Recently, I was introduced through mutual friends to a local photographer Robert Christian Malmberg when I joined them for the opening of his show at the White Walls, Shooting Gallery in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco.
At the show I learned Rob was setting up a "pop-up" photography studio in the White Wall Shooting Gallery for a few weeks. I toyed with the idea of getting my photo taken, but I hate the idea of "posing" for a photos let alone an established photographer. I tabled the idea, and decided to just follow him on Instagram instead. As Rob [@rcmalmberg] would post new portraits each day on his Instagram, I became captivated by his work and more specifically about the individual stories of each person he photographed.
Below are some the portraits or "mug shots" that Rob created using the Wet Plate Collodian Era Process
Here are some more portraits Rob has done using the same process...
Rob was able to fit me in on the very last day of his "pop up" studio. As I sat awkwardly on a wooden bench, Rob began to set up the shot. When he realized the beloved vintage dress I had my mother overnight to me from Nashville was not in the shot as a result of it being a size 00 and wouldn't zip up all the way, he was quick on his feet to find industrial metal clamps and squeeze me into the dress so it could make the shot.
My need to anxiously fidget was thwarted by the fact that I could not move or breath in my now corseted dress. I sit "patiently" in front of his vintage camera--Imagine a box on stilts with the cape that the acts like a tent over the photographer, when Rob instructs me not to blink while he focused the shot. This last bit of instruction ended up working in the photograph's favor because by the time the flash finally went off, I had real tears building up in my eyes.
After my session, Rob lead me to the darkroom and showed me the process and chemicals he uses to create these original wet plate photographs....
And the final product...
Rob will be setting up his latest "pop-up" shooting gallery in NYC
from April 13, 2013 until May 10, 2013.
The NYC "pop-up" shooting gallery is located between Union Square and the Flatiron Building on the historical "Ladies Mile" between 14th Street and 23rd Street, as it was the location of all the custom dress making ateliers before there was "ready-to-wear" women's fashion. The "Ladies Mile" was also the site for the earliest portrait studios in NYC.
How cool would it be to see his process used to photograph some of my favorite people: Taylor Kitsch, Jake Gyllenhall, Michelle Williams, Gwyneth Paltrow, etc? I can also see his work being used for some very cool CD cover art for The Lumineers, Lissie, Band of Horses, Rolling Stones, Mumford & Sons, you name it.
To learn more about Rob's process or to book an appointment, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
*BOOK SOON BECAUSE I HAPPEN TO KNOW HIS SESSIONS ARE FILLING UP FAST!
@maggiewaltemath @rcmalmberg @gwynethpaltrow @taylorkitschBR @gyllenhaaljake @michwilliams @lissiemusic @thelumineers @rollingstones @MumfordAndSons @bandofhorses #bohmusic @bohmusic #lissiemusic
#maggiewaltemath #taylorkitschbr #taylorkitsch #jakegyllenhall #gyllenhaaljake #michwilliams #rcmalmberg #lissie #robmalmberg @robmalmberg
#lissiemusic #thelumineers #therollingstones #rollingstones #MumfordAndSons #bandofhorses