Old School Photography

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I do a lot of personal projects throughout the year to satisfy my curiosity in photography and art, my need to create and continue to explore as a photographer. My personal work makes my professional photos better and my professional work pushes my personal; they are like opposite ends of a magnet always reacting to each other. Our Ann Street Studio holiday card is one of the personal projects I most look forward to every year. I like that it takes place over a multitude of cities (New York, Boston and Savannah), I like that it takes a really long time to create, I like that the entire thing is done by hand, by my hands, I like that there is nothing digital about the process and I like that in the end, we send it out as a true artifact you can hold and that will be there for years to come.

This year’s print starting unknowingly on the beaches of Montauk, during an autumn walk that presented our little artifacts, moon shells washed up on the shore: all of them different sizes, colors, tonality, some with nicks and scratches. It reminded me of how we are all different but beautiful…and though this year has had so many ups, we all face the downs and the scars left on our shells from the beating currents of time should be celebrated – for without them, we must not truly be living.


We brought them back to the house we share with our friends in Amagansett to be photographed on Ilford Delta 100 black and white film.





I brought the film back to New York City to be processed by hand at LTI Lightside photo lab, we reviewed the contact sheets and chose the one out of 25 plates I shot. Then it was off to Boston, spending two days in LePete photo lab and darkroom printing.


 32 sec exposure to light on warm toned fiber base paper, 2 mins in developer, 30 secs in stop bath (stops development), 5 mins in fixer (makes it not light sensitive), 30 mins in wash baths. It took two full days of printing to produce the 200 prints.


Spot checking each print after they passed through three separate drying systems and were placed under weighted glass to cool. Just as we did the year before, we brought them all down to Savannah and spent two days in Gallery Espresso signing, numbering, stamping and addressing them all, which is for me, the best way to end another exceptional year.



“Moon Shells #13”, 2013

See 2012 here.


  • We did the same thing for our card this year! My husband did a portrait of our little family and then developed and printed up a bunch. We wrote on the back and sent them as postcards. I love how its like a little gift to our family and friends and it took time and effort to make them. You can see the photo here:http://instagram.com/p/iMNUHjp_Oa/ Yours are so beautiful and I’m sure everyone who received one will treasure it! Thanks for sharing your process.

    • And how classic this looks! I love seeing the cable release in your husband’s hand. What a beautiful artifact to have for years to come.

  • I absolutely love getting to see the process you go through each year with creating your holiday cards! What a beautiful routine to close the year, thank you for sharing with us again!

    And also, I think it would be a dream come true just to shadow you for a day and see you work wonders with digital or film! You’re amazing at what you do.

    • and you are so sweet and wonderful, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate always reading your comments.

  • AV

    Oh I love this! Very beautiful and serene! 🙂


  • maggiemeinersphoto

    Thanks, Jamie. I really appreciate when you post about your process. It reminds me to slow down and is rally inspiring. Happy New Year to you !

  • Oh my, I hope I get to receive one of your gorgeous holiday prints to adorn my walls someday…

    • can you email me your mailing address darling?

  • Happy New Year, Jamie!
    This is my favorite personal projects of yours as well. I love the meaning behind the photograph – we are all different but beautiful.
    Please let us know if you ever decide to have a print shop. I would love to have a print of your work. xo

  • Love how you share these kinds of personal/behind-the-scenes post. And what a great way to personalize a card.

  • I love seeing your process. The setup is so amazing!

  • i loved your 2012 holiday card, and i love this even more. thank you for the behinds the scene look at your process…and ps your hair looks absolutely gorgeous!

    Molly {Dreams in HD}

  • theglamourai

    Such a treasure! We can’t wait to have ours framed!!


  • Tarragona IN

    I love your work, thank you for sharing it

  • Dana Rose

    Lovely! The process is an exciting one. I love the anticipation when you are getting film developed. It’s like that feeling when your birthday or favorite holiday is approaching. Sometimes when I take photos on my phone or a digital image of friends I don’t l let me them see it because its more exciting to reminisce about the moment a week or so later rather then right there as if you were waiting for it to be developed.

  • UrbanJungleFashion

    Gawsh, you have no idea how in love I am with this whole process. I certainly miss developing my own film.

  • The day I receive a holiday card from you, is going to be a most memorable day for me. In my mind it would be like I’ve made it.
    When you started following me on instagram, I was overjoyed! I felt like I’d hit the first stepping stone. Thank you Jamie 🙂

  • Diane

    You are my inspiration!!! I love everything that you create! 🙂