Earlier this week, the family and I were in San Francisco, visiting with Ypsilanti expatriates and reconnecting with seldom seen family members. I hope to tell you more about our experiences in the days to come, but, for the time being, I wanted to share these very cool tintype photos that we had taken at a place in the Mission district called Photobooth. To my knowledge, it’s the only tintype portrait studio in the world, and it was an incredible experience. In a world where photos have come to be cheap, effortless and pervasive, I found it incredibly satisfying to sit for a photo when I knew that the photographer and I only had one shot to get it right. At $60 a portrait, they’re expensive, but, if you have the money to invest, I’d highly recommend the experience. (After having your photo snapped, you’re offered a beer, and directed to a small waiting area, where everyone gathers around a heated case, where the thin iron sheets, once they’re processed, are put to cure.) For those of you who can’t get to San Francisco, I heard from one of the guys at Photobooth that plans are afoot to launch a pop-up location in New York in the not too distant future. If you want to find out out more, I’d suggest keeping abreast by way of Facebook… As coincidence would have it, the Photobooth team is celebrating their one year anniversary this evening, and, given what I saw happening in San Francisco, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that, by next year at this time, they’d expanded into other markets.
I think all of the photos turned out well, but I’m particularly pleased with Arlo’s, which, given the amount that he was moving, could have easily been a complete and total mess. We hadn’t gone in with the intention of including him, but, when we saw how good they were turning out, we decided to roll the dice, and I’m incredibly happy that we did. (You can’t see me in the photo, but I’m squatting beneath him, trying to hold him in place.) Doesn’t he look impish?
Actually, now that I think about it, it’s kind of appropriate that we all had photos taken on this trip in which we look like sun-damaged, Depression-era Okies, as we spent quite a bit of time exploring the old stomping grounds of John Steinbeck, the author of The Grapes of Wrath. That will have to wait until later, though….