While I studied fine art photography, I have mainly been working in editorial and commercial photography since. I was inspired by a visit to James Weber’s studio to take a dip back into traditional fine art photography, the collodion wet plate process.
Most photo shoots now consist of hundreds of images I can watch pop up live on the screen as we shoot. The element of surprise in the collodion process was a very welcome experience. Photographer James Weber and I did two sessions with the Superstars backstage at live events. I shoot digital with our talent often so I really enjoyed sharing this traditional process with them. They posed in front of Weber’s 8×10-inch wet plate camera, which featured a lens from 1875. It took about 20 to 30 minutes of work for a single photo from start to finish. We only shot one or two plates per person and developed all of the plates on set. Everyone’s faces lit up watching the plate go from a negative to a positive. It was a magical moment every time. I left that first photo shoot feeling so energized by the magic of traditional photography.
My photography professor, Paul Laincz was an inspiration to me early in my life. He was critical and tough, but he believed in me and changed the course of my studies. I thought of him on each of these shoots. It was like being transported back to that time. Thank you, Mr. Laincz.
Here are a few of my favorite photos from this original content gallery for WWE.com. See the rest HERE.
Photography by James Weber
Creative Production & Photo Direction by Christine Reilly Wet Plate Techs Rico Elvina & Jesse Mata
Photo Assistant Sebastian Beckman
H/MU & Grooming by Alex LaMarsh, assisted by Emily Klein BTS Videographer: Michael Topalis