You've Got to Be Careful When Shooting Photos Around Drunk People

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Gold DRE #00697006

I knew someday I would do this. That's why I have systems and don't deviate. Because the minute I make an exception to a system and change a process, that's when something horrible will happen. It just never fails.

I've often wondered when I would download photos and accidentally delete the originals without saving. For that reason, before I empty my trash folder, I always open the folder where I have copied the photos to verify they exist in that folder. Always. But not last night. Last night I dragged my photo folder to the trash, emptied the trash and ejected the card. Sure enough, there were no photos in the folder I had created. I did not copy the originals to the folder.

It probably serves me right for not following protocol. I set up that system so this would never happen. It has served me well over the years. At least these were vacation photos and not photos of a client's home. Because that would be the worst. I would hate to shoot a virtual tour and lose everything. That's never happened to me.

I am confident the guy from the bar last night is happy, though. We went to the Pioneer Inn, a bar I used to frequent 35 years ago in Nederland, a little mountain town in Colorado. I snapped a few photos while my husband was putting tunes into the jukebox. It's kinda weird that the jukebox now downloads songs from the Internet and you can pay by credit card and not with quarters. It's also peculiar to see gas meters in town and no propane tanks, not to mention entire shopping centers where trees once stood, and paved roads and sidewalks, so civilized.

This guy came over to my booth and threatened me. He accused me of "stealing his spirit" by taking photos. He was pretty vocal about it. You never know what a drunk person will do. I should have apologized but I laughed instead. I could have been pulverized right then and there, but I'm a pretty tough cookie. I sell Sacramento short sales. Nobody can threaten me. I told him I was too old and cranky to mess with and smiled broadly at him. He said he was older than me but he wasn't, by a long shot.

Finally, he yelled that he didn't care if I was 85. He stumbled off. It's a good thing he didn't demand that we settle this out back. I can generally tell when somebody is bluffing or maybe I'm just lucky. However, this guy would happy to know that his spirit is safe since all my photos are gone. I don't even think he was in any of them since I didn't get people in the shots. Kids these days.

Posted by

elizabeth weintraub



Weintraub and Wallace Realtors



Elizabeth Weintraub reviews




Elizabeth Weintraub is co-partner of Weintraub & Wallace Team of Top Producing Realtors, an author, home buying expert at The Balance, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown, Carmichael and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put our combined 80 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at RE/MAX Gold. DRE License # 00697006.

Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of RE/MAX Gold. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to

Comments (42)

Mary Stewart
HomeTrust Real Estate, LLC, Homes for Everyone - Wilsonville, OR
Wilsonville and Surrounding Portland Metro Areas

You handled this very well and my guess is along with some others he may well have been somewhere he should not have been.  His spirit was already having a hard time with him being drunk.

Jul 20, 2012 03:54 AM
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Elizabeth-Great story! This takes me back a few years to my much younger years when stuff like this would happen quite often. 

Jul 20, 2012 04:09 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Well I suppose since you don't have the photo his spirit is safe.  :)  Couldn't help myself from typing my first thought. LOL  I use a similar system where I verify they are copied to the folder before I delete from the card.

Jul 20, 2012 06:02 AM
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Two things, Karma bit you losing HIS photo when he did not want his spirit immortalized on a memory stick. Second he did not just leave. He thought you could kick his ass. Fun post Elizabeth. Maybe he was American Indian or something with that spirit thing... hmmmmm

Jul 20, 2012 06:07 AM
Bud & Beth McKinney
Cary/Raleigh/Apex NC - The Team That Cares, RE/MAX United

Interesting! You don't get many quite like that. What a unique story.

Jul 20, 2012 06:42 AM
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

...let's, drunks,  camera, spirit, ....yep, that sounds about right :-) LOL , I'm sorry about your photos, there is some mighty pretty country between California and here!

(I had to edit my previous really wasn't fair )

Jul 20, 2012 08:29 AM
Charlie Dresen
Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty - Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro

Funny post.  Sounds like you got lucky!

Jul 20, 2012 08:40 AM
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

"They paved paradise and put up a parking lot" is the first thing I thought of. Too bad you lost your pictures. Wish you could've posted his drunk mug here.

Jul 20, 2012 08:54 AM
Tatyana Makarov
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - South Windsor, CT
Your Greater Hartford Area Realtor

Wow, sorry you lost your photos... but I guess it could be worse..


Jul 20, 2012 11:44 AM
Walter Sadowski NYS Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Cafe Realty - Somers, NY
The Real Estate Resource

Elizabeth... A little piece of assistance is all it takes to recover those photos and everyone here would do well to install the following tool on your windows based desktop, laptop, pc, etc...

Go to the following link

This will install Glary Utilities, a free extremely useful tool

Once installed, open Glary Utilities








Hope that helps you... May not return that guy's spirit, but it will return the stills...

Jul 20, 2012 12:16 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

He may not have been drunk Elizabeth.  I know that some Native American Indians, and whole lot of Amish prefer to not have their picture taken, but for different reasons!  If I suspect this is going to be the case when taking photos, I tend to ask!  The most memorable time I remember was when I was in Lancaster County, PA, in 2009.  I had gone there to visit the Amish, but also was really interested in photoblogging the whole thing.  I was constantly asking for permission.  Some would provide it, some wouldn't!  But, I still came away with a totally different perspective about life!

Jul 20, 2012 12:41 PM
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County
Elizabeth: How you attack tghose short sales... I bet you would have f&**ed that guy up pretty good.
Jul 20, 2012 12:48 PM
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale
With the use of camera phones these days, everything has changed. Photos are taken all types of places. You'd think people would be used to it by now.
Jul 20, 2012 01:26 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Elizabeth - I wouldn't have  appreciated losing photos.  I'm a little crazy about them.  I guess his spirit was guarding him even after the capture?

Jul 20, 2012 03:35 PM
Phil Leng
Retired - Kirkland, WA
Phil Leng - Retired

Drunks - cogent, coherent, delightful!

He clearly had lots of spirits you couldn't steal with a camera


Jul 20, 2012 07:15 PM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Elizabeth that is 222222 funny.  It's a wonder the man has any teeth left.  Holding your temper was a smart move. 

Jul 20, 2012 09:46 PM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Rather than try to retrieve the photos, I reshot them yesterday. The loop I walked wasn't that big, even though my husband kept saying that the distance of "not too far" to a 22-year-old is a lot different when you're my age.

Jul 20, 2012 11:31 PM
The Isaacs Team LLC | Compass
1313 14th St NW DC 20005 - Washington, DC

Ha ha, funny post Elizabeth! Pay-back for spirit stealing is a b----, no?  ; p

Jul 21, 2012 01:18 AM
Robert Rucker III
Fairbanks, AK

Hello Elizabeth,

Congratulations on your post being featured. And what a great post it is. Pioneer Inn sounds like an interesting place. I can tell that you can handle yourself no matter what the situation.  I can't help but wonder how many tunes your husband put into the juke box and was the juke box in another room or something. Unless one of us is going to the bathroom, I natuturally keep my wife in line of site whenever or whatever if you know what I am saying. Even if i could not hear the words, I know my wife's body language. That drunk probably would have got it from both sides with me being the clean up man. Anyway thanks for sharing. 

Jul 21, 2012 03:19 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

even seems everyone has a lot of fun with idea or 'stealing spirits',

i tend to agree with Bill Travis.

I heard about it before, too.

What i admire about your posts, even describing such experience, you still remind everyone that you are a S.F short sale pro:)




Jul 21, 2012 07:45 PM

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