Portrait tattoos are a difficult proposition. When done correctly, these are among the most enviable of all inked images. Rushed, and tributes to favored musicians or fallen family members become laughter inducing fodder.

For example, we're all familiar with that NBA player whose grandmother portrait looks a bit like Biggie Smalls.

Despite distinct intricacies, portrait tattoos are not to be feared. Armed with the correct info, and anyone can find the proper artist for the job. Following our tattoo lettering guide, we spoke with BJ Betts to find out the key things to consider when preparing for a portrait tattoo.

Portraits illustrating this guide come from (left to right of above image) Bob Tyrell, Nikko Hurtado, and Eric Marcinizyn.... respectively, three of the best in the portrait game.

The Complex Guide to Portrait Tattoos.