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Margaret Muza is a tintype photographer which means she takes old-timey portraits or, more specifically, she uses a large-format camera from the early 1900s in the service of a photography style that actually predates the Civil War. Tinytpe images are developed on sheet metal and appear – to modern eyes – antique and even a little haunting.
Muza, who served as the Pfister Hotel's Artist in Residence in 2017, operates a small business, but she has put that on hold for right now because of COVID-19. However, she is currently working on a special project and photographing people and families on their home porches. The cost is flexible and "pay what you can."
"Before the stay-at-home orders, I was offering private sessions for tintypes at my studio as well as getting ready for big events what were postponed. After a few weeks of being really down and feeling at a loss creatively, I stepped out and did a couple of tintypes that some friends had asked me to do," says Muza. "I was so happy that day, and grateful to be busy so I just recently promoted a pay-what-you-can option for a tintype porch portrait."
Currently, Muza is taking as many porch photos as possible of people who are living in all different parts of the city and quarantined. She is shooting about 10 portraits a week and the project requires her to bring a portable darkroom with her and develop each image on-site from the street.
"I’ve already had over 80 requests, but I’m still adding to the list," she says.
To get on Muza's list for a pay-what-you-can porch portrait, email her with your name and address at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also check out her website at www.margaretmuza.com
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.