Wayne Pierce's Wet Plate Photography Studio

 

Today I read some of  Wayne Pierce’s guide, “To My Patrons.”  It is a primer for his portrait clients on how his studio runs, what to expect during the shoot and what clothing colors they should select to optimize the image.  I suddenly remembered visiting Gibson’s wet plate studio in Gettysburg while I was an MFA student.  Walking upstairs to peek at the cameras, I startled a Civil War reenactor and his girlfriend, who were waiting patiently to have their portrait made. I was embarrassed and apologized, hoping that I hadn’t ruined their time travel experience. I totally understood why Wayne included the rather funny invective against unwanted intruders:

 

ALL ENTRANCES FORBIDDEN !!

The Photographer cannot perform his duties with ease if crowded with inquisitive, meddling, and talking parties. The lenses do not operate well if the air is saturated with vapor, and the health is impaired in the midst of the mixed effluvia arising from degenerate lungs.