Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Once upon a time...

Once upon a time, I used to work in a one-hour photo lab in a drug store. (This was before I worked in the free-standing one-hour photo lab in what used to be, I think, a Taco Bell, but that's neither here nor there....)

Anyhow, every now and again a customer, usually (but not always) a woman, would come up and start to drop off a roll of film with us, and then suddenly think better of it and ask if she could drop it into the slot where it was sent off to our overnight photo service instead.

A quizzically raised eyebrow on my part would usually be responded to with a blush and a "Well, you know, it's those kind of pictures..."

"Ah," I'd reply. "In that case, you'd probably be better off leaving the roll with us. I mean, sure, me and Kristen will see them but... Look, if you drop that film in there, it goes to a big building full of people; it's not like it gets developed by a little elf in a tree someplace."

And it's true. I've known more than one person who worked in overnight bulk photo processing facilities who had the most amazing albums full of color glossy 8"x10" photos of strangers doing things that would turn you white.

That's why this story doesn't even nudge my surprise-o-meter.


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18 comments:

Paul said...

It is amazing what some peoples ego's demand they photograph. If you took a picture of it, you must want to show it off. Otherwise develop the film in your basement.

Most of the Eagles I know would disapprove, but would probably look anyway.

It is not like I am dead yet.

og said...

Digital photography has no doubt been the greatest thing that ever happened to amateur perverts.

Reno Sepulveda said...

Speaking of that shirt pocket camera...

Daddy Hawk said...

There is even case law addressing naughty photos in Texas. Trinity Universal v. Cowan 906 S.W.2d 124. A rare unanimous decision written by then Texas Supreme Court justice John Cornyn. The basic holding is that you don't have a cause of action for the mental anguish you suffer when your naughty bits are shared by photo lab pervs UNLESS your mental anguish is the result of physical injury related to the pervs activities.

Joseph said...

OK, now I'm stuck with a mental picture of you and Kristen in the little photo booth looking at steamy pictures of other women. Its like the start of a movie that should be made. "brownchickenbrowncow"

Tam said...

Joseph,

After a while, it's all just blobs of light and dark that need to be color balanced.

KevinC said...

Having spent time behind the photo counter myself, all I can say is...

Yep. Photo lab employees do such things.

Noah said...

"the most amazing albums full of color glossy 8"x10" photos of strangers doing things that would turn you white"

...with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was?

Don M said...

I knew a doctor that had a tattoo collection, all from his work supporting the county coroner.

Amazing art work on some of them.

Weer'd Beard said...

On a somewhat unrelated note, I remember plopping a Medium rare state in front of my wife one evening when we had first moved in together.

When she cut it open, she looked sheepishly at the meat, and after a second asked if I could put it back on the grill.

I noted that she had eaten a steak even redder than that one the other day in a restaurant.

She said "Yeah but that was a RESTAURANT."

When I explained to her that a restaurant had a kitchen full of total strangers who you couldn't see, from all sorts of walks of life....and her steak was cooked by ME.

She ate her steak, and it was delicious.

I also don't like the people who are fine eating meat if it comes out of the butcher's room in cellophane, but suddenly it is TOTALLY gross if just one person killed, butchered, and prepared the meat.

I mean I'd get it if it was gross old uncle Booger who we make sure sits on the down-wind side of the picnic table, But man there are so many variables you have to trust with farm raised beef over somebody's deer of the season.

Anonymous said...

"After a while, it's all just blobs of light and dark that need to be color balanced."

But some of the pictures did need more peoples opinion on color balance before they could be packaged up. The lab I worked in extra copies of customer photos were not made it was a firring offense, but the interesting photos did get shown around.

-Joat

Tam said...

Joat,

"The lab I worked in extra copies of customer photos were not made it was a firring offense..."

Oh, I think it's a firing offense at every lab ever, but some people apparently found it worth the risk.

Scott J said...

I don't even like mirrors seeing me naked so I always make sure I'm fully clothed in the proximity of an active camera.

Tim said...

Computer repair is the new photo lab.

Sabre22 said...

A former unit manager at the state prison where I work used to have a notebook full of pictures of this type that were taken from inmates in cell searches.o

kfg said...

"Computer repair is the new photo lab. "

I make it point to warn people, if only for my own protection.

Robert Harbaugh said...

In the 70's, a photo lab in Michigan ( If I recall correctly, it was a K-Mart lab)had employees that made prints and showed them to friends who recognized the people in the photos, who then informed the people in the photos of what was going on. The end result of the lawsuit was that the plaintiffs were awarded about a quarter million in damages (in 70's dollars). The end result for me was that my local lab then refused to develop or print ANY photo that had any hint of impropriety. It cost me a lot of money to then use a custom lab (Burrell in Indiana), but the side benefit was better quality photos.

Cybrludite said...

I suspect it's due to the fact that she'd have to try & look you & Kristen in the eye whenever she stopped into the drugstore, while the overnight photo lab folks are an unspecified someone they never meet.