Good morning everyone happy Monday and welcome back to the blog! Today I wanted to chat about a really fun and unique experience I had this month.
Evoke Tintype in Revere, MA
A few weeks ago I was contacted by Maureen from Evoke Tintype. Maureen and her fiancé Dave own and operate Evoke Tintype from their home studio in Revere, MA. They also travel for events and popups to offer their services around Massachusetts. Maureen was kind enough to invite me to their home studio for a portrait session to see what tintype photography is like and what they offer. Given that I am a professional photographer myself I was super interested and very excited to see this very specialized and niche art form.
“A tintype, also known as a melainotype or ferrotype, is a photograph made by creating a direct positive on a thin sheet of metal coated with a dark lacquer or enamel and used as the support for the photographic emulsion. Tintypes enjoyed their widest use during the 1860s and 1870s, but lesser use of the medium persisted into the early 20th century and it has been revived as a novelty and fine art form in the 21st.” [Source]
I showed up for our session and Maureen and Dave were kind enough to have snacks and drinks set out as well as examples of tintype photography and how the end results look. They explained a bit about the process and we went into their studio to take some photographs. The camera used in tintype photography (shown below) looks like an old school camera complete with bellows…like something you’d see in an old movie or in an old-time gift shop. Dave worked on setting up the lights while Maureen showed me the chemical process for preparing to shoot. In their dark room, Maureen showed me how they prepare one of the pieces of metal to become a photograph by treating it with certain chemicals and mixtures. After a few minutes of letting the chemicals do their work, the metal is loaded into the cartridge for the camera and you’re ready to go.
Dave adjusted the lights once I sat on the stool and got everything ready, loaded the cartridge and took the photo. Once the picture was taken we headed back to the dark room for processing. This part was really neat…seeing the image develop on the metal. Maureen unloaded the cartridge, applied chemicals to the metal, placed it in various other containers of liquids and you literally watched the image develop in real time. It slowly came into focus and then darkened through the treatments, becoming a clear image.
Maureen and Dave were kind enough to take several images of me in various poses and positions. We did five total and this is the one that I liked the best.
How neat is that?! I love the monochrome tone, the way it picked up the light and dark shades in the pattern of my shirt and it made my freckles stand out like crazy. Colors like violets and blues are seen as whites while yellows and oranges are seen as black. My top in the above photo is white, yellow and orange!
The entire experience was a lot of fun, very unique and certainly not something many people have seen. Maureen explained that there are only about one thousand active tintype artists around, so this is a rare artform, indeed.
I love that part of what I do as the creator of ThingstodoinSalem.com is working with other business owners. The north shore of MA is home to so many unique businesses, talented artists and creative entrepreneurs. I definitely recommend checking out Evoke Tintype and scheduling a session with them. Being a part of such a distinctive and uncommon art form and seeing the process from beginning to end is a really fun experience. Maureen and Dave can be found online at EvokeTintype.com and on Instagram @evoketintype.