When I sat down for my tintype portrait I was nervous. It was expensive. The depth of field is incredibly shallow. You can’t really move. And I only had one chance. As a photographer I am also keenly aware of my most flattering angles and inability to look “natural” in front of the camera. The sun was setting behind lower Manhattan and I was sitting by the East River facing an incredible glare. I was squinting, uncomfortable, and probably wondering if my hair was okay. When I am on the other side of the lens I forget how much awareness a subject has of their own presentation. There’s a constant frantic internal dialogue. The photographer started speaking to me. Finally, a distraction. I had to sit up straight, lean forward, smile “just a little bit” and try not to blink. After he loaded the film all he had to do was remove the lens cap for half a second and then put it back. “That’s it?” I asked. “That’s it.” I didn’t even know it had happened. No shutter. No click. Just a slight wave of the hand.