A tintype (also known as a ferrotype) is a handmade portrait on a metal plate using the wet-plate collodion method. This method was invented in the 1850s. Aside from the studio lights and darkroom safety measures, I create these portraits the same way today. I enjoy sharing the process and its history with all my clients. I was happy to create a tintype portrait for Michael during his recent session.
Tintypes pre-date film photography. They became popular with soldiers during the Civil War because of their durability. They could be carried around and mailed to families. Once varnished, these images are truly archival.
Unlike digital photography, tintypes require chemicals, a darkroom, and certain physical conditions. They also require a special large-format camera with a plate holder, lens, and camera stand or tripod. The camera I use, a Deardorff Studio model, was made in the early 1920s. The lens, a Dallmeyer 3A, is a huge, brass, soft-focus portrait lens that was made in 1867.
There are many steps to creating one plate. Each image will have unique qualities. A soft focus and some blemishes are part of the charm.
You can see more tintype sessions HERE.
To book your own tintype experience, email me: email@example.com. I look forward to seeing you!