Photographer Kari Wehrs wanted to explore gun culture through photography, and she came up with a really interesting way of doing it. First, she took tintype portraits of gun enthusiasts; then she let them use their own portraits for target practice.
This project, as with so many photo projects, was born out of curiosity. “I wanted to examine my curiosity about gun culture, the gun as a symbol, and the psychology of the gun,” she tells PetaPixel. So she set up her darkroom tent and tintype gear at target shooting locations in the Arizona desert and started capturing portraits.
Once the portraits were ready, they were given to the portrait subject to be used as a shooting target:
“Tintypes were the primary form of photography during the American Civil War—a time when the country was divided by geography and beliefs,” explains Wehrs in the project’s artist statement. “My use of this form of photography in contemporary time elaborates on these connections to history, particularly an America that currently exhibits a divide in the complex ideologies relating to gun culture.”
Image credits: Photographs by Kari Wehrs and used with permission.