Tintype…. Finally

One would think I would have gotten around to having my image struck at some point in the past 30-some years. It is, after all, one of those things reenactors and living historians do. They have sit for period photos in their period attire.

Me? Not so much.

I need to clarify…. Back in the 90s, I did stand for images take during a PR shoot at the museum. I posed with a coworker on the steps of Altay, if I recall correctly. I have no idea where those images ended up. I’ve wanted one of my own ever since.

Two weekends ago, the weekend I did the dolls as fancy work presentation, I learned Dave, a wet-plate photographer of Victorian Photography Studio, was on site doing photos for staff. Better yet, he would be back the next weekend for the Civil War living history event. I was determined I would finally go to get my tintype done.


Saturday morning rolls around, and it was raining. Rain means clouds. Clouds mean dark. I wasn’t sure if photographs would even be possible. We did a few test shots. The first (left) came out spooky dark. The second (center) came out better, but with notable shadows.

I actually really like the test shots because they remind me of a particular photo Dad took of me when I was little. It, too, has a spooky vibe in a way.

Sunday morning was much nicer and brighter. Sadly, I wasn’t able to wear my wool challis dress as I had before because the skirt was still wet.

This time, I posed on the steps of MacArthur. For those who don’t know, this was one of the houses Grandma used to interpret in and the last house she worked in before getting ill. A large photo of her standing on these same steps hangs on my wall. That made this posing particularly meaningful. (right) This one will be going up on the wall near Grandma’s photo.

I am happy I finally decided to get my image done. I do regret not finding the time and funds to do it earlier and multiple times.

For those interested in how dress colors photograph with period techniques, Saturday’s dress is a wool challis in a large scale plaid with white, red, and grey. The grey is blue hued, and read white in the image. Sunday’s dress is a cotton polychrome shirting that reads dark and predominantly red to the eye. The secondary colors are blues and greens, which read light in the image.

Published in: on May 22, 2023 at 6:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

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