The Camera Adds 150 Years: The Enduring Appeal of Tintype Portrait Photography in the 21st Century

James B. Seaver (Indiana University Institute for Advanced Study)

Tintype portrait photography experienced its heyday in the second half of the nineteenth century. Nevertheless, it remains alluring for many dozens of skilled photographers around the United States who are committed to preserving its arcane chemical processes and traditional skill sets while simultaneously innovating upon them in ways their predecessors never could have imagined. By highlighting the work of the Indiana-based tintype portrait photographer Megan Snook, this paper will examine why she, her peers, and the people they photograph still find value in the blurred margins, slight imperfections, and many shades of grey that typify these exquisite handmade images.

Part of 07-01 Vocation and Avocation [hybrid], Saturday, October 15, 8:30 am–10:00 am