By Skip Daverman
BALTIMORE – Stupendous Photos, a stock photo warehouse, caught fire last night and burned down to the ground despite the efforts of the Baltimore Fire Department. More than 125,000 photos, some dating back to the 1950s, were lost.
Shane Macklemore, owner of Stupendous Photos, said most of the stock photos weren’t scanned into their computers. “It’s just a shame,” he said. “We had some really great photos from the 50s and 60s. Vintage. We had your classic husband returning home to his adoring wife photos, your businessman drinking a martini with a woman on his lap photos, and even your rare husband spanking his wife like a child photos, which apparently was a thing back then. They aren’t too popular these days, but they were really well shot and popular back in the day.”
Most of Macklemore’s business came from selling stock photos to online advertisers. Many of the images are generic so they can be used in as many ads as possible, but there were just as many that were unique and specific for more adventurous ad agencies. Those were stored on databases inside the warehouse and were also destroyed.
“We had so many great photos,” said Macklemore. “We had a police officer holding a radar gun. That was our biggest seller because it scared people into clicking the ad for just about anything. We also had a gentleman with absurdly gigantic muscles, photoshopped, and that was also a big seller. But I always liked the quirky ones, like the woman with an egg in her mouth, the conjoined twins on the swing set in Hell, the Dalai Lama punching a supervillain, and my personal favorite, the elderly man dressed in a robe with the third eye in his forehead. That guy was real. No photoshop there. It was really only used for male enhancement ads for some reason.”
“It’s a real shame,” he continued. “The world’s going to be deprived of so many unique stock photos on their favorite websites, assuming they don’t use an ad blocker already. These were real works of art.”
Fortunately for Macklemore, many of the images were stored online via their web host, and his insurance will cover most of the damages. He also plans to replenish his stock photo cache as soon as possible.
“I’m hopeful for the future,” he said. “I know exactly the stock photo that represents that hope. It’s one with an elephant standing on a box with wings flying through the sky while holding a baby in its trunk by the diaper. It’s kind of an inside joke, but trust me, it makes perfect sense.”