Private Commissions – static content

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On this page, you should find everything you need to know under these (clickable) headings:

  2. COST


It’s an incredible experience to be photographed on 12×10 inch glass using such an old technique as wet plate collodion — a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will live long in the memory.

Once RNLI crew have watched me making the scheduled photographs, they’re often so enthralled by the magic and beauty of the 1850s process that they want to have their portrait made too.

Therefore, I’m happy to undertake private commissions, which have become very popular as I make my way around the coastline.

If you think a fellow crew member would be interested, feel free to share this page by email but please avoid sharing it on social media!

The Lifeboat Station Project by Jack Lowe
Private Commission: Colin Stewart, Arbroath RNLI, June 2018


I charge £195.00 to make a portrait on the day, which is payable in advance using the ‘Add to Cart’ button at the bottom of this page.

For this price, you will receive the following:

  • A signed, numbered archival print from the glass plate, just like the prints I sell here;
  • A low resolution digital file optimised for social media (many people end up using these as their profile photo).

The price also includes delivery of your print by Parcelforce.

Please note, these are very special rates for RNLI personnel within the context of my journey on The Lifeboat Station Project. I offer a print from the glass plate for this price as it’s the most practical and financially accessible way to own a record of the experience in the form of ‘a print from the plate’.

I am also happy to discuss the purchase of the original glass plate. However, please bear in mind that this is a different price bracket altogether — think of it like buying the original painting or sculpture from the artist.


Private Commissions are only booked once payment has been received. Click here to skip to the bottom of the page to book your commission.

If it happens that you’ve decided on the day of my visit, then please make your payment as soon as possible on the same day that I made your portrait (or pay with cash/card in person).

Ideally, I need as much notice as possible so that I know I’m carrying enough glass and chemicals.

The Lifeboat Station Project by Jack Lowe
Private Commission: Elis, Rees-Tom and Manon Jones, New Quay RNLI, September 2016


If you’d like to go ahead, I’ll need around an hour of your time. Sometimes, if all goes well, your portrait might be made within 30-40 minutes but you should allow an hour to be on the safe side.

Only a small number of privately commissioned portraits can be made on the day — maybe just one or two during the winter months and a maximum of three or four during the summer months.

If there’s enough demand at your station, I’ll happily schedule an extra day that’s set aside for making commissioned portraits.


With the best will in the world, I’m afraid that it’s highly unlikely I’ll be able to include a young child or pet in the photograph.

The exposure will be about 6-10 seconds long (depending on the weather), which is a very long time for a child or pet to remain motionless.

If you wish, you could try this experiment — ask your child or pet to stay still for a photo. However, rather than taking a still photo, video them for 10 seconds instead.

Once the 10 seconds is up, look back at the video and see if they’ve moved at all (blinking is fine).

If they’ve been completely motionless for the duration, there may be a chance that they can be photographed using Wet Plate Collodion. If not, I’m afraid it’s not going to be possible.


You can expect to receive your print about one month after I’ve finished the mission during which your portrait was made.

The Lifeboat Station Project by Jack Lowe
Tony Hawkins, Dover Station Manager and retired Coxswain, September 2018


The key points summarised:

  • The cost to make your portrait is £195.00;
  • Price includes delivery of one print from the original glass plate (further options available below);
  • Price includes a low resolution digital file optimised for social media;
  • Allow a maximum of one hour for your portrait session on the day;
  • Your print will arrive within a month or so of completing the mission.

If you’re happy with the above and would like to proceed, please pay using one of the buttons below (feel free to contact me if you have any questions before committing):

PRIVATE COMMISSION: includes 1 print from plate


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PRIVATE COMMISSION: includes 2 prints from plate


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One additional print from plate


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Two additional prints from plate
(save £25 per print)


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Presentation Box
Smart black 20×16 inch print box suitable for up to six prints


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