In 1851, Frederick Scott Archer invented the wet-plate collodion photographic process, more commonly known as the tintype. Because tintypes were safer and more affordable than the earlier Daguerreotypes, for the first time, people could own portraits of themselves and their loved ones. Many people once believed that photographs were a way of stealing one’s soul. From the eerily beautiful way tintypes reflect the eyes, skin and shadow, it would appear they at least pull it acutely to the surface.
You can get your own tintype portrait taken by Michael Schindler, owner of the tintype-specialized photographic studio Photobooth in San Francisco, on July 28 at The Aviary in Seattle, with which you can spook, woo and wow yourself and others. Michael works accordingly to the techniques that Frederick Scott Archer developed 150 years ago: each tintype photograph is crafted directly onto a chemically-treated metal plate placed in the camera. The process is very meticulous, and the talent of the photographer lies in his ability to master the chemistry and the lighting, as well as a careful timing. For his session at The Aviary, Michael will bring along the 14”x17” camera that he just completed in order to create the largest format metal plate images he has ever produced.
In a time where we take so many photographs every day that we rarely even print them out, this format movingly encourages us to slow down, show up and remember.
To arrange a portrait sitting, send an email or call 206.641.4481.