I was thinking the other day about anticipation versus gratification, and I was thinking about this specifically as it relates to taking photos: cameras we used to use that required a roll of film, as opposed to smartphones that take photos instantly.

Assuming some of you don’t know this, back in the day, all cameras were their own mechanism, they weren’t part of a phone, and you would have to load it with the film before you’d be ready to take photographs. Once you finished the roll of film, you’d have to take it to a film processor to get developed, which usually took about a week or so. If that sounds like a long time, it was. But that’s where the anticipation would lie. Rather than seeing them right away, you’d have to wait.

Also, what was great about these rolls of film, was they were sold in small, plastic canisters that ended up being the perfect sized container for stashing your weed, which wasn’t legal back then so you’d have to hide it. If you wanted to keep it in your purse or vehicle in an inconspicuous manner, you’d just pop some in a film canister and you’d be golden. Unless the cops opened it up, dumped it out, and crushed it into the ground with the heel of their shoe… goddammit!

There goes your stash, dumb ass.

When your film was ready to be developed, you would drop it off at the photos kiosks; small huts with one employee, and normally found in the middle of the parking lot. It was for convenience, so you could drive right up to either pick up photos or drop off  film instead of walking into the store to do it. They were always manned by some dude too, usually around eighteen or nineteen years old with long hair, maybe a few pimples, most likely stoned. Of course it was always guys who worked in those things, girls weren’t stupid enough to spend eight hours in a kiosk in the middle of a parking lot.

So the anticipation of using a film camera was the waiting to see what the photos looked like after getting developed, because most of the time, you snapped a bunch of them and never really remembered exactly what photos you took until you got them back from the lab.

Unless you took naked photos, then you remembered exactly.

Yes, I did. Look, there was some alcohol involved and it was with a boyfriend, big fucking deal. Lots of people did it. In fact, more people are doing it now than ever before, isn’t that right, Mr. Dick Pic? In fact I was just on Twitter last night and you wouldn’t believe how many assholes I saw!

You know how when you were younger and saw all these beautiful photos in a magazine spread, you wanted to take some of yourself and have them end up looking like the ones you saw in the magazine? Well, that doesn’t work with a shitty 35 millimeter camera; you have to have a professional camera with a professional wide angle lens and the right lighting and a backdrop and props and airbrushing (the Eighties version of Photoshop) and everything else… but how the hell were you supposed to know that when you were just a drunken little slut in a hotel room?


What you ended up with looked exactly like what they actually were: cheesy photos taken in some hotel room. I still thought I looked good though, comparatively speaking, meaning I’m comparing them with how I look naked today and I… well, I was a friggin’ Playboy Bunny back then comparatively!

I remember my boyfriend and I dropping the film off at the kiosk to get developed and being really nervous. We were leaving this roll of film in a stranger’s hands, and although photos at labs were mass processed, they could still be looked at individually for quality control.

Not only that, if you had the negatives, you could make as many copies as you wanted. Holy crap, that means there could potentially be naked photos of me in some fucking guy’s closet who used to work in the kiosk, and there’s a possibility he takes them out once in a while and pleasures himself while looking at me…

Jesus Christ…

…that’d be awesome!


Published by Clever Girl

Intrepid writer, reader and comedian.

11 thoughts on “Snap

  1. Ahhh.. from days spent working in the trade, the artful placement on certain prints of the helpful information stickers ‘Overexposed’ was a skill in itself.


  2. Oh, the agony of that week long wait… then the crushing devastation when the one or two really important pictures didn’t turn out worth a darn and there was no way to retake them. Oh, the good old days… LOL!


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