Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Photographic Obsessions

There is no way to truly know how you are going to react in a stressful situation. You can mentally prepare for it, you can train for it, but when the actual moment happens, there is a moment of spontaneous, unrehearsed reaction.

And sometimes people take a picture of this. We call them mugshots.

There are some websites that specialize in mugshots. The Smoking Gun has a regular feature where they display police mugshots. I have followed this for years and have even used the for photoshop experiments.

For example, this mugshot of an angry young K-Mart employee:

Becomes a motivational poster.

And this fella who has had a hard life:

Gets a little love after a trip to Olan Mills.

So you can imagine the joy that shot through my cynical heart when the Denton police got its own mugshot twitter feed.


I am completely obsessed with this. Every time someone is booked, a new photo is posted. I have been known to click through these pictures for hours.

Part of me wonders why I am so obsessed with mugshots like this. Is this sense of entitlement and superiority because they are criminals and I have not been convicted of anything? Is it a celebration in the way people don't really look like Hollywood starlets or Glamor Shots? Or is it because I am awaiting the day I see someone I know in one of these line ups.

Maybe it is a combination of all three.


heather said...

i solemnly swear that if there is ever cause for the local, state or federal police to take a picture of me for their mug shot collection i will request that a copy be sent to you immediatly. :)

Pamela said...

I won't. I would be afraid what you'd do to the photo!

Churlita said...

I love the customer service photo. It's perfect.