So...What is a tintype?
A tintype is a wetplate photo process dating back to the Civil War era. Historically made on enamel-coated tin (or iron), the modern day tintype starts out on a piece of aluminum. Collodion is flowed on the plate’s surface to act as an emulsion, and then placed in a tank with a silver nitrate solution to become sensitive to light. Once it has become sensitized, and while the plate is still wet, it is shot with a tremendous amount of light, and then brought back into the dark to be developed and processed right away. Once the plate’s development has been stopped with water, it can be brought out into the light and placed in a solution that fixes the image and makes it appear to turn positive, as if coming through a fog. Once washed and dried, the plate is coated with a layer of shellac and is ready to be taken home. The result is a hyper unique, handmade image that will last several generations. We are still finding tintypes from the 1800’s that are in incredible condition, and the modern day tintype has just as much staying power.
No, I don't have the setup to do so and personally don't like the way they look. It has to be happening in real life and in front of my camera in order to have a tintype of it!
Can you make a tintype of a photo that already exists?
How many photos do you take? Do I get to pick which one goes on the tintype?
This is a one shot deal! Depending on the situation we may be able to re-shoot.
At events I have a policy that I will only re-shoot the tintype if a). there is a bad chemical anomaly in the focal point of the image or b). I really messed up. If you simply do not like your face in the image, but everything else is fine, I will re-shoot for a $25 fee to cover material costs and time.
In studio sessions we have more time, so I'm happy to re-shoot an image if your not satisfied with it at least once or twice more at no cost to you. Typically with studio sessions you get three tintypes and we will shoot 4-5 images so you have something to chose from, unless we nail the first three!
How long does it take? Do I have to hold still?
The whole process of having your photo taken and then seeing the resulting image takes about 5-10 minutes. You don't have to hold still per-se, but you do have to stay mostly in one spot for a few minutes. I use a high powered strobe, so whatever is happening in front of the camera will be frozen on the tintype, wether you were moving or not! That being said, the depth of field (so the area that is sharp and in focus) on the lenses I use are VERY shallow, so a movement backwards or forwards after I've set the focus could make you a little soft, so sit as still as you can!
At events, its take roughly about an hour after shooting to take your plate home (we wash the plate and then shellac the surface so it doesn't get damaged). At a studio session it takes roughly about a week to prepare the plates and get them into your hands. If you need a quicker turn around time for tintypes made in the studio talk to me and we can figure something out.
Can you take a tintype of my infant/toddler/gremlin/dog/cat/ etc?
Short Answer: Yes.
Long Answer: Results may very on the subject in question. I've had some luck with babies looking in the right direction at the right moment as I pulse the strobe, but I've also had toddlers REFUSE to sit still and end up just being blurry face in the corner of the image. Also I find the kids ages 6-10 (and dogs) HATE the strobe, and after the first tintype is taken devolve into a puddle of tears and refuse to continue with the shoot. It depends on your munchkin, wether they are a real baby or a fur baby. Can your dog hold a good sit/stay? Or can you hold your dog/cat/baby/toddler? That helps make it easier. Also, though I will always try at an event/pop-up, I usually recommend booking a session in studio if you want to take a picture with your small child or animal so we have more time, less distractions, and an opportunity to re-shoot if they did peace out of the tintype at the last second.
Preferably 1-2 on 4"x5" plates and 1-4 on 8"x10" plates. Honestly though anything beyond two gets exponentially harder (especially if there is children involved) to get everyone in focus since the depth of field is so shallow.
How many people can you get in one tintype?
Do I get a scan of my tintype?
Yes, all tintypes come with a web ready scan for personal use (sharing online, facebook/tinder profile pics, linkdn, etc).
I want to make prints/use my tintype for printed promotional materials/license the image so I can use it as I like, is that possible?
I am happy to make prints for you, please contact me with the number/size and I will get you a price quote. As for licensing, I retain all rights to the image but am happy to sell licensing rights to the image for commercial use. Email me and we can discuss pricing, etc.
I want just one tintype, can I come to your studio?
At this time I am only doing studio sessions for 3 or more tintypes, of either size (4"x5" or 8"x10") that I offer. If you would like only one tintype, you will have to come see me at a pop-up/event where I offer them individually. Pop-ups are first come first served, and typically only 4"x5" portraits. You can check my instagram, facebook, or pop-ups tab to see when the next one will be.
Yes! Please email me and we can discuss details and rates.