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Luminaria is an alternative photography lab that offers workshops, custom printing, and wet plate portraiture.
Luminaria is an alternative photography lab that offers workshops, custom printing, and wet plate portraiture.
Luminaria is an alternative photography lab that offers workshops, custom printing, and wet plate portraiture.
112 backers pledged $11,911 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Luminaria Alternative Photography Studio

$11,911

112

Luminaria (luminariaslc.com)

We believe photography is more than images on screens. Photography is a craft that transforms intangible rays of light into monuments of self expression and artifacts we can hold in our hands, pass down to our kids, and share with our best friends. Join the photography rewind at Luminaria.

Luminaria is an alternative photography studio specializing in processes from 1850-1940 in Salt Lake City...or, at least, we want to be. With your help we will raise funds to open and operate an alternative photography center that will keep chemical-based photography alive for the next generation while fostering a local and global community of artists seeking more tools for self-expression.

A wet plate photographer's studio, 1893
A wet plate photographer's studio, 1893

Community Focused

We believe the art scene in Utah is special. Our community is robust and intelligent though many artists here feel stuck and isolated. We have felt that way ourselves. But, we think Utah is a unique place with a strong and relevant artistic voice. Luminaria will foster this community. Our dream is to create a space for artists of all abilities and backgrounds to come, learn about the magic of photography, and be inspired to make their own images out of light. Thank you for helping this dream become a reality.

In our eyes everyone is an artist with something to say, and we are here to help. Our workshop series will range from fun, affordable afternoon sessions for those interested in learning something new, to master classes for professionals in the field needing help perfecting their practice. Luminaria will be a resource for all of you. 

We currently work with clients and artists from all backgrounds to collaborate on portrait and artistic works. This will grow as we move into a permanent space. We specialize in wet plate portrait sessions for families and weddings, custom printing for clients wanting unique options, as well as   collaborative photo shoots where your vision and our studio expertise and equipment create something we could only make together. 

Ambrotype (wet plate on glass) portrait of Dan Burkholder, author of Making Digital Negatives for Contact Printing, by David Hyams
Ambrotype (wet plate on glass) portrait of Dan Burkholder, author of Making Digital Negatives for Contact Printing, by David Hyams

What We Need

Your support will help us establish Luminaria as a permanent space and resource for anyone anywhere wanting to learn about alternative photography. We have found a location (14 E 800 S Salt Lake City, Utah - next door to Tanner Frames) and signed a lease. We still need to enclose the private darkroom, build and install sinks, build temporary walls, install lights, and source some equipment. Your help at this phase will ensure that the build-out is completed and ready for use by February 2018, and that our investments-to-date will be saved for insurance, rent, and marketing to build longevity and make Luminaria a permanent fixture in the community.

While we are offering a variety of incentives for your generous investment, we understand that many may wish to support us but do not have the means to do so. Whether you can give a little or a lot, we are eternally gratefully for your support and will add your name to our wall of supporters in the studio to commemorate your help. Please share this campaign with your friends and social media networks to help us raise awareness of Luminaria and increase the likelihood of meeting our goal.

Alternative Photography

Alternative processes are easy to learn but difficult to master. While many artists greatly enjoy the aesthetics and processes, many lose interest because of the cost of chemicals and equipment. Luminaria will provide the expertise, equipment, and space to help our community hone their skills at a more reasonable cost. We know how to teach these processes so they stay fun and you stay inspired. We will provide and maintain the equipment needed to do these processes so you don’t have to invest thousands of dollars up front. This is the only way to keep these processes alive, not only for posterity but for artistic expression and the gravity of objects not pixels.

Abraham Lincoln, platinum print from wet plate glass negative, by Alexander Hessler ca 1860
Abraham Lincoln, platinum print from wet plate glass negative, by Alexander Hessler ca 1860

Luminaria will maintain two darkrooms (a group lab for alternative photography and a private darkroom for wet plate) that will host workshops, be available for hourly rental, and support custom printing and a tintype portrait studio. We have the knowledge and equipment to teach and support platinum palladium, wet plate, cyanotype, van dyke brown, gelatin silver, gum arabic, digital negatives, and many more variations and obscurities. 

Luminaria, before installing studio, at 14 East 800 South, Salt Lake City, Utah
Luminaria, before installing studio, at 14 East 800 South, Salt Lake City, Utah

Luminaria will also have a small gallery programmed to showcase the best artists working in alternative media today. The gallery will be used to connect our community through fun events, art-making, and thoughtful conversation.

Luminaria is unique to Kickstarter in that the culmination of our project is not an object to bring to market or show in a gallery. Instead, we are creating what we hope will be a permanent resource for the creation of creative works now and into perpetuity by us, you, and anyone wanting to use our tools and knowledge.

Who We Are

David Hyams and I (Christine Baczek) both worked for Bostick & Sullivan at the beginning of our careers in photography. Bostick & Sullivan began manufacturing chemicals for alternative photography in 1980 and is largely responsible for bringing the vernacular of these processes into use today. Their biennial APIS (Alternative Printers International Symposium) conference connected Dave and I in 2009. Our love for alternative photography, New Mexico, and chile turned into a love for each other and we have built a life together focused on art, photography, and community-building.

David Hyams working with all-age students at Verve Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
David Hyams working with all-age students at Verve Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Over the past fifteen years Dave has put in over 10,000 hours to master wet plate, platinum palladium, digital negatives, and the principles of the basic alternative processes. He has managed the Bostick & Sullivan lab, studied under Christina Z. Anderson at Montana State University, and received his MFA from Lesley University under his advisor Christopher James (author of The Book of Alternative Photography which features work by both Dave and I in the 3rd edition). He has taught for Bostick & Sullivan, Lesley College of Art and Design, Salt Lake Community College, and established the alternative printing darkroom for a company in China.

Chromoskedasic Sabattier print by Christine Baczek
Chromoskedasic Sabattier print by Christine Baczek

I am a Salt Lake native. Over the past fifteen years I have focused on working as an artist and arts administrator throughout Utah in positions at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Kimball Art Center, and in various freelance and independent capacities. As an artist I’ve incorporated alternative photography into my practice to record the intangible and manipulate light in a real sense. 

Rewards (just a few of them...)

Luminaria Friend: Handmade Cyanotype Thank You (example)
Luminaria Friend: Handmade Cyanotype Thank You (example)

 

 

Luminaria Bandit: This is Bandit Modeling the Luminaria Bandit Bandana
Luminaria Bandit: This is Bandit Modeling the Luminaria Bandit Bandana

 

Luminaria Portrait: Visit Us for a Wet Plate Portrait Experience (4x5 ad 6x8 options)
Luminaria Portrait: Visit Us for a Wet Plate Portrait Experience (4x5 ad 6x8 options)

 

Luminaria Penpal: Postcard Club (example)
Luminaria Penpal: Postcard Club (example)

 

 

Luminaria Tin: Send Us a Digital Image and Have it Made Into a Tintype
Luminaria Tin: Send Us a Digital Image and Have it Made Into a Tintype

 

Luminaria Navidad: Table Top Botanical Cyanotype on Glass - Example of 1 of 3 Possible Gifts
Luminaria Navidad: Table Top Botanical Cyanotype on Glass - Example of 1 of 3 Possible Gifts

 

Luminaria Party: Cyanotype Party for 10
Luminaria Party: Cyanotype Party for 10

 

Luminaria Luz: 14x14 Ambrotype Portrait Session
Luminaria Luz: 14x14 Ambrotype Portrait Session

 

Risks and challenges

Our biggest challenge is fundraising, building awareness, and staying on schedule. Because we have a strong support network and good reputation in Salt Lake City, we are confident that we will be able to weather most storms. Our long friendship with the crew from Bostick & Sullivan means we have the experience and connections to fuel this project, source materials, and market our services successfully.

The majority of our equipment has been collected over 20 years of artistic practice. The few items that we need are easy to source and need to be purchased after the space is prepared.

We have decades of experience working in alternative photography and have given much thought to our timeline. We hope to be completely done with installing the studio by December so we can open our doors to the public in January/February 2018.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Luminaria Friend

    Thanks for supporting us, friend. We'll send you a a handmade cyanotype thank you card and commemorate your support by hand writing your name on our wall of friends at Luminaria.

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    13 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Luminaria Crush

    We'll show you our love by sending you a handmade valentine on behalf of a famous photographer from the history of photography. We'll also commemorate your support by hand writing your name on our wall of friends at Luminaria.

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    10 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Luminaria Bandit

    Steal the show with a cyanotype-printed bandanna to wear, hang, or do whatever. We'll also send you a a handmade cyanotype thank you card and commemorate your support by hand writing your name on our wall of friends at Luminaria.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 20 backers
    $
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  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Luminaria Portrait (4x5)

    Come in for a wet plate portrait experience in front of our medium-format camera and leave with a 4x5, one-of-a-kind plate on tin or glass.

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    Reward no longer available 20 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Luminaria Penpal

    Getting mail is the best! Over the course of a year we will send you 4 different handmade postcards. its like a CSA for art. We'll also send you a a handmade cyanotype thank you card and commemorate your support by hand writing your name on our wall of friends at Luminaria.

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 11 backers
    $
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  6. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Luminaria Portrait (6x8)

    Come in for a wet plate portrait experience in front of our medium-format camera and leave with a 6x8, one-of-a-kind plate on tin or glass.

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    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 20 backers
    $
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Luminaria Tin

    Send us a digital image and we will send you back a 4x5 tintype. We'll also send you a handmade cyanotype thank you card and commemorate your support by hand writing your name on our wall of friends at Luminaria.

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 7 backers
    $
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Luminaria Navidad

    We will be your secret Santa next Christmas. We'll send you a handmade work of art from one of the following categories:
    - 5x7 tabletop botanical cyanotype on glass
    - 8x10 floral tintype
    - urban landscape platinum print on 11x14 paper
    (You will be able to rank your preference in the follow-up survey.) We'll also send you a handmade cyanotype thank you card and commemorate your support by hand writing your name on our wall of friends at Luminaria.

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 2 backers
    $
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Luminaria Party

    Bring up to 10 people for a fun-filled day or evening learning cyanotype at Luminaria. We'll provide snacks, chemical kits, and inspiration. We'll also send you a a handmade cyanotype thank you card and commemorate your support by hand writing your name on our wall of friends at Luminaria.

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    1 backer
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Luminaria Student

    You will have a private 3-day workshop at Luminaria in the media of your choice: digital negatives, intro to alt pro, or wet plate.

    We'll also send you a a handmade cyanotype thank you card and commemorate your support by hand writing your name on our wall of friends at Luminaria.

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    0 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    Luminaria Luz

    Sigue la luz and join us for an experience you will never forget: a wet plate portrait session. We will provide light refreshments and art direction for your unique, one-of-a-kind ambrotype portrait. Ambrotypes are wet plate images on glass. The final plate will measure 14x14inches and be on your choice of colored glass.

    We'll also send you a a handmade cyanotype thank you card and commemorate your support by hand writing your name on our wall of friends at Luminaria.

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    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Luminaria Luminary

    This level of support is incredibly meaningful. You are saying you believe in us and know we are worth the investment. For this we thank you with all rewards, 1 through 11, and invite you to be part of the Luminaria family.

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    0 backers
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Funding period

- (43 days)