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Art & Life with James Denton and Valorie Bailey-Denton

Today we’d like to introduce you to James Denton and Valorie Bailey-Denton.

James and Valorie, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Growing up, my father occasionally would go through some old photographs. The ones that fascinated me the most were the tintype photos of distant ancestors. Having grown up in the ‘70s and ‘80s black and white, Polaroid and other film photos were still pretty common-place, but the old tintypes were different. Several years ago, I came across an article about someone who was currently taking photographs using old methods and producing tintype photographs. It reminded me of those old photos that my father had, that I now own.

After having done some basic research and seeing how it was feasible to do it ourselves, I approached my wife about learning how to do it ourselves. My wife has been a photographer (both professional and amateur) since she could hold a camera. She also saw a new avenue for artistic expression. We honed our techniques through a combination of trial and error, internet research and attending a workshop held in New York by a man who lives like it’s the 19th century.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
Our style of photography is a throwback to a purely analog process. Each photograph is a singular, hand-made image. There’s no digital file or negative. This makes it ideal for our boudoir photography. Our clients can rest assured that their personal images will remain private. I believe it also heightens the worth of the images. The photograph is uncheapened by an infinite amount of copies or easy manipulation.

What would you recommend to an artist new to the city, or to art, in terms of meeting and connecting with other artists and creatives?
We’ve been very fortunate in that regard. A large portion of the clientele are people that we see at historic events. In addition to that, we’ve had great support from many of the local photographers. Since what we do is rather uncommon, we’re not seen as potential competitors, but more as artists.

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