I recently had the opportunity to create a very special wet collodion portrait of my friends, Lola and David.
Here is what they said about their experience:
"Sitting for our wet plate photo was part photo-shoot, part history lesson and part meditation. What a one-of-a-kind experience. The photo itself captures so much rich emotion because it truly represents the passage of time, something you only appreciate while you are trying to remain perfectly still for 30 seconds or more. Learning about the process, watching the preparation, the development and the treatment of the photo made me feel a part of the entire history of photography. We will treasure our wet plate photo unlike any other we have".
Each plate is a partnership between the sitter and the photographer, that's true. But it is also a partnership between the sitter and the camera, the plate, the chemistry and time. I believe that the collodion process does have the ability, or even the power to record a person's soul.
Lola and David are both amazing people with great hearts and kind souls. I believe that this plate shows that so beautifully.
There is one other little story behind this plate, and it sent a little chill down my spine:
Making a plate is a multi-step process, the final step is the varnish. As I was doing the varnish, a little white dog hair got stuck in the varnish on the plate, on the step next to David's leg. I told Lola about it, and she smiled.
Unknown to me, Lola and David each put on lockets for the shoot, each locket contained some hair from their little side kick, Gorrilla, who passed away last December.
Maybe, just maybe, the little white hair is Gorilla's way of showing his presence in the photo. I like to think it is.