12 Bleak Photos Left Behind On A Cruise Ship In The 90s

    A supposedly fun thing this photographer will apparently do again.

    Photographer Ian Hughes has a collection of unsold pictures he picked up on cruise ships he worked on in the early 1990s. He calls them the Love Boat Rejects.

    "They were prints that I found still hanging, unsold, in the photo gallery," he tells BuzzFeed. "I'd run around at the end of each cruise and pick out any that caught my eye."

    Hughes got the job as a cruise ship photographer after hearing stories about a friend of a friend of a friend from north Wales working on ships based in Miami.

    Hughes thought he'd come home with similar tales of excess and exotic women.

    Instead, he came home with these photos.

    "I loved working on the ships," he says, "but being naturally shy in a job that mostly involved grabbing strangers' attention, I was never really comfortable with it."

    "I'd dread having to go from table to table in the restaurant trying to persuade people to stop eating their meal, shuffle around, and pose for pictures."

    “My favourite is this one of the lady looking horrified at the camera. You can't explain pictures like that.”

    "We also did dress-up shots where one of us would run around dressed as a pirate or a viking to pose for pictures with the passengers. They were the biggest sellers. Sambuca got me through all that."

    "Other costume shots I had to do down the years included being a clown (no idea why), a grizzly bear, a lumberjack (both in Alaska), a penguin (in the Caribbean?!), Popeye, and Prince Charming on a gay cruise."

    "We worked long hours, seven days a week, shooting and developing the pictures by hand before selling them in the onboard photo gallery. The longest stint I did was 14 months without a day off."

    "We never had the internet in those days and rarely saw a TV, so you felt very removed from the real world."

    "Not getting any mail on the turnaround day in Miami was a heartbreaker."

    "Like the 1960s, they say that if you can remember it then you weren't really there. At least I have the photos to remind me."

    "In 1997, after eight years working on 15 different ships, four of them twice or more, I was ready to have a go at life in the real world."

    "I always said that I'd never waste a holiday by going on a cruise and being surrounded by the same people for seven days."

    "But I did go on a crew reunion cruise in the Caribbean in 2007."

    "I felt detached from it all. Everything seemed very over-organised, polished, and not very interesting."

    "Even the photographers looked like they knew what they were doing."

    "I'm hoping to go on another one next year."