sleeve design. 

Your Favorite Pet

This is a great tattoo of the owner’s favorite pet. Pets are also a popular choice when it comes to tattoo portraits. This one is so realistic that we are sure the owner was pleased with it. 

Warrior Tattoos

Another stunning tattoo that is a great image for a tattoo sleeve. If you are looking for a powerful tattoo idea, then this is the one for you. 

For Personal Reasons

People love getting their children on their bodies because it makes them feel closer to them. It’s a love like no other. 

Stunning Images

This is about the military possibly but this is definitely a personalized tattoo because there are elements to the tattoo that we don’t understand like the ladybug. This could be in remembrance of going to war or remembering a comrade. 

Radio Host 

An image like this is a personalized one and you are sure to love it. When it comes to getting portraits done you want to get something that is close to your heart. 

Pretty Girls

A stunning example of a girl who is subtle and beautiful. 

Baby Pictures

Pictures of babies are also great options for portraits. 

Dates of Birth

As you can see, babies are very popular on tattoos and there is even a date attached for the birth. 

A Moment of Infatuation

It might be hard to find a more beautiful portrait tattoo then this one, it’s absolutely breathtaking. It looks so real that it’s hard to believe that it’s a tattoo and not a photograph. 

Religious Designs

Getting an image of Jesus or Mary is common when it comes to tattoos. People want to represent their faith and in this case, 

Portrait tattoos are popular for a reason because they are breathtaking designs of our favorite people. You can do them in a variety of different styles and really represent the loved one in your life. There are a lot of reasons why people decide to get a portrait tattoo. There are some things to consider when you get a tattoo like this.

Reasons Why People Get Portrait Tattoos

To Memorialize A Loved One

There are many ways in which people try to memorialize a loved one and one of those are tattoos. Even the smallest tattoo can have a lot of meaning. When people do want to memorialize their family members, they usually go with a portrait tattoo. A specific photo can give you the inspiration that you need to get the right tattoo. Tattoo artists will usually ask for a specific photo to work off of so you should choose the type of photo that makes you want to remember someone. The tattoo will likely imitate the photo so make sure that it’s a good one.

You want to make sure that you have a good photo to provide the artist so that he can get every detail that he needs for the perfect tattoo. You don’t want to regret the tattoo so you want to make sure that nothing is left out. Portraits are usually always done in a realistic fashion so you want to make sure that the artist sees all the unique features that your loved one has. These unique features are what makes the person special and unique, unlike any others. You want their face with you at all times so you want to make sure that they look exactly as you remember them.

In Honor of Someone You Know

Honoring someone in your life is another reason why people get a portrait tattoo. The most popular ones seem to be that of children.

When you decide to have children it’s a lifechanging event, something that impacts our lives forever. Parents tend to get their children on their bodies as a way to keep them with him always. There are times when a parent isn’t always able to be with their children, they might be away a lot for work and seeing their children in a tattoo will make them feel like they are close to them. There are tons of amazing ways that you can make a portrait of your children. Our children grow up so fast and that means that they will change so much over the years. Sometimes we just want to keep them young forever. You can show your children just how much they mean to you through a portrait tattoo.


Idolizing Your Favorite Celebrity

Celebrities are huge and they always have been. People can’t help but idolize them, we all have our favorite actors or musicians. There may be an actor or a celebrity that resonates with you, someone that has imparted a lesson in your life. People have been getting celebrity portrait tattoos for a long time. That’s why you see Bob Marley or popular musicians on people’s arms. Some of the most popular tattoos options for celebrities have been Heath Ledger, Marilyn Monroe and Johnny Cash. There are a lot of icons in Hollywood and we see them in the form of tattoos. It used to be legends that we saw as tattoos but that’s not the case anymore. We are seeing plenty of modern celebs being made into tattoos. If you want the attention of a celebrity tattoo, then you need to get an easily recognizable celebrity. If you want people to know who it is, then don’t go for anyone obscure.

The one thing you want to make sure is that you hire someone who knows how to do portrait work.



Getting A Pet Portrait

As we said before, getting a portrait of your pet as a tattoo is a pretty popular theme. A lot of people will do it to remember a pet that has passed on. Your pet doesn’t have to be passed away however for you to get a pet portrait, lots of people just do it because they love their pet so much. A lot of people will take a realistic approach to the pet portrait and get a tattoo from a direct photo. It’s probably one of those moments when you would need a photo the most so that they can grab the details that they need to get you a great photo.

A Character That You Love

When it comes to celebrities, you can also fall in love with a character just as much as you can fall for a celebrity. Being a fan of a character is huge, and many people will get a tattoo if their favorite character from a movie or TV show. There are people who fall in love with a video game, book, or movie and those characters become real to them. They show their affection for these characters by getting a tattoo to represent that and they do it with a portrait design. Some of the most popular designs from popular characters in The Walking Dead, Nintendo, Star Wars, Harry Potter and Twilight. There are just so many different options available to you to represent your love for your favorite characters. Portraits are perfect for character styles because you can use any depiction from the shows that you watch. There is a lot more creativity in the design that you can use because of the modern elements that you can use. Cartoon characters are also great options for portrait tattoos and it also gives your artist a lot of flexibility to work with. There is a lot more freedom available to a cartoon then there would be for a real person.


This is a tattoo that has a lot of incredible detail to it. It’s a cool idea and using different images per body part is certainly an interesting take. When it comes to choosing the right tattoo for you, try to pick something that you are going to love forever. We love these black and white designs. 

Frankenstein is a great character from a classic tale and it might be just what you are looking for. If you want a tattoo design that’s legendary, then this would be the one for you. 

Works Of Art

History is full of art the depicts the face and busts, it’s literally all over history. The face especially is something that people have been fascinated with for a long time. It’s something that is unique for everyone and it’s a beauty that artists have been trying to master for years. Your portrait tattoo doesn’t even have to be a picture of someone you know. It could be a picture out of a magazine if you want. That idea has grown even more popular in society so we see beautiful faces as tattoos all the time. Amazing tattoos are made just from an unknown figure that is either a work of art or realistically mastered. Women’s faces are more popular to use than men and that’s typically because most men will get a tattoo like that. There is usually some form of real-life inspiration when it comes to the tattoo. It might be a random face or some inspiration done of a celebrity. Either way, you can still achieve a portrait style tattoo without ever getting one of someone you know.

A gorgeous tattoo design like this one is one of a kind because it’s so realistic. How could you not love a tattoo like this? It’s so realistic and that’s exactly what you want when it comes to a portrait tattoo. It’s a sexy style that is bold and beautiful. 

A celebrity style that is funny and amazing. It’s a great look that you are sure to love. This rapper has been a legend in the industry and when it comes to a cool tattoo, this is the right one for you. 

Favorite Character Connection

This is one character that people have been a fan of for many years and there is the meaning behind this tattoo as well. 

Research A Professional Artist

You might think that you can get a portrait tattoo anywhere, just walk into any tattoo place and get what you want. It doesn’t work that way especially when it comes to portrait tattoos. These types of tattoos are works of art and they aren’t the type that anyone can do. We have all seen tattoos that looked like they were drawn on by children and that’s the risk that you take when you just go to any tattoo shop.

You want to be able to choose someone who specializes in portraits because that person will be a professional and can give you something as realistic as possible. These are not easy tattoos and creating a face in art is never an easy task. You want to know that your artist can give you what because there are a lot that won’t be able to. This is even more important if you are looking for an artist to do one from a sketch that you have created. That’s where true art comes from. 

It’s worth it to do your research and look for an artist that can give you a detailed and realistic tattoo of your family member. If you don’t you could end up with a poorly executed tattoo that you are stuck with permanently. We have all seen those portraits, the ones that have the chicklet teeth and don’t quite look like the family member that we want to remember. Do your research and even ask around to see who is recommending artists to do this.


Portrait tattoos are one of a kind because they are special to you in some way. Whether that’s because you want to remember a loved one, represent a loved one or just idolize your favorite celebrity, this tattoo is special. 

There are many ways of representing the person that you want. We are favorable of the tattoos that are as realistic as possible because it’s like having a photo right on your skin. These tattoos are stunning and will surely be ones that you can talk about. They are conversational pieces that will draw a lot of attention. 

We hope that you found one that you loved because there are so many amazing ones to choose from. Share with us your inspiration. 

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