Tintype Portrait Event • Friday May 5 & Saturday May 6 • $125 each
Make Your Reservation Now!



Each tintype session will last approximately 15 minutes. The tintypes measure 4"x5" and will be made on an aluminum plate.

What is a tintype?

The tintype process (also called the wetplate collodion process) was invented in 1848. It is the same process that was used to make pictures during the American Civil War. It starts by coating a metal plate with collodion (which by itself isn't light sensitive) and then soaking the plate in a silver nitrate solution (which makes it light sensitive). The plate is then put into a light proof box so it can be brought to the camera where the exposure is made. Once the exposure is made, it is taken back into the darkroom where it is developed.

Developing the plate produces a negative of the image, and at that point the image is no longer light sensitive. The negative can then be brought into the light for one more step called fixing. Fixing the negative usually takes about 15-20 seconds, and you actually get to watch the negative turn to a positive. You actually get to watch the image appear before your eyes, which everyone loves to watch.

After the fixing process, the tintype session is over. The plate still has to be rinsed in water for at least 30 minutes. Once it has thoroughly rinsed, it has to be dried and varnished. The varnish is what will protect the surface of the plate for the next few hundred years. I can leave the finished plate at the gallery to be picked up later, or the it can be mailed to you.

I often get asked what to wear for a tintype portrait. These are heirloom portraits. They will outlast you and anyone that knows you. Wear something that you don't mind being seen in 300 years from now. Fabrics and accessories with texture photograph very well. Men with beards photograph exceptionally well because of the texture. People with blue eyes and/or freckles are also photography well because of how the process sees color. The blue eyes tend to go white, which lends a haunting feel to the picture and is highly sought after in the tintype community. Freckles tend to go dark and are more pronounced, which is also highly sought after in the tintype community. Do not wear all white shirts.

-Michael Foster

Tintype Portrait Event
Friday May 5 & Saturday May 6
$125 each
Make Your Reservation Now!