I was at a Civil War reenactment this past weekend. I was shooting around with my Pentax and I took a few photos of the reenactors in their period clothing. I usually always share a small print with people when I take their photo in situations like this. (Kind of like a photo business card. Eh?) A few of them came out really well. If they were sepia toned they might have a nice period look. I was talking to the blacksmith, whom I know. As we were shooting the breeze he brought up the idea that I might want to look into period photography for these kinds of events. He told me that many of the reenactors pay him for blacksmith work which he makes a fair bit of money from. Although he doesn't get rich from it, he pays his costs plus enough left over to make it worthwhile for him to stand over a 3,000 ºF pit of burning coal on a summer day. So, here's the question: What would it take to get into making tintype/ferrotypes? I would need a period correct camera, or at least one that is close to period. Unless a person is well versed in history, most wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a period correct, Civil War vintage camera and an "Old Camera." I've read that you can modify old Brownies to make ferrotype with. I would need supplies and study in how to make tintypes. I have read about the basics and it doesn't seem to be much harder than modern photography. I'm sure I would need to study and practice. Chemistry and darkroom supplies wouldn't be an issue for me. I have plenty of trays and gear. It doesn't have to be period because it's all going to be in the dark, anyway. Nobody will see the darkroom but me and my assistant, if I have one. Period dress is debatable. If you are a reenactor, period dress is required but many of the tradesmen (blacksmith, wood carvers, etc.) just wear dungarees, leather boots and a white shirt. Many reenactments will let tradesmen wear modern clothes out of concern for safety as long as it looks close enough. (Steel toed boots, goggles, aprons, etc.) So, what's it going to take? I figure several hundred dollars, approaching a thousand. That doesn't account for consumables. Plates, chemistry, etc. (Strangely enough, the blacksmith guy is also a chemist who often makes stuff like flash powder.) Considering the price I could get for a period tintype is probably around $10.00 to $15.00, I wonder whether I could make enough to break even, let alone have enough left over to make it worthwhile to stand in a dark room full of chemicals on a hot summer day. What do you think?