I have a tintype portrait studio called Photobooth, on Valencia Street in San Francisco. Over the past year, I've had about 3500 people come through the door, sit in front of the camera and have their portrait made. Some of them came looking for me and some just wandered in and asked what we were doing there. Either way, I do not choose who I photograph, and I like the exercise of being constantly confronted with new people and having to figure out what I find interesting about them.
I prepare each tintype plate by hand and make a single exposure of each person (occasionally two, if I make a mistake). The tintype is processed immediately so the subject can walk out the door with it about 15 minutes later. Since each plate is a unique direct-positive, there is no negative and only one copy of the image exists. So, I scan them before I give them away. But this is something I very much like about tintypes: they are things, actual objects! And things are good.
There's a short video at the bottom of this page (made by the good folks at Cool Hunting), that shows our shop and explains how the process works. Thanks for looking!