Found Photos #1: Studio Portraits

1971 Mejuffrouw Ronners

You may have wondered why Retrospace hasn't done a post on old portraits - you know, the Olan Mills variety, the kind still hanging in your parent's house, much to your eternal shame.  I've covered vintage fashion and decor extensively, but haven't felt like putting up so-called "found photos".  The reason is the same reason I detest the People of Wal-Mart website.  It's condescending.

That being said, I'm over it now.  I shouldn't underestimate my readers - it's okay to laugh at ourselves.  After all, we all looked like this in the seventies.  It's good natured fun, really.  And it just wouldn't be right to keep some of these godawful treasures to myself.  These pictures belong on Retrospace - this is their natural resting place.  So, bring it on - here come some old studio photographs for your viewing pleasure!

Today, we're going to start with some portraits from a Dutch studio.  These are all "found photos" - i.e. they were not presented by anyone associated with the photo.  Rather, they were found at a flea market or antique store or something.  These all come from a set on Flickr, which you will be directed to if you click on the images.

1971 - Mejuffrouw Martens

I'm digging the heavy duty eye shadow and funky hairstyle. But, for me, it's all about the Hercules sandals. If she only had a cape, she could be a sidekick to Isis or something.

mej hatant ?

I remember when it was popular to dress in clothes that would've fit right in on Little House on the Prairie.  In the latter half of the seventies you had the shiny disco styles alongside clothes meant for square dancing.  Button front denim prairie skirts, calico patterns, and poofy sleeves were mainstream fashions back in the day.  Yes, boys and girls, this girl is actually dressed very fashionably.

geoff + gigi - september 1974

Yes, the seventies were the golden age of facial hair.... and, unfortunately, also of tinted glasses.  Something tells me these two were sexual dynamos -just a feeling I get.

Paar Dekker - Van Bergen

I'm a people watcher - I like to look at people and determine what they're like.  These two are an easy read: she's perky and talks real fast, and he's got a dry wit and thinks he's really smart.

Mejuffrouw Pollemans 1970

What's with the near upskirt in a studio portrait?

Mejuffrouw Traats 1971

Voted most likely to join Wicca.  A black cat on her lap would complete this picture.

mevrouw Wagemaker

Don't let her looks fool you. She will rock your world.

Mejuffrouw van Hoevelen - augustus 1970

I'm starting to get the impression there was only one chair in this Dutch studio.

Familie van der Vlies

Mom needs to look at the camera.  We can only hold these frozen smiles for so long. Where's dad?

familie Quintus - mei 1971

No comment. Press on.

mejuffrouw de Bruyn - augustus 1970

Very awkward postion to take on that chair - her ass is falling off the armrest.

Mejuffrouw Huybreghts

Given the necklace, I assume this is a girl.  Should consider growing her hair out and not wearing sweaters with zippers.

Luysterburg in de jaren 70

Holy crap.  Just.... holy crap.


  1. You didn't mention the awkward family photos blog: http://awkwardfamilyphotos.com/ I can never decide whether I like it or not. These kinds of pics have a strange attracting/repelling effect on me.

  2. I dare to say you take a second look at that second to last photo... why the weird necktie stuffed into that turtleneck... almost makes me think there is something to be hidden there. Adam's apple perhaps!?! Just a thought.

  3. Oh yes, Miss red & white striped shirt is the hit at all the office parties.

  4. People of Walmart is condescending? naahhhhhh, it's just the same old thing, funny once but grows old rather fast after that.

    I'm surprised no one else has mentioned the site My Parents Were Awesome. Genuine nonsnark nostalgia:


  5. These were awesome of course, but it's Gilligan's natty commentary that make 'em all so special--more please!

    BTW, that dude in the three piece (with his 'chatty' woman in the red) look eerily like a coupla 1969 Carpenters wannabes...

  6. Ms. Red and White Striped Shirt - what is she sitting on? Is it a chair turned upside down?
    She's actually quite attractive, but the ugly hair and granny glasses don't do her any favors.

  7. So ya the Ummm....wicca chick...YUMMM!

  8. Okay Gilligan I think it is time for you to do that contest of the 1970s versus the 1980s (weirdness etc.) and this post convinces me the 70s will win, hands down.

  9. Ms. Red and White shirt is Hot...weirdly HOt... I dig it!

  10. I find you're condemnation of "condescension" hilarious considering the whole point of this blog seems to be for you to bring out ephemera of the past for the sole purpose of condescendingly judging and mocking it so that you can wow everyone with how much more enlightened you are then your elders were.

  11. Fz- You obviously haven't read much of this blog. I'm forever criticizing present day stuff, while overly glamorizing the past into a veritable Utopia. What you describe is actually the exact opposite of what's going on here. In other words, you are giving criticism to a book of which you've read only one page. Way to go.

    I sense much bitterness in you fz.

    Every day I praise the music, movies, TV and everyday life of the 70's.... and you come here and accuse me of being judging and mocking because I poke fun at the fashions. Nice.

    And I assume when you say "hilarious" you mean that in the most condescending, judging, and mocking way possible.

  12. You should check out http://www.sexypeople-blog.com/. Lots of vintage portraits people send in, presented without commentary - so I appreciate that it's not directly mean to anyone.