Location & FAQ
Thank you for your interest in our work! We offer studio portraits in Richmond, Virginia, as well as make house calls with our mobile darkroom to surrounding areas. We have a traveling tintype photobooth that is available to be set up at your next community event, party or celebration. Below are a few things about the studio and process that are good to know before your session!
1523 Hull St.
Richmond, VA 23224
You can set up an appointment by emailing us or by simply going to our booking page, which displays our calendar and available session times.
Event/Photobooth Portrait (4x5) -$50
Studio Portrait (4x5)- $60
Studio Portrait (5x7) - $75
2- Studio Portraits (4x5) - $120
2-Studio Portraits (5x7) - $140
Sweetheart Special (2-4x5, 1-5x7) - $170
3- Studio Portraits (4x5) - $160
3- Studio Portraits (5x7) - $190
4- Studio Portraits (4x5) - $220
4- Studio Portraits (5x7) - $260
**sizing options expanded on 12/26/18. any gift cards purchased prior will reflect previous sizing. any sessions booked prior will honor previous pricing.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What exactly is a tintype?
Considered by many to be the Polaroid of the 19th century, the tintype is a photograph on a sheet of enameled metal, made almost instantaneously through a darkroom technique that uses hand poured chemicals.. Each tintype is archival, handmade and a timeless heirloom in the digital age.
Do I need an appointment?
Tricky question, sometimes yes and sometimes no. For a portrait session at the studio, YES, you do. The studio is open by appointment only. For events, we sometimes book in advance and encourage a reservation. Other times, we take portraits on a walk-up basis only.
What is your cancelation policy?
We require at least 24 hours notice when canceling an appointment. We understand that unexpected things happen and ask that as soon as you know that you can’t make it, you please let us know. Email is the best way to contact us. Since we don’t require a deposit, we rely on clients’ communication for things to run smoothly. We don’t want to start charging a deposit, so please be respectful of our time and of this policy!
What size is the tintype?
Event portraits are always 4x5”. For studio sessions, you have the choice between 4x5 and 5x7.
What should I wear?
Anything you want! Feel free to fancy yourself up or dress as casual as you'd like. Due to the historical camera used, all images are flipped horizontally, so we don't recommend that you wear text, as it will appear backwards. Patterns and textures always look great! This process translates colors in a very specific way— blues/cooler tones are lighter, while reds/warmer tones are darker. For example, if you have long black hair and wear an orange blouse, chances are they will appear as the same dark tone and/or blend into each other.
How long until I get my tintypes?
It is important to know that you will not leave the studio/event with the tintype the same day. We have to varnish the plates and let them dry overnight. But worry not, it will be in the mail to you within the next 3-5 business days and the scan will arrive in your inbox shortly after. We recommend scheduling your portrait session 1-2 weeks ahead of when you need it to allow for processing and shipment. If you are working with a shorter time frame and need your tintypes by a certain date (say…Christmas!), be sure to let us know and we’ll do what we can to work with you to speed things along.
What is included in the purchase of a session?
We offer a variety of portrait sessions that include different quantities of tintypes. You receive as many tintypes as selected as well as high-res scans of each shot.
Can we reshoot a plate if I blink or don’t like my facial expression?
Don't worry if you blink, we'll be sure to develop the plate in front of you, so if a change needs to be made, we can reshoot it on the spot. We will always reshoot free of charge for blinks. Due to the nature of chemical photography, these images typically contain minor artifacts due to chemistry and evidence of handling. We do not reshoot due to artifacts unless they detract from the overall quality of an image. If you would like to reshoot a plate for any other reason, you’re welcome to request so, each reshoot is an additional $15 to cover material costs.
How many people can be photographed on one plate?
In the studio, we can easily photograph up to 4 people on a 5x7 plate. Larger groups are possible, they just need a little more coordinating and patience. :) We use historic lenses with a very shallow depth of field, so the more people in the image, the harder it is to make sure everyone will be in focus. When shooting at other locations, it depends on the space available to work. We'll always give a big group a shot but request that you give us a heads up when booking your appointment if this sounds like you!
Can I bring my small child in for a portrait?
Yes! We use high powered strobes so are able to “freeze” movement and capture the more wiggly subjects. It is important to note that not all children love bright lights, so sometimes it can be difficult to convince them to sit still long enough to focus the camera. If we are unable to get a satisfactory capture of your child due to their lack of cooperation, full payment is still expected to cover cost of materials and time.
Can I bring my pet in for a portrait?
Unfortunately, at this time we are no longer offering pet portraits. We strive to always produce exceptional portraits and found furry friends to be too inconsistent to regularly offer this service. We are open to special cases if you think your pet has mastered the art of sitting still and encourage you to email us if this speaks to you.
Do you offer gift certificates?
Of course! We have both digital and physical versions. We accept either electronic payment via Venmo (@TintypeRVA) or cash. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with what type of gift certificate you’d like and we’ll have one made up for you. Please be sure to include a mailing address if you’d like a physical copy, otherwise we’ll send a digital version. Gift certificates are sent after payment has been received.
How do I redeem my gift card and how long is it good for?
Simply book an appointment and present your gift card when you arrive. It is important to bring in proof of the gift card as it contains identifying information about the session purchased, such as size and quantity of plates. We updated our prices and sizing at the end of 2018 and therefore, not all gift cards reflect current sizing. Gift cards are good for as long as we are operational, preferably used within the year.
Do you do events?
Yes, we do! Please shoot us an email if you are interested in having us at your upcoming event or if you'd like information on our next event. All public event details are announced on our Instagram page as well.
Can I use the photograph commercially?
Sure can! Like any photographer, usage fees apply when the work is used for commercial or editorial purposes. The price will vary depending on how the image is used. Contact us anytime for a quote.