smelly guy

May 21, 2017

in blowg, foto

i once worked as a portrait photographer in the mall at [studio name redacted] during the middle of the recession and the rise of smart phones, so suddenly no one wanted studio family portraits anymore. it was very hard to book sessions and most of my job was just standing around and getting bitched at by my manager. i was often forced to leave my post in the back of the department store and stand at the entrance with a wheel of fortune type device on a stand. then, i would beg shoppers to spin the wheel and win a coupon for a free photo session.

it was a $15 flat fee for a session, plus we’d charge you out the ass for prints of portraits you got. these coupons waved the session fee and offered one free 8×11 print. inevitably, what families would do is take these coupons and just get the free shit without purchasing anything. then, it was my job to call them and nag them to buy more portraits or come in for another session. these phonecalls never accomplished anything. maybe i was terrible at this because i don’t have a background in sales or maybe people just didn’t give a shit. the store was doing so terribly they actually lost money on black friday. it won’t surprise you these mall portrait studios don’t even exist anymore.

anyway, one day a guy came in and spun the wheel and won a coupon for a free session and a huge complimentary portrait, a 20×30 print or something insane like that. there was only one or two of these coupons, presumably because the company phased them out because of how big the print is.

now, this guy smelled terrible. i don’t mean to be a jerk, but it looked like his teeth hadn’t been brushed in a year and his breath was really starting to bother me. something had grown in his mouth and died and now something else was eating that dead thing and getting sick and puking it up. normally, that kind of stuff doesn’t get to me—it’s not like i’m always showered myself—but this time it was too much. anyway, this dude looked at this coupon and decided he wanted to book a photo session right now. like now now.

so i packed up the wheel thing and we went back to the studio. what do you want? i asked, describing various photo packages. he didn’t know. he told me he was just waiting for a friend to meet him in an hour. so, because i was bored and this guy was clearly wasting my time, i posed him in the most whimsical positions i could think of.

i asked the guy to fill out some paperwork. he said he didn’t have a phone number. ok, i said. just put down your address.

i don’t have that either, he said. so i assumed this guy was homeless. i never saw him again and his giant 20×30 print arrived and sat at the studio for months. he never came back for it.

below, i have decided to include some of the photos, including some of the ‘fun’ borders that [portrait studio redacted] offered.

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