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Photographers Divulge The Strangest Images They've Developed For People

Back in the day, photographs had to be developed in labs, which means the people developing them got to see the images. And if you think smartphones and the internet gave birth to the weird and the naked, think again. Kids today will also never know the smell of film stores, which, if you remember, was amazing.

whats-that-s**t asked, People who used to develop photos for complete strangers as a job. What was the weirdest photo you developed?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.

Do people think developers don't look at their pictures?

My best friend worked in the photo lab of a supermarket we both worked at during high school.

A police officer mixed up two rolls of film he had - one being his family vacation photos and the other being photos from work (gunshot suicide victim). That messed her up a bit.

Just the way the Lordt intended.

I developed church directory photos. So many old guys standing behind their wives holding the wife's chest. Not even kidding.

Always, always look at the background in pictures.

Posted this before so it may sound familiar. My dad isn't a career photographer but he's super into is as a hobby. He has the fancy, bulky camera with the expensive lenses and lights. He has basically professional grade equipment as a hobbyist. One of his co-workers was getting married and asked my dad to be a photographer along with a professional one they had hired. He went, took pictures with the proper angles and all that then went home to edit and send them out to his co-worker and guests.

He was editing a photo of the bride and groom dancing and was doing some kind of low light balancing in the background when he noticed something...inappropriate going on in the background. Between the bride and groom were the dinner tables in the background. A couple tables back, in the low, shadowy light of the photo, was a woman pleasing a guy underneath the table. My dad was at just the right angle when taking the photo.

Imagine being this passionate about trolleys.

The trolley man. Once a week a middle-aged man would come in to have the photos on his SD card digitally printed. It was always photos of out of commission train cars. Anywhere in the neighborhood of 500-1000 photos each week of different trolleys. Figured it was a hobby of his that he enjoyed, but to drop $50 weekly on photos of trains stuck me as odd. To each their own though.

To be fair, Taco Bell is beautiful.

Not me, but my buddy worked as a photo tech the summer before we left for college. He said about once every two weeks this guy would come in and get photos developed of Taco Bell products. Like, really nicely arranged on his dining room table.

Anything can be sexy if you try hard enough.

I worked in a 1-hour photo lab in an Eckerd in the early 00s. We went through every picture that was dropped off and color corrected them so I saw EVERYTHING. One of my favorites was a picture of this larger woman in a mauve, velour mini dress posing on her hands and knees atop an HVAC unit behind her ratty looking duplex. It was so weird. Of all of the strange places to take "sexy" photos, that would not be the first choice.

I saw lots of other bizarre and random things in my 2 years there. Naked people, bizarre houses, dead people, the inside of chicken processing plants (which when taken with disposable cameras looked like something out of horror movies). There were lots of people who were regulars and so I basically had a rather voyeuristic view into the best moments of their life. It was an interesting job.

Some Avant Garde art best left to its devices.

Weird is all about perspective. I managed a supermarket minilab 20 years ago when 35mm was still king. I loved it. *trigger warning*

One that stands out was a series from an art student. There was a 1950's subversive series of quiet desperation. She did black and whites, dressed in a vintage housewife outfit, complete with the hairstyle... and had her head in the oven to mimic suicide. There was another with the perfect housewife suicide by toaster in the bathtub image.

She did a Betty Page series, too.

Well, this is embarrassing.

When I was in high school I briefly worked at the One Hour Photo at my local Target store.

For the most part nothing too weird, except for one guy who dropped off a disposal camera filled with close up pictures of his "bulge" in different pairs of underwear. He never came back in to pick up the photos.

"A 12-month calendar made of their friend passed out at parties." Genius.

I worked at a Ritz years ago right around the time they started to disappear. There are really so many standouts. Some bros got a 12-month calendar made of their friend passed out at parties.

There was a guy who always came in with multiple rolls of normal family photos but one time the last picture was him reclining nude on a couch with cans of beer surrounding him as he gazed into the camera. I removed the red-eye for him and I don't know if he ever noticed. It's really a thankless job.

There were some bondage rolls on occasion dropped off by the most mild-mannered man but they were, like, VERY amateur snuff film style with this big giant cowboy and lots of strangers coming and going from the scene. I never saw the cowboy in real life; only in the photos.

I imagine there were a lot of questions.

Slightly different perspective, but a few years ago one of my college roommates found two disposable cameras that had never been developed. We finally had the pictures made up about ~15 years after they were taken. Apart from a lot of group shots and alcohol, there was this one particular photo of a man and woman eating cereal at our dinner table completely naked. None of us have any idea who they were.

This is why you have strangers develop your photos.

Last summer I scanned a boxful of my grandparents' old negatives. There was a whole roll of my grandma posing naked in the woods and by a lake... I remember every time I hear from my grandparents. (shudders). Maybe that's why people get strangers to deal with their pictures...

Imagine the inconvenience of having to pay to develop your nudes.

I worked at a one hour photo back in the day.

So many penises. So. Many. Penises.

Even the eggplant meme isn't new.

My mom worked in a photo lab years ago and these are the worst things she saw...

An infected penis piercing.

Jesus was supervising the preparation of the car.

Worked in a photo lab for almost 10 years, lots of weird ones. My favorite was a guy who dropped off a standard 24 roll. The first 12 pictures were of an older car that he was restoring, in various angles and lighting. He had a portrait of Jesus that he kept moving so that it was in the bottom of each picture. The other 12 photos were of him having sex with his girlfriend in the car. The portrait of Jesus was not in those pictures.

Brought something hard to be developed...

Not a developer but worked in a pharmacy that had photo service. This hot guy came in every week with rolls of pictures for development. One day I could not stand any more suspense...and peeked.

They were core sample photos.

Gets weirder...5 years later we move to a diff state. Guess who was our new next door neighbor? LOL. Geologists.

Must have been one special shoe.

Saw all the normal stuff. Intentional nudes, peephole stuff, party scenes, or could just be fooling around.

The strangest? Had a guy who came in with an entire roll of a woman's shoe. Like 36 pictures of one single woman's shoe. Staged. Backdrop. The works.

Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

Life is hard. It's a miracle to make it through with some semblance of sanity. We are all plagued by grief and trauma. More and more people of all backgrounds are opening up about personal trauma and its origins. Finally! For far too long we've been too silent on this topic. And with so many people unable to afford mental health care, the outcomes can be damaging.

All of our childhoods have ups and downs and memories that can play out like nightmares. We carry that, or it follows us and the first step in recovery is talking about it. So who feels strong enough to speak?

Redditor u/nthn_thms wanted to see who was willing to share about things they'd probably rather forget, by asking:

What's the most traumatizing thing you experienced as a child?
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Image by klimkin from Pixabay

Being single can be fun. In fact, in this time of COVID, being single can save lives. But the heart is a fickle creature.

And being alone can really suck in times of turmoil. None of us are perfect and it feels like that's all anyone is looking for... perfect.

Now that doesn't mean that all of us are making it difficult to partner up. Sure, some people are too picky and mean-spirited, but some of the rest of us are crazy and too much to handle. So one has to be sure.

The truth is, being single is confusing, no matter how much we try to match. So let's try to understand...

Redditor u/Mcxyn wanted to discuss some truths about love and our own issues, by asking:

Why are you single?
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Tiard Schulz/Unsplash

Whether you're an at home parent, a college student just leaving the nest, or a Food Network junkie, there are a few basic tips that everyone should know.

Chef's gave us some of their top tips for amateurs and beginner at home cooks that will really make a difference. They are trained professionals with years of experience in the kitchen, so they definitely know what we're all missing.

If you're looking to improve some of your cooking skills and techniques, but you're still learning how to boil water correctly, this list is for you.

Redditor BigBadWolf44 wanted in on the secrets and asked:

"Chefs of Reddit, what's one rule of cooking amateurs need to know?"

Let's learn from the masters!


What a common mistake!

"A lot of the time when people add salt to a dish because they think it tastes flat, what it really needs is an acid like lemon juice or vinegar."

- Vexvertigo

"Instructions unclear I drugged my dinner party guests and now they're high on acid."

- itsyoboi_human

"Yes! Or tomatoes. They're pretty acidic too and go with so many things. Our dinners are so much better once the garden tomatoes are ripe. Or if a dish is too acidic, oil/butter or a little sugar can help add balance to it."

- darkhorse85

"Like tomato and eggs. Every Chinese mom makes those slightly differently and I haven't had a tomato egg dish I didn't like yet."

- random314

"There's a book called 'Salt Fat Acid Heat' that comes highly recommended to amateur cooks."

- Osolemia

"Reading even just the first chapter about salt made a lot of food I cooked immediately better, because I finally understood salt wasn't just that thing that sat on the dinner table that you applied after the meal was cooked."

- VaultBoy42

"Salt is important for sweets. A batch of cookies without that little hint of salt doesn't taste quite right."

- Osolemia

Unfortunately, this tip might not be accessible to everyone. Many people who contracted COVID can no longer use their sense of smell the way they used to.

"Have a friend that lost his smell from COVID, and now he only recognizes if food is salty, sweet, sour or bitter."

- AlphaLaufert99

"Just wait until he gets his sense of smell back and a ton of foods smell like ammonia or literal garbage now. Yeah, that's fun... It's been 7 months for f*cks sake just let me enjoy peanut butter again!!!!!!!!!"

- MirzaAbdullahKhan

You can't take back what you've already put in.

"You can always add, but you cannot take away."

- El_Duende666

"I find people's problems usually are they're too scared to add rather than they add too much."

- FreeReflection25

"I see you also grew up white in the mid-west."

- Snatch_Pastry

Safety first!

"Not really a cooking tip, but a law of the kitchen: A falling knife has no handle."

- wooddog

"I'm always so proud of my reflexes for not kicking in when I fumble a knife."

"If I drop anything else, my stupid hands are all over themselves trying to catch it (and often failing). But with a knife the hardwired automatic reaction is jump back immediately. Fingers out of the way, feet out of the way, everything out of the way. Good lookin out, cerebellum!"

- sonyka

"Speaking of KICKING in. On first full time cooking job I had a knife spin and fall off the counter. My (stupid) reflex was to put my foot under it like a damn hacky sack to keep it from hitting the ground. Went through the shoe, somehow between my toes, into the sole somehow without cutting me. Lessons learned: (1) let it fall; (2) never set a knife down close to the edge or with the handle sticking out; (3) hacky sack is not nearly as cool as it could be."

- AdjNounNumbers

"Similarly, NEVER put out a grease or oil fire with water. Smother with a lid or dump baking soda in there (do not use flour, as it can combust in the air making things worse)."

- Metallic_Substance

How else will you know it tastes good?

"Taste the food."

- OAKRAIDER64

"Also don't be afraid to poke and prod at it. I feel like people think the process is sacred and you can't shape/flip/feel/touch things while you cook them. The more you are hands on, the more control you have."

"No, this does not include situations where you are trying to sear something. Ever try flipping a chicken thigh early? That's how you rip a chunk out of it and leave it glued to the pan until it's burnt."

- Kryzm

Here's one just for laughs.

"When you grab a pair of tongs, click them a few times to make sure they are tongs."

- Kolshdaddy

"People really overlook this one. You've gotta tong the tongs a minimum of 3 times to make sure they tong, or else it can ruin the whole dish."

- BigTimeBobbyB

If you're looking to get into cooking or to improve you technique, pay attention to these few tips.

Salt generously, add an acid to brighten things up, and don't forget to taste your food!

If all else fails, you can always order take out.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Victoria_Borodinova/Pixaba

As part of the learning process, children often do embarrassing things before they learn a little more about the world and all the different implications therein. While the inappropriate moment is usually minor and ends in laugher some instances are truly mortifying.

One such instance involved a little sister who was around 6 at the time. It was the 90s and at the height of the youth-focused PSAs (think the frying egg representing your brain). One type was a safety PSA about stranger danger. The speaker would remind the children that if a stranger tried to take you anywhere to yell “Stop, you're not my mommy/daddy" to raise the alarm.

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