what is a Tintype?
I am glad you asked. A tintype, also known as a Ferrotype, is a direct positive made of Salts and Silver Nitrate suspended in collodion on a black-coated plate of Aluminum.
"Imperfections" are meant to be embraced. They add character to tintypes and people alike. chemistry lines, small black dots, and ripples in the image are unpredictable in some instances and are common artifacts that can appear during the process. These characteristics offer a one-of-a-kind quality that only handmade can give. If the appearance of these artifacts obscure someone's face on the image, I am happy to offer another shot during the same appointment.
What to wear?
Textures/Layers/Patterns add rich details to a portrait in this medium. solid white can reflect light and create a halo effect. solid black can absorb light and create high contrast images. Blues are rendered almost white and reds are rendered as black. images will appear as a mirror image which means any words or logos within frame appear backwards. eye glasses add to expression but can also create a bit of a challenge in avoiding studio light glare. non-glare lenses have been known to black out making it appear like they are sunglasses due to the bright flash used during exposure. Some prefer to wear their glasses regardless for fear of not appearing as themselves if they go without them. i totally get it. If you have a pair of frames where the lenses can be removed, please consider bringing those if you are not sure which style lens your glasses carry and would rather not go without your specs in your portrait. If you know for sure you do not have non-glare lenses, we can give it a go and see what we get.
feel free to bring items of sentiment to appear in your portrait as well.
How much time?
Each tintype requires the process be completed within 10-15 minutes of the first chemistry poured. realistically, We can make up to 2 tintypes in 30 minutes. The exposure time during this process has many variables including how many people will be in frame and the distance between you and the camera. In natural light/shade, exposure times usually are between 1-20 sec. Movement during natural light exposure can cause a face to be out of focus or ghost-like giving the genuine aesthetic of earliest tintypes. With studio lights we can expect somewhere between 10-25 seconds required exposure time for each image. some small movements during this time are forgiven as long as it doesn't happen during the flash of the strobes. Natural lighting is an option when weather allows which gives a wider range of exposure times determined by sun vs shade and can be discussed for individual appointments.
Booking An Appointment?
At this time (THE Rest of 2020) I am Traveling with my darkroom to offer home and other on-location sessions in natural light and request scheduling through email to best work out all the unique individual session details.
If/when Pop-up events are listed you can book a 30min session through the event listing with a deposit.
If you prefer an on-location session and live outside of athens, there are various tintype minimums depending on the travel distance. send an email and lets discuss your thoughts. a social distance tintype party with 5 of your friends to share the process, perhaps?
Know that if you need to reschedule a session I offer any deposits paid transferred to a later date.
I respect social distancing during our session. I will need approximately 20min to set up before a session and about 30min to pack up after so please expect at least 90mins total for a relaxed session giving enough time for making up to 3 tintypes. This process is a great practice in patience.
A tintype of your kids (furry ones too)?
yes! because they are adorable and it's worth a try.
But, You know them better than i do. a few questions to consider when trying to decide if they could be a cooperative collaborator in this process:
1) Do they have the ability to sit (relatively) still for 10-20 seconds?
2) can food/toys help motivate that focus?
3) Will it bother you if their faces are blurry from moving during a natural light exposure (up to 20sec in some conditions) or...
4) Will Bright studio lights and even brighter flash traumatize them (more so than a treat can heal)?
my hope is for this process to be enjoyed by all that engage in it.
Need to Reschedule or Cancel?
it happens. Please reach out to reschedule or cancel at least 12 hrs before your appointment. deposits may be retained without proper notice of cancelations.
when to expect your Tintype after a session?
After we have created your tintype there are a few more steps to ensure it will last the next 170 years.
I add a coat of wax to protect the image once it is dry. I then scan your tintype creating a high resolution image that will be emailed to you. By this point, we will have hopefully discussed the best option for receiving your tintype between local pick-up or mailing them to you. If you prefer tintypes be shipped, you can expect them to be on their way to you within a week of your session.
please reach out! I look forward to our collaboration on something special.