Emma & Jimmy recently eloped at the majestic Mount Washington Hotel. On the way, they came to the studio for a tintype elopement portrait. A tintype is a handmade portrait on a metal plate, using the wet-plate collodion process (invented in 1851!)
It was a wonderful afternoon, meeting the almost-newlyweds, and showing them this historic process. They’re both interested in photography, and they love the imperfect, often serious, look of these handmade portraits.
During tintype sessions, people are welcome to watch the entire process!
For these kinds of handmade portraits, I use a Deardorff camera made in the 1920s, along with a 155-year-old Dallmeyer brass portrait lens.
In the darkroom, I prepare a metal plate with chemicals to sensitize it to light. I put the plate in a light-tight holder, and then put the holder in the back of the camera. Next, I direct the couple, focus, and expose the plate with a big pop of light.
Back in the darkroom, I use different chemicals to develop and fix the plate. Next, it goes into a tray of water to rinse.
After the tintype dries, it can be scanned and varnished, making it an archival image.
Congratulations to Emma and Jimmy!
You can find out more about tintypes HERE.