WISCONSIN HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Tintypes before and after

Tintype Experience

HAVE YOUR PORTRAIT STRUCK

Step back in time and experience the historic photography studio like never before! Have your portrait “struck” using the same wet plate photography method used by H.H. Bennett, in the same studio, over 100 years ago. Learn about this type of photography all while the authentic historic lens captures your one-of-a-kind image that will last a lifetime.

Contact H.H. Bennett Studio directly to book by calling (608) 253-3523 or emailing shop.hhb@wisconsinhistory.org at least 24 hours in advance of the date of interest.

Sit where H.H. and Frankie Bennett’s subjects sat while you experience the sights and smells of an 1875 photography studio. Have your portrait taken and witness the developing process as you learn about 19th-century photography.

PACKAGE OPTIONS

ADD-ONS

Peruse the options below to upgrade your tintype for an additional fee (plus tax) while on-site during your pre-booked TinType Experience.

  • AMBROTYPE

    Much like a tintype, ambrotype is the same process but on glass. A black backing is put against it once complete which creates contrast to see the photograph.

    This can be done on-site when you check in for the experience on your pre-booked date and time.

    Cost: $20 (plus tax)

  • ADDITIONAL 4x6

    $50 each (plus tax)

  • UPGRADE TO 5x7

    Instead of the standard 4×6 size, transform your photograph into a 5×7 for an additional $20 (plus tax)

  • ADDITIONAL 5x7

    $75 each (plus tax)

  • FRAMES

    Order a simple wood frame in black or walnut, 4×6 or 5×7 for $20 (plus tax).
    Order a Victorian ornate frame in gold or walnut with gold accents, 4×6 or 5×7 for $40 (plus tax)

HH Bennet Staff member prepares to take a photograph of two guests

TINTYPE FAQ

Woman dressed up with a portrait of someone wearing a similar outfit
  • WHAT IS A TINTYPE?

    A tintype (also known as a Ferrotype) is a photograph made on a thin piece of metal. One side of the metal is coated black to create contrast. This is the side the photograph is taken on. These are one of a kind artifacts because there is no negative, so no way to make duplicates. The image “struck” on the metal is a reverse image.

  • WHAT IS AN AMBROTYPE?

    Much like a tintype, it is the same process but on glass. A black backing is put against it once complete which creates contrast to see the photograph.

  • HOW LONG DOES THIS TAKE?

    A TinType Experience session is approximately 45 minutes long. We’ll share with you some history of H.H. Bennett and the family’s studio and you’ll learn about historic photography while getting your very own portrait “struck”. This is historic photography so any subject will need to sit still anywhere from 5 to 20 seconds per photograph. Don’t worry, you can still breathe and blink normally!

  • CAN I SMILE?

    Of course! If you can hold a smile for 5 to 20 seconds, please do. Many of our guests like to look “historic” by not having a full smile with teeth showing.

  • WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?

    This type of photography loves blue and red. Blue will look white (including those with bright blue eyes!) and red will look black. Keep these things in mind when it comes to clothing and makeup choices. Fun patterns are always encouraged but remember, if you wear items with writing on them, the image will be reversed with the writing backwards!

  • DO YOU PROVIDE COSTUMES?

    No. We do not provide any costumes to wear. If however you have something specific, even if it is a costume, you would like to wear, you are welcome to do so. Don’t want to wear it here? That’s ok, we have restrooms for you to change in.

  • DO I TAKE THIS HOME WITH ME THE SAME DAY?

    No, however, if you purchase a Silver or Ultimate package we will send the frame you choose home with you. The tintype itself needs time to dry and be varnished so it lasts for hundreds of years. You can pick it up once it is ready, or if you’re not local we can ship it to you. If you purchase a Silver or Ultimate Package, your shipping is included. Bronze Package will need to add $8.

  • WHAT HAPPENS IF MY PHOTOGRAPH LOOKS BAD?

    This is wet plate photography and requires some chemistry, which doesn’t always cooperate. Don’t worry, you will see your portrait turn from a negative to a positive right before your eyes! You will know what it looks like before you leave and if there’s a problem, we will take it again during your session at no extra cost. We want you to be happy with how you look! This is not a “one and done” type of photography session.

HAVE YOUR PORTRAIT STRUCK

Step back in time and experience the historic photography studio like never before! Have your portrait “struck” using the same wet plate photography method used by H.H. Bennett, in the same studio, over 100 years ago. Learn about this type of photography all while the authentic historic lens captures your one-of-a-kind image that will last a lifetime.

Contact H.H. Bennett Studio directly to book by calling (608) 253-3523 or emailing shop.hhb@wisconsinhistory.org at least 24 hours in advance of the date of interest.

A photograph of a dog cuddled up in blankets, that was submitted online to be transformed into a tintype photograph

CAN’T MAKE IT INTO THE STUDIO?

We understand coming to our studio is not always an option, so we are bringing this unique experience right to you. Following the same methods H.H. Bennett perfected more than 100 years ago, the DigiType enhances your favorite photograph. We create a stunning image by transforming your treasured memory into a one-of-a-kind work of art on metal, a timeless heirloom that can be passed down for generations to come.

LEARN MORE

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