• History is Alive and Well with Tintype SWAG

     
    POSTED October 1, 2019
     

    A Chicago artist is bringing the vintage art form to 21st-century events.

History is alive and well in the work of Chicago-based artist Jen Jansen. Her wet plate collodion photos are one of a kind, preserving a moment in time all in silver and light. Jansen’s work is focused on capturing the natural world in a multitude of wood and steel materials. Her pieces can be geared toward private and corporate clients alike.

Jansen specializes in tintype photos— images made from an emulsion of collodion poured on a piece of metal that date back to the 1850s. Jansen compares them to a giant metal Polaroid.

Jansen’s career has been shaped by trends in photography. “I started in photography by taking a summer session in darkroom and by then taking those skills to a print shop,” Jansen says. “In the print shop, I started learning how to look at negatives and tell how much contrast and density to add to each image.” Jansen loved working in the darkroom just as much as she loved the mechanics of her camera. “It all felt complete to be able to craft the whole process myself,” she says.

After digital hit the photo industry hard, Jansen began restoring old photographs while keeping tradition in mind. “I started getting really old images to restore and had a curiosity about the process. I loved how the [old wet plate collodion tintypes] were created, exposed and preserved all on the spot. I started reading about the process, took a few workshops in San Francisco, and then just started making mistakes ... and I haven’t looked back.”

Jansen offers her services for all types of events, depending on the size and type of images being created (from miniatures to 11-by-14-inch versions). “One of my favorite offerings is the miniature tintype booth, where I create miniature tintypes that can be made into a locket or pendants,” she says. Jansen also has a portable darkroom available for events and has even staged pop-up darkrooms at past events.

Jansen cites the experience as a source of fun in executing events: “People love getting into the history of the process, and it becomes just as much a historical recreation as an authentic historical process. It’s a fun photo opportunity with a true heirloom takeaway.”

In 2020, Houston First Corp. (HFC) reported that the city was slated to host 252 meetings and 611,000 room nights. By March 14, the Bayou City had already hosted 115 conventions and 137,400 room nights. Then the pandemic hit, and meetings and events across the country came to a screeching halt.

We asked Michael Heckman, acting president and CEO of Houston First Corp. (HFC) how the health crisis has influenced the organization’s business model moving forward.

 

Chances are, you won’t know you’re living through history until it’s too late. It’s already happening. A chain reaction has been set in motion and the ground has begun to slide beneath your feet.

This past year has been a whirlwind to say the least. As a global pandemic sent the world reeling, planners were left grasping for footholds as the event industry was brought to a standstill, and many of the most fundamental elements of live meetings and events were cast in a new light.

 

Great lighting is key. Smart décor is a must. But the mood of any gala, auction or awards ceremony lies largely on the shoulders of its master of ceremonies. Who you choose to represent your cause or organization on stage can be the difference between an event that is “ho-hum” or “electrifying.”

Texas Meetings + Events reached out to three of Texas’s favorite emcees. They shared with us how they got where they are—and what they’re doing now—along with some sage advice.