I am 100% glad I wasn't around this hobby during the "old" days. Trying to get snakes to pose is a pain. I can't imagine what it would cost to get a decent picture. I probably take dozens of digital pics and only a few are of any use at all. It would cost a fortune in developing the old fashioned way just for a handful of pictures...
Also, I wouldn't buy any animals without seeing pics first either. Just want to know what I am getting before I shell out. There are only a select few around here I would buy a snake from sight-unseen...