tintypes: studio & location


Michael Shindler creates one of a kind tintype photographs. Each tintype is hand-crafted, using a method invented in the 19th century, producing an original metal tintype portrait that cannot be reproduced. There is no negative, therefore no other copy exists other than the digital scan we take. Every plate is unique unto its subject, producing a photographic fingerprint to take home.

The plates are individually prepared by hand in the darkroom and must be exposed and developed within just a few minutes. Tintypes are direct-positive images formed by pure, elemental silver deposited onto a black metal plate. The images produced are exceptional in clarity and character.

Location & Event

The portrait sessions become a source of entertainment at any event where guests can observe the process take place directly in front of them. Tintype photography is something that very few people have experienced and often leaves guests in awe.

A single tintype takes about 30 minutes from the time a portrait is taken to when it is processed, scanned, and packaged. At the end of the event, guests leave with an original 3.5″ x 4.5″ metal tintype portrait of themselves as well as a digital file. Working with two assistants, Michael can photograph 12-15 people per hour.

Michael recognizes that every event is unique, therefore customizes each experience accordingly.


Michael is available for private single or group tintype portraits at his studio located in San Francisco, Ca. A portrait session takes 1-3 hours, depending on the number of people being photographed. During that time Michael makes 8-12 plates, two are available for final selection to be varnished and packaged. Digital files of all images are included.

During the shoot, two plates are prepared and developed at a time before the next ones are made. At this point, you are welcome to watch the darkroom process and observe as an image appears on the metal surface. This is an exciting part of the private studio experience.

Feel free to contact us with any further questions.