Full of flaws yet rich in character, this is one way to describe tintype photography. This traditional form of imagemaking was once popular some 150 years ago but as the proliferation of films began, tintype photography soon became just another footnote in the history books. Or so many thought.
Tintype photography is still alive thanks to the effort of some passionate individuals who are still practicing it. Steven Glynn is one photographer who still prefers this method. The Lansing, Michigan native isn’t a stranger to modern technologies but he prefers to do it the old fashioned way — using chemicals and solid plates to bring portraits to life.
Aside from being a photographer, Steven is also a storyteller but he prefers to do it by using his images. His tintype portraits are one offs since it’s virtually impossible to get the same details on separate prints. No two tintypes is ever alike, just like the person that’s in front of Steven’s camera.
Character is something you can expect from a tintype image and from Steven as well. You can easily spot him in the crowd — being 6’7”, bearded, with fiery red mane and all. Steven and his tintype work was recently picked up by Taproot Pictures. Titled “Big Red”, the 4-minute film shows Steven in action along with his sentiments about photography and how it helped him become the artist that he is today.
Tintype photography can be a meticulous and challenging process. What’s beautiful about Steven’s work is that he’s put in the hours to master his craft and it shows in his dark and beautiful prints. If there’s one thing we can learn from Steven, it’s dedication to doing something you love.