I don’t do tattoos myself, and as I don’t have any either I don’t actually have many good recommendations. I’ve seen some beautiful and insanely detailed tattoos online but have no idea where those were done — the only shop whose portfolio I’ve looked at without cringing too much is East River Tattoo in Brooklyn, where one of my clients is going. I’ve seen some really really nice tattoos in person that were done locally, and then looked at the same tattoo artist’s portfolio in the shop and been extremely disappointed, and I would never recommend someone whose work was that inconsistent.
Personally if I was going to get something put on my body forever I would want to travel halfway across the country or world and pay a ton of money to get it done properly.. But I can’t expect others to feel the same way, so I leave the decision of where to get the tattoo done in the hands of the client. There’s a really good (and more honest/mean that I could bring myself to be) rant by one of my favorite artists Matthew Woodson here that pretty much parallels my own feelings about tattoos.
Sorry that I can’t be more helpful!