You take a dream vacation, take lots of photos, bring them to a photolab, and never pick them up. Seems odd, but it happens all the time. About 10% of film and digital images ordered never get picked up. There are lots of reasons: people forget, don’t have money, lose interest in the subject matter, leave town, die………. Sometimes these photos are market “urgent” or “rush” because at the time it’s a freakin’ big deal. I have photos of babies being born, kids parties, Bar Mitzvahs, weddings, funerals, naked people, dog portraits, burning man crap, actor headshots, artwork, and everything under the sun.
I can see losing interest in a digital order since it’s on someone’s computer. But negatives and prints??? This is not dry cleaning! And by the way, we make every effort to contact the owners of the photos, and some people do eventually collect their property, but I have pictures here from The Eighties.
So, here’s my idea: I’m thinking of putting together a photoshow of a bunch of the ‘left behind and abandoned” photos. A random collection of the stuff people decided was once important enough to photograph, but not important enough to pay the proprietor of the photolab for his developing services. Is this an invasion of privacy?? Hell yes, but obviously someone doesn’t care enough to protect themselves.
Maybe you will see someone you know on the walls of my shop and let them know that they have film waiting to be picked up. Maybe it’s a picture of you on the beach, or in Paris, or getting stoned in the park, or maybe it’s a shot of an ex-girlfriend from a happy time in your life, or maybe it’s a photo of your old cat, or your old Mustang convertible, or even your Mom and Dad……….