About the process

Each tintype portrait session begins with a brief consultation before the plates are prepared. Creating a tintype portrait using this historic wet-plate collodion process means that each individual plate must be hand-crafted in the darkroom immediately before the photograph is taken, and developed immediately afterwards.

The metal plate is first coated with collodion and then sensitized in a silver bath. It is during the hand-coating and the development processes that each tintype takes on its own unique character, visible especially around the edges and sometimes caused by slight chemical variations from plate to plate.

After the plate has been exposed in the camera, developing and fixing the image takes only a few minutes before the final portrait is revealed.