Sundance still remains one of the most prestigious movie festivals in the worlds, it’s known for bringing mainstream and independent movies together in a celebration of the art. It is also a time when celebrities renew their photo albums as the traditional photoshoots take place and this year, for the fifth time, Victoria Will was the one in charge of capturing the feel of the show. Tired of using the same techniques, 2015 became a year where she did not only reinvent herself but also changed the game for all those who might come after her. Instead of the traditional digital equipment she picked up on a very old technique known as tintype.
As you might have noticed, these portraits look like they were took during the wild west, that’s because this was the technique used at the time. Making a tintype is hard. The chemicals can be deadly, the process is extremely time sensitive, and the tiniest variation in exposure can have a huge effect on the final outcome.
“The first year I shot tintypes was a great success,” says Victoria. “But I also learned a lot during the process. So when this year’s festival came up, I knew there was room for improvement. “For this year’s festival, I asked the Penumbra Foundation to help me out. These guys, who I affectionately refer to as the mad scientists, are tintype experts.
“I asked them for help for two reasons. First of all, I was eight months pregnant, so I obviously couldn’t stick my hands into lethal mixtures. Secondly, having them there taking care of the chemistry, allowed me to fully focus on the portraiture, on the lighting and on the interaction with the subject.”
“What I love about the process is how raw it is,” says Victoria. “We live in an age of glossy magazines and overly retouched skin. But there is no lying with tintypes. You can’t get rid of a few wrinkles in Photoshop.”
Do you think this is still a valid technique or a gimmick destined to it’s place in time but not an aestethic trend?