CHAMPAIGN, IL—A picture of Stacy, Kerri and Jill taken at Matt and Steve's recent back-to-school party came out great Tuesday, with some even calling it "amazing."
The glossy, 3x5 picture, taken by Jeff using Kerri's camera, is widely regarded as the best on the entire 24-shot roll. At least four people have already requested doubles.
Walgreens employee Aimee Hartley, who developed the picture in the store's state-of-the-art Kodacolor Lab, was immediately impressed with the shot.
"When I first saw the picture, I was blown away," Hartley said. "We get a lot of party pictures here, but this one is truly something special."
According to experts, what makes this picture so special is that its three subjects are total best friends.
"Stacy, Kerri and Jill are what is commonly known as 'complete best buds,'" University of Illinois history professor J. Walter Tillinghast said. "They do everything together: They rushed Alpha Chi Omega together, they eat meals and attend football games together—everything. Recently, the three even bought identical school sweatshirts."
National Archives photo historian Timothy Gruen offered a different explanation for the greatness of the picture.
"Jill was in New York all summer, so neither Stacy nor Kerri had seen her since May," Gruen said. "No doubt this contributed to the tremendous look of excitement on their faces."
The roll of film was picked up by Kerri late Tuesday afternoon after a long, frustrating delay.
"They said the pictures would be ready yesterday at around 3. So I go in [to Walgreens] at like 4 o'clock and they still weren't ready," Kerri explained. "They said to try back in like an hour, but I had class, so I had to come back today. I was so pissed!"
Kerri noted that when she finally did pick up the pictures, she "was like, finally!"
Despite the picture's widely recognized greatness, not everyone is pleased with it. "Ew, I look gross," said Jill upon seeing it for the first time. "I'm all sweaty, and my eyes are half-closed. You guys (Stacy and Kerri) look amazing, though."
Stacy strongly disagreed with Jill's assessment of the picture. "Jill looks amazing," she said. "I look gross."
While Kerri has promised to make copies of the photo for a number of her friends, many observers are skeptical.
"When a picture comes out great, doubles are very often promised," said Hal Wallace, director of Tufts University's Institute For Media Studies. "Very rarely, however, are those copies ever actually delivered."
Nevertheless, Kerri has made it clear that she is committed to following through on her promise to make copies. On Wednesday, Stephanie, a friend of the three, said to Kerri, "You have to make me a copy," to which Kerri responded, "Definitely!"
As for the future of the photo, Tillinghast predicted it will go in a photo album with other standouts from the past. "Kerri has an album of college memories into which this would fit perfectly," he said. "The album contains many great pictures of the three going all the way back to freshman orientation, including one from that time last fall when Jill and Stacy arrived intoxicated at Kerri's dormitory room at three in the morning with pizza sauce smeared on their cheeks. That was hilarious."
While the photo is clearly the standout of the roll, there are a number of other great shots. Among them is one of Chad Webber, who friends said "totally never drinks," doing a beer bong.
"That was so hysterical," Jill said. "He did, like, the whole thing!"
Other noteworthy shots include one of Steve and Jessica, moments before "hooking up," and one of Ryan vomiting all over Matt and Steve's carpet.
For all the accolades the picture has brought Stacy, Kerri and Jill, the three are not resting on their laurels: Should the opportunity arise, they said they would not hesitate to pose together again. "Josh and Aaron are having a huge party Saturday night after the game," Stacy said. "I am definitely bringing my camera."