I received an email from someone asking if I would process some film that he had found in his desk. The rolls of film he said were very old, from his “college days” back in the eighties. As a member of the Class of ’84, I was intrigued and it made me remember how back in the early days of one hour photo printing, subject matter was always a concern. Remember the days of “caught on film?” There even used to be a company called Discreet Photo Services. You could mail order film to this so called safe haven, and get your pot plant photos back without any risk of some Walmart employee calling the cops.
When I printed photos here at the lab, I have to admit I did look twice at the sexy photos every now and then, but we never considered making copies of things, it was just a perk (sorry) of the job, and of course you lose interest after you’ve worked here a bit. Nowadays the workers here don’t even blink at what comes through as there is so much free crap like Girls Gone Wild, that we have become immune to any tantalizing photos that we see. I want to make it clear that we conduct ourselves professionally. We look at every photo to insure quality of color, etc, and believe me some stuff we’d rather not see. And we don’t run down the hallway saying , “ooh I just saw a boob photo.” Okay, there was this one sordid moment that happened many years ago, and the worker was quickly sacked. The lab tech in question had printed a roll of film and decided to show another customer some “super hot photos.” The customer has a look at the photos and says, “that’s my girlfriend.” Small town I guess.
It’s amazing how little discretion the amateur photographer has today. Much like people volunteer personal information on Facebook, people also seem cavalier about photos, and what they are willing to show. Has digital made us lower our guard? Racy photos used to be better too. I think that’s why they invented grain because some things are better kept in low light or low fi, or even arty.
So now that you are confident in our discretion here at Photoworks, go ahead and send in those rolls of film that you find in an old camera or sock drawer. I promise you, I WON’T LOOK…….