By Melissa Moore-Randall
Revere native David Caramello and his wife Maureen, have embarked on a creative way for people to save their favorite photographs through tintype photography.
“Tintype photography was one of the first photographic processes that was invented in 1851. Think of Abraham Lincoln or Civil War photos and you’ve probably seen a tintype photo before. It was the primary photographic process until the beginning of the 20th Century. We were both intrigued with the process and the unique look of tintype photos, so we wanted to learn more and more about it. We never touched our digital camera again and we began our two-year journey learning and honing the process of tintype photography. After months and months of trial and lots of errors, in May of this year we decided we were at a point to start Evoke as a business and we took our newly learned skill to the public. Our first venture into the public realm was at the Copley Open Market and Art Fair in downtown Boston”, said Caramello.
Each tintype photo is handmade in their studio or onsite at an event using a portable darkroom. Tintypes are made on 5 x 7 aluminum plates, which are turned into a piece of light sensitive film through a chemical process. Every tintype is a one-of-a-kind photo that can never be reproduced. When finished, tintype photos will last over 100 years.
“Evoke was a by-product of the pandemic. The idea of pursuing tintype photography as a side-business was initiated by Maureen. It didn’t take long for us to become completely enamored with the process and we began planning our dream of creating Evoke Tintype Photography. We bought a digital camera like most people would these days, and we started educating ourselves on photography when Maureen came across the tintype photographic process.”
David, a musician, pursued that dream for most of his life. He spent 12 years working in Sales and Marketing with Aved Electronics before accepting a position with Revere Public Schools in 2022. Maureen was an esthetician for the entirety of her career. Most recently she began working for The Spa at Encore Boston Harbor Hotel and Casino before Covid essentially put an end to her career in skincare when the pandemic hit in 2020.
David and Maureen are currently working on a project for a classroom curriculum that would involve a tutorial on the history of tintype photography, as well as a live demonstration of the process in the classroom.
Recently, they had the great fortune of Evoke being featured on WBZ News Radio which led to WBZ TV News 4 reaching out to do a story on the background of tintype photography. In addition, Channel 7 did a feature story that focused on the idea of a tutorial and demonstration we’ll be conducting for an art class at North Reading High School. The project came to be through Cathy Dailey, who is an art teacher at North Reading High.
“Cath came to our studio with her family for a tintype portrait. After which, she approached us about coming into her classroom to do a demonstration for her art students. The date is being worked out now, but we are excited to bring this medium to a generation of students who’ve probably never touched an analog camera in their lifetime! We’re hopeful if all goes well, we can take the classroom program to other schools in the area.”
Our favorite part of the business since we’ve started Evoke, is all the cool people we continue to meet on this journey. And through the art fairs we’ve attended and the fact that we are also listed on AirB&B as an add-on experience for people looking for a unique experience while visiting the Boston area. We’ve gotten to meet people from all over the world!
If you are interested in booking a tintype photo session you can visit www.evoketintype.com, by email [email protected]. They are also on Facebook at Evoke Tintype Photography and Instagram @evoketintype.