Beth Kolar Photography
  • Cover-up artist gives ex-gang members and human trafficking victims free tattoos

    Chris Baker, 42, of Oswego, Ill., covers up or removes the tattoos of former gang members and human trafficking victims for free.
    Beth Kolar Photography
  • Cover-up artist gives ex-gang members and human trafficking victims free tattoos

    Baker grew up in Los Angeles, where he became fascinated with tattoos at an early age. Here he works on the tattoo for a customer.
    Kerry Loudenback of Light & Sand Studios
  • Cover-up artist gives ex-gang members and human trafficking victims free tattoos

    The idea of free tattoos came from his former warehouse employees. "They would say, 'I wish I could get rid of my tattoos. I'm tired of getting judged,'" Baker told ABC News.com. "And I decided that's my calling."
    Lisa Baker
  • Cover-up artist gives ex-gang members and human trafficking victims free tattoos

    "I get calls all the time from guys who say, 'I used to be in a gang. Will you help me out?'" Baker said. An anonymous former gang member gets his tattoo covered up by Baker.
    Chuck Mitchell
  • Cover-up artist gives ex-gang members and human trafficking victims free tattoos

    A former gang member shows off the gang tattoo he wanted Baker to cover up. "These guys will say, 'Yeah, it hurts,' but it's almost like penance for them," Baker said, "It's representative of the pain they caused others, and they don't want to cause any more."
    Chris Baker
  • Cover-up artist gives ex-gang members and human trafficking victims free tattoos

    A tattoo of a human trafficking victim that Baker is removing. It can be shown only because her pimp received a life sentence and was put away for life. Human trafficking victims are often tattooed so their captors can track them, Baker explained.
    Anonymous Human Trafficking Victim
  • Cover-up artist gives ex-gang members and human trafficking victims free tattoos

    Baker transformed this former sex-trafficking victim's tattoo. "No matter the design, I just love being able to take away the visible reminders of their past and give them something beautiful to remind them of their future."
    Chris Baker
  • Cover-up artist gives ex-gang members and human trafficking victims free tattoos

    There are limits Baker has on what he will and won't tattoo, including no gang related, racially discriminatory or sexist images. Baker replaced this gang member's tattoo with an animal skull.
    Chris Baker
  • Cover-up artist gives ex-gang members and human trafficking victims free tattoos

    From the Latin Kings to the Black Disciples, Baker has transformed the tattoos of former gang members.
    Chris Baker
  • Cover-up artist gives ex-gang members and human trafficking victims free tattoos

    "It's interesting to see how intricate these things get," Baker said. This ex-gang member chose to cover up the gang's symbol with a tattoo of wings.
    Chris Baker
  • Cover-up artist gives ex-gang members and human trafficking victims free tattoos

    Baker can cover up tattoos by blending and shading over the old tattoo to create a new tatoo, such as this one.
    Chris Baker
  • Cover-up artist gives ex-gang members and human trafficking victims free tattoos

    Baker's patrons pick a design, and then Baker creates it over the former tattoo. "They're forced a lot of times to get the tattoos," Baker explained. "They see it as a rite of passage, and they're welcomed in the gang."
    Chris Baker
  • Cover-up artist gives ex-gang members and human trafficking victims free tattoos

    Baker has more than 130 hours worth of tattoos on his body. As a devout Christian, this tattoo of Mary represents his faith.
    Chris Baker
  • Cover-up artist gives ex-gang members and human trafficking victims free tattoos

    Baker carefully selects his own tattoos, such as this skull, and is particular about the artists he works with.
    Chris Baker
  • Cover-up artist gives ex-gang members and human trafficking victims free tattoos

    The tattoos that Baker changes or removes, such as that of this ex-gang member, have made a difference in the lives of those he helps. "There was one guy from Kansas City who had gotten out of prison. We did a cover up of a tattoo for him and found out he was an artist," Baker recalled, "He's now working as an artist for a greeting card company."
    Chris Baker
  • Cover-up artist gives ex-gang members and human trafficking victims free tattoos

    Baker poses with his wife, Lisa Baker, a key member of INK 180. "People always ask me why I do this for free," Baker told ABC News. com. "The stories I hear make it worth it."
    McKenzie Baker
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