How long is a session?

For one plate, it takes about 20 minutes but for two plates or more, you can expect a simple portrait session to last from 45 minutes to one hour and a half.

Can you make a tintype of a photograph that already exists?

No, I shoot live subjects only. In my experience, tintypes of photographs generally don’t look good and do not have the same quality and feel to them. Plus, shooting a plate of a photograph misses the point of a tintype entirely.

How many people can you shoot at once?

Due to the limitations and size restrictions, I can only shoot a max of 3 people for a 4x5 plate and 5 people for a 5x7 plate. Since the depth of field is very shallow and small, the more difficult it is to attain a sharp focus on all subjects. If you have a group you would like to shoot I am always willing to experiment :).

How much does it cost?

A 4x5 plate is $60 and 5x7’s are $75 each. You will also get a high resolution scan of your tintype(s).

How many pictures do you take? Which one ends up on a tintype?

This is a one time deal. The cost is per plate and I shoot one plate at a time (it generally takes 15-20 minutes per plate). Once the strobe light goes off, the image is already fixed to the plate. No editing or digital help here. Think of this as an 1860’s Polaroid :)

There are marks and spots on my image. Is that normal?

Yes. This is an imperfect process and due to the nature of the chemistry and everything being hand prepared, minor imperfections are normal with tintypes. Every image is unique and handled with care.

What if I’m not happy with how the image turned out? Will you re-shoot?

It depends on the situation. If you don’t like your face/your hair/ or if you are really particular, I can re-shoot for a $25 fee (per plate) to cover material costs and time. I will re-shoot at no extra cost if:

  • There is a chemical issue which affects the final quality of the image.

  • I really screwed up… it happens sometimes.

Rescheduling, Refunds and Cancellations:

Due to the nature of this process and the chemicals, equipment and time involved, I DON’T OFFER REFUNDS - WHATSOEVER. You will not be given a refund for simply not showing up for your scheduled appointment.

If you need to reschedule, it REQUIRES 24 HOURS NOTICE. If you notify me less than 24 hours from your scheduled appointment to reschedule, the amount you paid will be credited to your next appointment however you WILL be charged a 25% set up fee. I understand things happen but it takes up my time and energy to put together a shoot for someone who isn’t going to show up and that spot could’ve gone to another client willing to… well… show up. If something happens don’t be afraid to notify me. The more I know the better it is for the both of us :)

Do you shoot pet portraits?

Unfortunately no. This process is inconsistent with pets due to them moving around too much - not allowing me to focus them in a timely manner - I don’t offer pet portraits at this time.

Do you shoot small children and baby portraits?

Children over the age of 6, then yes! If under, not at the moment. Two things happen with small children:

  • They tend to get scared of the strobe light when it goes off and get upset…

  • They are easily distracted by their surroundings, making it impossible for them to stay still long enough for an exposure. I understand the little ones squirm and move a bit. However, due to the need to sit still for longer exposure times, younger children tend to “ghost” or blur in final image, thus making it almost impossible to capture a great image.

  • Also, if you book a session for a child who just can’t sit still no matter what - you will still be charged the full amount due to time and chemicals involved.

Do you book for private events?

Absolutely! Email me at sheena@rubybellowstintype.com to discuss rates.

Can I book a individual private portrait session on location?

Yes you can! Email me at sheena@rubybellowstintype.com to discuss rates.

Are you strictly a pop-up?

No. I still do pop-ups in the Fort worth area, however I’m now taking appointments in my home studio. If you want a private session just send me an email at sheena@rubybellowstintype.com and I can schedule you in.

Can I use my image for personal use?

Absolutely! You can use your portrait for Christmas cards, personal prints for family members, and for anything that isn’t commercially reproduced.

Can I use my image for commercial use?

With permission, yes. Like with any photographer, licensing fees apply and vary depending on the use of the image. Contact me to discuss rates.

What should I wear?

Below are some simple guidelines to keep in mind for your shoot:

  • Textures that work well for tintype: plaid, tweed, argyle, polka dot, gingham, animal prints, etc. The more contrast in your garment, the better. Jewelry and bling capture the light really as do sparkly garments. Fur/faux fur pieces also look great.

  • WHAT TO AVOID: Clothing with any sort of lettering (as they will appear backwards in the final photograph).

  • WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND: Anything red will appear black and blue garments will look white/light gray in color. So for example, wearing a black and red plaid shirt will mostly look black and wearing a blue shirt with a white jacket will look mostly white.

  • Most of the photos we shoot on site are usually torso length/head-shots. If we are doing a full body shot, plan on coordinating clothing and shoe options.

  • If you plan on wearing makeup, I would recommend applying it a little heavier than normal since this process is highly detailed. Freckles, sunspots, and scars are more pronounced in this process, however I believe this is what gives you true character.

  • Feel free to wear a costume or dress up in your finest attire. Wear what you feel your absolute best in.

What to expect…

Since this is a time intensive process, expect to hangout with me for close to an hour or more. Feel free to ask me anything about the process. Also, relax! I understand people aren’t exactly comfortable in front of a camera let alone used to staring into a giant intimidating barrel lens that steals your soul… (just kidding)… There’s nothing to be afraid of and I will guide you in the posing process so you look your very best.

I will walk you through the process of creating a tintype portrait and will show you the final stage, or the fixing process. This is where the magic happens as you will see your image appear before your eyes. If you are satisfied with your plate, I will take the plate home with me for varnishing and I will let it cure for a few days. I will send you a high resolution scan of your tintype in about a day or two after the shoot and then mail you your beautiful finished plate in a week.