"Worked at the Wal-Mart photo lab circa 2006. It was actually a really chill job and I saw my fair share of weird stuff, and even a woman in a fancy hotel room with a towel folded in the shape of a cobra going up her... you get the point.
However, by far the weirdest thing I've ever experienced was a roll of film that had all of these awesome dynamic action shots of this one dude. It was him diving into water from tall rocks, sky diving, dirt bike riding, etc. He was doing all of these amazing things and I was getting so jealous, but also excited to talk about this with him when he came in (I liked to have a relationship with the cool customers) But then I got to the end of the roll of film.... It was him. In a casket. He had died. I never found out how it happened or anything but it was just one of those shocking moments that sticks with you. I didn't expect him to be dead after watching him live his life to the fullest like that."
"A crime scene. I worked at a grocery store in the lobby, so I developed a lot of film. This was a picture of a man laying in bed missing the majority of his head. We called the police and they waited for the person to pick the film up, he was actually a detective and needed it processed right away so he gave it to me knowing full well what was on it, instead of using the police lab.
I was young and it was probably one of the worst things I have seen."
"A man came in with a few cans of 8mm film to be processed and digitized. It was something he'd 'had in the attic since the 70s, I think they belonged to his dad and he recently passed away and he was curious as to what was on them. He came in with his wife and kids and was full of anticipation and nostalgia.
Most reels we got at this processing company were Christmas or holiday videos full of happy times long forgotten. I processed the reels, and then captured the footage onto the computer. I then knew I had a difficult conversation to have and started trying to figure out what to say. Instead of a happy family home movie with his dad and the family bringing back warm memories, there were 4 reels of his dad, handlebar mustache, shell suit, wanking furiously on the bonnet of a Ford Capri.
The next day, his beaming son turned up with the family to collect the reels. Normally we play a section back in the studio just to show them its all worked and they're happy with the quality but I just had to take him aside and say, 'You might not want to show the family this.' Childhood ruined, he'd discovered a film of his dad wanking in the attic."
"I used to work Loss Prevention at Wal-Mart back in the late 90s. One day I got paged to the photo lab and the tech asked me if she should call the police. She handed me a set of black and white photos that she had just developed and they seemed to be photos of dead people. One had a guy hanging from a tree, another was a girl in a tub with her throat slit. I went through the stack and see if there are any live people in them.
We called the police and waited for them to come. An officer and detective showed up and looked through the photos and asked if we had the customers information available. The tech read off the customer's name and from behind us, we hear someone say 'Yes?'. There's a 20-something year old guy and girl standing there. The detective starts asking them questions when the officer says to me, 'Isn't that the dead guy and girl in these pictures?'
We look at them and as we figure out that they were faked scenes, the detective is told the same thing by the couple. They were shooting for scenes for an art gallery and really didn't think anything was wrong."
"I once had a 20-ish year-old develop photos of her giving a gentleman what looked like a great time, complete with pearl necklace at the end.
She came in to pick them up with her dad, and the look on her face when she opened the envelope to check the pics was priceless. She'd clearly forgotten what was on that roll of film. I, however, will never forget."
"Used to work at Target photo lab when I was 16 (2006). Which was illegal but my store told me to 'run to customer service if OSHA ever came in.' Anyway... Target's policy is that it is up to the employee's discretion to develop whatever they are not morally opposed to, as long as it was not illegal. Being that I was 16 this probably shouldn't have applied to me but I didn't care.
Best: Guy I was sort of starting to date in high school had his little sister come in and develop a role of film with photo editing. That means I preview the photos and edit them before printing.
It was just a bunch of photos of trees and stuff until I came to pictures of pieces of paper on a picnic table that in each picture said... will... you... go... to... homecoming... with... me? He then came in to pick up the pictures himself for the answer and I obviously said yes. Really nice guy but his mom hated me for calling their Italian foreign exchange student 'pushy.' I could have called her an awful b-word, like she was but apparently 'pushy' was too much so there went that.
I got lots of pics of kids without clothes on but never any I reported cause they were obviously super innocent. Tommy's first bath with a rubber ducky. Lucy and Kate running through the sprinkler for the first time. You get the idea. It's VERY easy to tell, if you have half a brain, what is normal and what is inappropriate for a child."
"The weirdest ones I saw involved a middle aged couple who either owned a million pets, or got friends to lend them pets for awkward photo shoots. They came in every week with a new set to develop - cats in football uniforms, guinea pigs with glasses, etc. One time I developed a photo shoot of a bunch of lizards dressed like cowboys in front of a cardboard box colored to look like an old western. Weird stuff."
"Back in 1990 I was 16 and I worked for a privately owned one hour photo in a truck stop. My boss was known for developing anything people brought in (except stuff that was explicitly illegal) and so I saw a lot of homemade smut when I was 16. This was before the internet and I was just a naive young girl.
It was really bizarre for me. My favorites was this skanky couple in their 50s and they always brought in pictures of themselves getting it on and smoking who-knows-what. It was pretty shocking. Then in 1995 I got on the internet and nothing was shocking after that."
"Well, other than private parts, I developed film for some older lady whose 50 year old son went missing. They found his body in a field 8 days afterwards and even though it wasn't his actual body it was of where his body was in the picture. Think of a snow angel but in a patch of tall grass and completely black and bloody.
It also turned out I was the last person to see this guy alive (I sold him batteries). Oddly enough, this lady thinks that her other son killed him. So I'm not sure what about it was more shocking, the fact that it was a photo from a crime scene or the fact that I saw this dude the night he got murdered."
"Many years ago I worked the night photolab shift at a Walgreens. I saw more than my fair share of all the gross things you would expect someone to bring in at 2am to be developed. But the most memorable was a guy that worked at a local gentleman's club. He came in every 2 or 3 weeks with several rolls shot of stage shows and in the dressing room of all the girls. He would wait on them to get done then stand there at the counter going through them trying to show them to me."
"Worked as a custom black and white printer. Saw lots of gross stuff, but the weirdest thing I saw was when I was putting together a large order of old family pictures. Lots of pictures of children growing up through the 50's and 60's. About halfway through the order I realized one of the children was Sigourney Weaver."
"I used to work at a Walgreens in the photo lab and was standing there watching a stack of photos print off. They appeared to be of an Easter party for some young children at first, then it went to all the children sitting at a dining room table with their Easter baskets in front of them. First picture, they looked happy. Second, they were frowning. Third, downright crying. By the fourth or fifth it became apparent what their issue was: there was a giant stem of broccoli in each of their baskets."
"I once developed pictures for a guy who had pics of himself in his underwear and hiking boots out on a trail..... Then there was another group from someone else of detailed pictures of a deer that had failed at jumping a decorative fence and impaled its self on the top."
"I worked at Ritz camera around 2000. One day a woman came in with a cop and explained that she had a roll of film with her stillborn baby on it. Cop was there to verify it wasn't illegal. She was beyond nervous . .. she asked if I could make it look like the baby was alive. The stillborn pics were bluish grey so I did what I could to 'warm it up' since Ritz guaranteed the best colors possible. She was thankful, I took the next day off and the cop came back later to explain that the woman lost her uterus due to some complication during the birth. The lady just wanted to remember her only chance at having a kid. I think the woman was trying to get her photos done with as little grief and questions and talking as possible so she brought the cop to help."
"I was a Head Photo Specialist for Walgreens in college. We sold a reusable 'disposable' camera that would get loaded with film for free every time they brought it in for 1 hour processing. Two young girls were with an older man and they brought in a camera for development.
The pictures began innocent enough, but around 10 images in they became very graphic. I immediately covered the drying rack and alerted my Store Manager. One look at the images and he had the local PD on the phone. About an hour later the girls came in to pick up their images and the police stepped in to speak with them. The older man was in the car waiting so another officer went outside and brought him in.
Turns out the man was one of the girls' father and while he was working his daughter and her best friend decided to do their best to mimic images they found browsing the internet. The images and negatives were destroyed and the girls were given a lesson on how dangerous this could have been for them (and the father)."
"My dad's friend (Dale) lives in Colorado and he has a cabin in the mountains. Well he had gotten his hunting license taken away, so my dad asks him why he had it taken away. So dale says that there was a bear breaking into cabins nearby and was a potential danger to the people living there. So long story short dale shoots the bear out of season and is caught. He was caught by the women developing photos. The judge says to dale 'I probably would have let you go if there wasn't these pictures of the bear.' Turns out he had taken multiple pictures of the bear sitting at a card table with a hat on, cigarette in its mouth, sunglasses on, bottle in paw, with a deck of cards."
"I was unlucky enough to develop illegal images of a child once once. We called the cops of course who required copies and instructed us to package the film as normal and call them after the customer came in for their pictures. When they came in it was tense and they opened their pics and flipped through them like nothing was unusual. Super creepy. No idea what came of it other than 1 angry phone call from the customer about us 'getting their name on a list again'.
Never heard from or saw them again. Also, these were regular customers we'd known for years. And the pics were of their children."
"My mom 'developed' photos (or whatever you would call it these days) for years. She said she would get dirty pics once in a while, never anyone you would want to see nude anyway. We also lived next to a very popular mountain bike park, and one time she found some photos of a guys mangled leg/ankle after he had snapped it. Worst was a bunch of pictures of kids in inappropriate positions. She had to call the cops, obviously. I feel like he must have wanted to be caught or something."
"A 360 degree view of a girl on her knees. It was relatively softcore, but I thought it was so odd that the dude had shot 24 photos in a circle around her. Also! Pictures from a bachelor party. The party went south, people were covered in who knows what bodily fluids and the whole place was wrecked. I did about 500 double takes while processing that one."
"This story is about a former co-worker of mine. I used to work at a big health store, some of the stores can develop pictures. We usually deny requests to develop pictures near closing because it would be too time consuming as we have other closing duties.
Apparently some guy came in and pleaded with my co worker telling him that he needed these pictures out as soon as possible and that he'll be back in a hour or so to pick them up. So my co worker decided to develop pictures. That's when he realized all of the photos were just snaps of literal excrement. Like a number 2 on the toilet, in the grass, on a chair, just everywhere.
Obviously the guy didn't come back and my co worker was livid. Hands down the funniest thing a co worker has told me, I still give him a hard time about it when I come in to visit."
"I work at a 1 hour photo lab. Some lady printed out pictures of her infant son's circumcision. That one was probably the most shocking to me. We had a woman come in who was probably in her 50s. She tried to print out some nude pictures of herself. Me and my coworker had to explain to her that we couldn't print them because it was against company policy. She got mad and told us, 'But I still look good for my age! See?' Like as if we were going to agree with her and let her do it. This one's not really shocking, but it makes me laugh when I think about it.
I had a little old lady come in one day to print out some pictures. She calls me over to the kiosk and asks for my opinion. She has a bunch of selfies and wants to know which one is the best because she's going to try online dating and needs a good profile picture.
The saddest one was a lady who was about 45-50 years old. She came in to get some pictures of herself printed. She said she was trying to choose pictures for her obituary because she'd just been diagnosed with some disease and doctors told her she may not live past another 6 months. I really had no words for that one. Completely caught me off guard. Most pictures I print are of vacations, family, friends, babies, pets, etc. But this one still haunts me. I'm pretty sure it's been over six months since I seen that woman. Makes me wonder how she is..."
"During my time in a Walgreens Photo Lab years ago, the funniest thing I recall seeing was a roll of film from a party. The guy who dropped the disposable camera off appeared in one of the pictures in tighty whities wearing a cowboy hat, boots, and a belt with toy six-shooters while he was chugging a large bottle of something.
The creepiest involves a story. An older man in his 50s or so came in looking really nervous. When he dropped off his film, he had a weird rambling story he gave me about how his son and daughter-in-law abused his granddaughter (who was about four) and that his lawyer instructed him to take some pictures, so not to worry about what I saw because his lawyer said it was okay.
His granddaughter was not in the kind of poses you'd think a lawyer would tell you to take to prove abuse, and there weren't marks on her or anything. It was pretty sickening. As per company policy, we called the police, developed the film, and made a second set to turn over to the police (with the address/phone number/name the customer gave us) as evidence. We weren't ever told what happened, but I never saw the guy again, so I hope he's in prison."
"I finally have an excuse to tell this story! About 5 years ago I worked at a Walmart photo lab. At the time I was by far the youngest employee and everyone else in the photo lab could have easily been my grandmother. There was a online order system at the lab where a person could submit pictures online, they would print out, and then the customer could come pick them up. When a person submitted an online order, a little label would print out with the persons name and how many of each size of picture they wanted.
One fateful afternoon a label printed out with the name Jon Doe, which i remember laughing at briefly. I went over to the printer to grab the order as it printed and BOOM 8"X10" glossy of tub girl. You haven't truly seen tub girl until you've seen it 8X10 glossy... Anyway about this time the label printer started spewing out orders non stop with names like 'lolololol', '133713371337', and 'F you'. I ran over to the computer to see that about 100 online orders had been submitted and most of the pictures were either smut, memes, or insults. My 60 year old female boss then came to see what was up. I tried to explain to her that people were playing a prank on us and we needed to shut down the lab. She understood but insisted on seeing the pictures... Despite my warnings.
You ever seen a internet noob exposed to all the filth of the internet in the span of 30 minutes? Cause I have... It ain't pretty. Ultimately we shut down for a few hours and canceled any orders that came from the internet. We called the cops but since there was nothing illegal they didn't really care to do anything. The thing was this went on for months. Not to that extreme but at least once a week for as long as I worked there.
At one point someone printed off a screen shot that had a Web url in it, which lead to some board over at 4chan. I went and looked at it and it had some instructions on how to troll Walmart by submitting fake orders. The worst part was it didn't say to whatever Walmart you felt like submitting to, it said to submit specifically to the one where I worked.
All in all it wasn't that big a deal but I did get to explain what a Rick Roll is to a bunch of old women, so that was neat."
"I worked at a CVS photolab like, 14 years ago. Back then, the developed pictures would fall from the top of the machine into a shelf below, and a motorized arm would push pictures off to the side into a neat little stack. I threw in a roll for development right before lunch. Came back, and the photo on top was some dude's dong, clear as day. It had been sitting there in plain sight for at least 45 minutes. Those kinds of pics were a common occurrence, but I found this scenario particularly funny."
"Funniest moment was when a guy walked in and said, 'So, uh, do you develop photos?' 'Yes,' I replied, politely, even though it was a dumb question.
'Well, CVS developed my negatives, but they won't print my photos because of what's on them. Will you?'
'Sir, as long as there's no kids in them I really don't care.'
'No, it's just me. But since I already have the negatives, I only want to develop the ones I like.'
'Sure, why not.'
So, I turned on the backlight and we proceeded to discuss which self-portraits of his junk were actually worthy of printing. To be fair, if I was hung like this guy I would've made posters and hung them in my living room."
"Used to work a few different places. Probably the most shocking was traffic accident photos from the police. The one that sticks in my head is an arm dangling out of an SUV window. Obviously the guy didn't make it, and it just seemed so sad. The grossest was industrial accident photos. Flayed hands caught in machinery, etc... Also lots of people being 'naughty' for the camera."
"Let's see: the miracle of birth several times, nude girl in a field (she was the one who dropped off the film and was attractive), unattractive woman in suggestive poses (digital, on a kiosk, so other people would have seen them as she made the order).
Mostly, especially with digital, you pretend not to notice something embarrassing stuff while helping a customer."