Last portrait of Philip Seymour Hoffman makes beautiful celebrity tintype photos all the more powerful

By Abraham Piper


This year at the Sundance Film Festival, photographer Victoria Will had the opportunity to shoot portraits of many big names in Hollywood. Having documented the festival several times before, she decided to do it a little differently this time around.

So she took the celebrities’ pictures using tintype — a popular photography technique of the 1860’s and 70’s.

She explains her interest in the Civil-War-era style…

I am fascinated by the slow process, the finicky nature of the chemistry, and the beauty in each unpredictable result. There is something really special in each wet plate being one of a kind. It’s incredibly honest.

Honest and unpredictable.

We were putting this post together over the weekend when we heard the news of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s passing. Since these photos were taken toward the end of January, it is very likely that this was the last portrait he sat for.

This sad fact and the inherently dark mood that accompanies tintype photography combine to make this series all the more poignant and haunting…

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Tintypes - Phillip Seymour Hoffman

Ann Hathaway

Tintypes - Anne Hathaway

Nick Cave

Tintypes - Nick Cave

David Cross

Tintypes - David Cross

Elizabeth Banks

Tintypes - Elizabeth Banks

Kurt Russell

Tintypes - Kurt Russell


Tintypes - Flea

Glenn Close

Tintypes - Glenn Close

Jason Schwartzman

Tintypes - Jason Schwartzman

Jack McBrayer

Tintypes - Jack McBrayer

Willem Dafoe and Rachel McAdams

Tintypes - Willem Dafoe & Rachel McAdams

Jesse Eisenberg

Tintypes - Jesse Eisenberg

Bill Hader

Tintypes - Bill Hader

Selena Gomez

Tintypes - Selena Gomez

Michael C. Hall

Tintypes - Michael C Hall

Elijah Wood

Tintypes - Elijah Wood

Maggie Gyllenhaal

Tintypes - Maggie Gyllenhaal

William H. Macy

Tintypes - William H Macy

(via Esquire)