Friday, April 1, 2022

Discarding an oversized photo of yourself: A cautionary tale

Photo for illustrative purposes only

I upload dozens of random photos from around the neighborhood on the EVG Instagram Stories. 

Several months ago, I came across a poster-size photo of a couple (mid- to late 20s?) placed atop a mound of trash bags on a block along Fifth Street. I wondered why this poster ended up here. And why would anyone have a poster-size photo of themselves? 

This shot, which I deleted from my iPhone a while ago, was among some photos shared on Stories. 

The couple in the photo recently reached out to me. Let's call them G & M.

"A few months ago, you posted a photo in your Instagram Stories, which was a large poster of my fiance and me that we threw out while moving — because having a large picture of oneself is weird — and ended up just very prominently in the trash pile," G wrote. 


"A friend from Seattle actually sent me the picture asking, 'Hey, is everything OK' when he saw it." 

G was OK with me asking a few questions about all this. 

"You can definitely write it up if you want to — it might serve as a cautionary tale for other people who have an oversized picture of themselves they don't know what to do with." 

For starters, everything is all good with G & M! 

OK, so why did they have this wall-size photo of themselves? 

"The photo was used as a centerpiece on a table at our engagement party in November 2020, and then we were given it to take home. It sat in the corner of a room with stuff piled on it until we discarded it when we moved out," G explained. "It was a pretty stressful move, so as a large object we were tossing out, we just left it — I think on the basement or the trash room."

The couple moved from the East Village to Brooklyn in April 2021. The big pic sat somewhere in their former apartment building until late last year. Months! So they never knew the photo's fate until their friend from Seattle sent the message after seeing the EVG Story. 

G & M thought they had rid themselves of large photos of themselves. Turned out that another acquaintance saw the picture on the trash pile and documented it. 

And this past Christmas during an annual "Secret Satan" exchange with friends — where you give someone a gift making fun of them. The person who had M took the photo of their picture in the trash and had it blown up to approximately the size of the original one and framed. 

"So we're right back to having a strangely large picture of our faces at home," G said, "but we are planning on keeping it because it's a bit too funny not to."


Anonymous said...

So where is an image of the photo that is the basis for this story?

Grieve said...

I deleted the pic, along with dozens of others, months ago... and before I heard from them.

Anonymous said...

This is why I tear up any identifying paperwork of myself before throwing it out. I don't think I've ever tossed a photo of myself, but if I did, I would cut it up.

2ndAveSilverPanther said...

Anon @ 10:32 AM Like you, I rip up anything remotely personal before throwing it out. I learned that lesson when I moved to the East Village in 1974. I'm an actor, and I trashed some headshots. A couple weeks later, walking toward the 6train from 2nd Ave., I saw one of my photos taped to a light pole. Freaked me out, but never again.

JAMES said...

ALWAYS take your name off things being tossed. There is a whole industry of people taking someone's name and address and creating whole profiles for nefarious purposes.

Jose Garcia said...

Well here's their basic problem right there in b/w: "The couple moved from the East Village to Brooklyn in April 2021."

Anonymous said...

Haha yep

DrGecko said...

Judging from the photo, that couple looks like trash.

Anonymous said...


Sally Long Dog 🐶 said...

You should be able to find the photo in the archived story section in your Instagram (assuming IG hasn’t changed the feature).

Anonymous said...

Like the other people posting, I shred anything I throw out in the garbage whether it is a bill or a photo.