Found Photos #6: Portraits

My mother-in-law's house is wall to wall pictures like this.  To her, these pictures are wonderful memories of when her kids were young... to her kids, it's a blood curdling gallery of shame.  There's just something about those professional portraits from this era that just exudes "seventies-ness" in its rawest form.

The next three B&W portraits simply cry out for recognition on Retrospace.  You don't need color to exhibit that seventies flair, and here is the proof.  Is it possible to be both amazingly awful and amazingly awesome at the same time? I think these pictures will answer that question for you.

I can't quite figure this next one out.  It seems to be a dance photo, yet the dude isn't dressed for the occasion.  I know we were pretty casual back in the day, but this seems a tad too informal.  Where's the baby blue polyester suit with the butterfly collar?

The seventies weren't a particularly good time for folks wearing glasses.  Contact lenses weren't in use for the most part, and so you were stuck with maybe one or two versions of ugly.  The tinted ones were the worst.

Damn, I love these old anonymous photos.  What's the story with this couple? He looks like kind of an ass, and she looks like she likes to swing.  I guess I'm just too distracted by the hair to give a good assessment.

...and here's another similar couple with good looking girl with fugly male.... another couple of swingers? It was the seventies after all, so odds are they were.

And last but not least, here's a few from a brilliant photo set on Flickr. All found photos and negatives from the 70's and 80's by James Mc Intyre, Croton on Hudson N.Y... Beautiful to behold.

Found Photo - Powley twins - july 1977 - Croton on Hudson
Found Photo - Milano kids april 24 1978- Croton on Hudson
unknown - july 1978


  1. Jesus had zits!

    Somebody just learned to burn and dodge.

  2. HEY, that's my family portrait!! (the 3 boys & 3 girls right below the informal dance couple)

    I'm the one on the far left with the white sweater & groovin' polyester shirt--holy crap my sibs have been immortalized on Retrospace!!

  3. @Apache Doug: No way. This was found floating in cyberspace like unclaimed flotsam. You're pulling our leg right?

  4. The blonde (well, not really) girl doesn't look so much like a swinger to me, but as someone who is just waiting for punk to arrive. I see her emulating Soo Catwoman. The guy she's with will not follow. And is that a rug he's wearing?

  5. The '70s has always fascinated me. Its a strange era where, upon looking back, something always doesnt look quite right. Its as if the color or the tuning on a TV is a bit off, and the picture doesnt look just right. . . except its not TV, its actual real life. The odd hair, the odd colors (on clothes and furnishings), the odd styles... that permeated everyday life. Always interesting!


  6. I dont think Apachedug is making that up...in his photo album there are lots of family pics and one is of this group of kids i think. What are the odds? Go look its open for everyone to look.

  7. Anna you're right--that really is me and my brothers and sisters, taken in May 1977 (for a surprise birthday gift for my mom). Gilligan you really just found it floating around? Hahaha, omigosh!

  8. PS. If you click on the link below, its us kids again about 6 months later at Thanksgiving--I'm in the green plaid shirt and NOT wearing my 'ugly glasses'! ;)


  9. Yes Doug I actually saw the Thanksgiving one first...amazing and a bit scary to see our family posted on a blog I would think...Gil if you found that by accident floating aroud onthe internet then throw me some pick 6 numbers because chances are they will come out.

  10. 'Your' family I mean, not 'our' family...that was an iPad typo...

  11. Anna, I admit it threw me for a loop at first--but I'm such a big fan of Gilligan's Retrospace, I feel honored to see my family as a part of it. :)

    Still, what are the odds?!

  12. I just went to Anna's picassa link and I see the resemblance. Then I looked at other pics (the dad pics don't look like this dad) and got skeptical again.... but you sound like you're telling the truth.

    I figured this would happen sooner or later with these found photos... I just didn't expect it to be a regular commenter.

    And I promise I didn't know anything about the image...., I'm not even sure how Anna found your photo album. Bizarre.

  13. Gilligan, my dad isn't in that pic (or the link I posted)--it's me, my little brother, my big brother. Sitting are my 3 sisters.

    The Picasa link is easy enough to get to, if you click on my name here it goes to my blog page with my family's photo album on the right. Haha, trust me that's us--we still have that portrait in the family album with about 5 different poses.

  14. Why do I keep hearing Rod Serling's voice introducing the stories behind the Night Gallery of portraits.

    Of course, My mother and grandmother's house hold the same treasures.

  15. AnonymousJune 25, 2011

    In the very first pic, if the kid in the bottom right had red hair, he'd be the spitting image of Danny Bonaduce.

  16. AnonymousJune 25, 2011

    My parents had all five of me and my siblings HS graduations piccies hung by the front door in chronological order. When my parents were gone, and the house was emptied, ready to be torn down, they were still there. None of us would claim them, in their 8 by 10 faded color glory. Now, they are in the landfill where they belong!

  17. AnonymousJune 29, 2011

    Those dark glasses were never attractive, and a lot of the guys who had them, well...

    In that same picture, the guy on the lower right looks like my former assistant manager at the store I managed. Hopefully, this guy isn't the ass my assistant mgr was.