Internet sleuths try to find out who owns a handful of photos after a man finds an old camera at a thrift store and has the film developed.
Jovell Rennie, a photographer and producer living in Anchorage, Alaska, has been turning heads with his viral Twitter post that is getting people talking. The post, shared on June 8, has garnered 119,900 likes and 8,800 retweets since it was shared under the username @Jovell.
According to the American Psychological Association, research has suggested that people who take photos of experiences generally enjoy the moment more than people who don’t participate in the photography of the event.
The study was conducted with 2,000 participants, finding that in most cases, people who photographed an activity had an increase in enjoyment levels. They also admitted to being more committed to the event.
“A few months ago I bought an old camera from a thrift store in Joshua Tree, CA,” reads Twitter. “There was a roll of finished film in it, so being curious, I had it developed. These are from that roll.”
The first image showed a man and a woman all dressed up in what looked like a hotel room. The man wore a suit with a red waistcoat and a bow tie, while his partner, whom he had an arm around, wore a black and gold sequined dress. They both smiled for the camera while filming with an entertainment center behind them.
There is also another photo of the same woman wearing a leopard print cardigan as she sat at a table and smiled at the camera. On the table next to her were a number of items, such as papers, medicine, and food.
The next photo of the couple showed them sitting together on a sofa as the woman in a purple dress held a gun in both hands. Her partner, dressed in white, held his arm around her while using his other hand to also lift one side of the gun.
Next, a different man and woman stood side by side in a kitchen as the woman held her arm around the man’s waist as he smiled at the camera.
Many people weighed in on the viral Twitter post, and detectives got to work determining who the mystery couple might be. A Twitter user zoomed in on the table the woman was sitting at, but the name could not be made out on the bottles.
“I’m really trying with my weak Photoshop skills here, but I was able to at least know these are Walmart prescriptions,” the user said. “If it wasn’t already obvious. I’m still trying though. Another Twitter user pointed out that the peanut butter was Great Value, so it must have come from a Walmart.
Another mentioned a hidden cake plate in the final photo with the second couple. The Twitter user also shared another photo of what looked like the same type of plaque.
“OMG!” they wrote. “Look at this cake plate, I’ve never seen another like this other than the one my mom made in the 70s! I knew it was from a mold, but even their paint is getting looks like.”
Another Twitterer was impressed with the glimpse of the past and thanked the OP for sharing.
“Wow, look at the old school furniture [in] the back,” they said. “We had a similar TV stand with the little flip-up sides that closed over the screen. It’s like a time capsule.”
Another user mentioned that it looked like a “motel” to them, adding, “Furniture and grill high on the wall.”
A Twitter user found the type of plate hanging on the wall with the image of the seated woman, adding a photo of a set for sale.
“The farthest I got was the plaque on her wall,” the user said. “Since the 70s.” Another user said her grandmother also had the same plates.
Another Twitter user zoomed into the kitchen table and located a document that appeared to have the words “Waltzin’ down the Mississippi” written on it. “Wait, they’re from Mississippi,” the user said.
Another user thought they were from California, but based on the mark of a bottle displayed in another photo, and they thought the paper was just mail.
“It looks like a courier to me,” they said. “It could be the theme of a party or a holiday marketing item. I’m pretty sure they live in [California] because of the Smart & Final bottle in one of the shots and because of where this film was found.”
A Twitter user shared an enlarged photo of a July 1999 calendar featuring the seated woman. On the front page was a framed photo of a person whose face had been cut off as she sat at a table.
“It looks like a framed photo placed over the official calendar photo,” they pointed out. “Maybe someone will recognize this photo. Person wearing a teal top and long braids. On the table: gift bag, black purse, two drinks.”
People are hoping the couple will be found, and one user said they seem “so interesting and adorable. I would be so thrilled if by any chance Twitter and the internet could reunite these photos with their owners.”
Other people seemed to really enjoy the images from the past. “It makes me so happy,” one Twitter user said. “They are someone’s grandparents, their mothers, fathers, neighbors, aunt, uncle. And we can see them in their joyless moments. What a privilege. I hope these people are alive, but if they are no longer with us, I hope they lived well.”
A Twitter user gave some people hope by saying, “Sir, I know the two people in this last one. [fourth] image. I’ll see if my family can identify the others in the other photos. #SmallWorld.” However, it was unclear who these people were at the time of publication.
Newsweek contacted Jovell Rennie for comment.
This isn’t the only viral moment involving footage. A man sneezing in his Costco membership photo charms the internet. A daughter’s “little” revenge on her bridezilla stepmother in their wedding photos is praised. Plus, a clip showing framed childhood photos in a thrift store has people talking.