Skip to main content

Further film vs digital dilemma

Dylan's Glamour Shot
Dylan's Glamour Shot
Lani Paulson Miller

To begin, the original issue brought forth here was from a digital memory card. However, this is an issue that has existed for quite some time. That is, material that is considered objectionable to the photo developer not being printed or being thrown out in some manner. The linked article details a family who, after taking their media card in to Wal Mart to have the photos printed, were arrested for child pornography.
The question is here, what parent does not have bathtub pictures of their kids or the comical picture of their children running around in their underwear. It’s totally innocent and it’s meant to have a way to hold on to that innocence of youth in our children. This illustrates a culture that has become way too sensitive and has lost track of tradition and that sense of family.
So here’s the dilemma. Digital photos can easily be printed at home with a relatively inexpensive printer and fairly inexpensive paper. This overcomes the issue and allows you to print and keep whatever treasures you want. Now let’s be clear, this is not advocating anything that would clearly be considered exploitation or damaging to a minor. But those innocent, cute little photos, those should be able to be kept. To continue this dilemma, let’s say a person wants to take some boudoir shots of their partner. We’re not talking anything super racy, but just something to remind them of the romance in their relationship. Something to provide their SO with a way to see how beautiful their photographer person of significance thinks there are. These will be rejected by almost any commercial developer at all with the exception of the mail-in developers who specialize in dealing with studios but many of these are not open to doing consumer work. With film, many professionals can develop their own negatives at home, but as far as making prints, not all have the room or ability. Therein lies the problem. Nobody will print these photos. Many of which have artistic merit or are family keepsakes.
It’s understandable for a company to not want to print anything that is clearly pornographic, especially when it involves children, but where is the line to be drawn. At this point, it’s being drawn way too rigidly. These parents should never have been arrested and this will severely limit a level of artistic expression that is a true shame to waste. This is censorship gone out of control.

For more info: