Sunday, January 28, 2007


Here it is, some of my choicest yearbook pictures. Some were xeroxed from the Spumco library, some from my own collection and some (above, bottom right) from my kid's yearbook. Boy, yearbook photography sure has declined in the last 30 years, but I've posted on that subject already.

I don't know about you but these pictures make me want to draw. I womder, besides yearbooks, what other sources contain good pictures of ordinary people?


cableclair said...

wow, the older ones have more character!

"I wonder, besides yearbooks, what other sources contain good pictures of ordinary people?"

That made me ponder.

Sites from casting agencies that cast ordinary people

Ordinary People Casting Agencies There are quite a bit of casting agencies like that around. Alright, some pictures might be typically posed, but at least they are character actors. it's a start!


Some prisons have their mugshot databases online as well.

cableclair said...

more mugs

some more

some more

of course these are not ordinary people, but they have cool character faces..

Jenny said...
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Jenny said...

Well, I love to paw through boxes(and believe me, there are always boxes and boxes and BOXES) of discarded family snapshots in any old antique shoppe. I usually like candids from the 1910s-40s, but if there are some choice kodachromes from the 50-60s, those can be great, too...and they often go for 10 cents to a max of .50.

I keep an album of these. I feel a bit like I'm rescuing the subjects--once dear to their kin, now sold at a pittance in an anonymous, dusty shop in Pasadena. Tempus edax rerum!
And they're fun to draw from.

Max Ward said...

"I wonder, besides yearbooks, what other sources contain good pictures of ordinary people?"

Wow, can anyone think of anything? I can't.

Jenny said...

Wow, can anyone think of anything? I can't.

Yes--see post directly above yours. : )

Add up buying a dozen or more old family pics, and you have a total less than the usual cost of an old yearbook, which could run anywhere from $5 to 20(I've bought those too--usually local Los Angeles ones for the historical value-like Fred Moore's. I have a jr. high annual from the WW1 era that's fascinating--the public shools here in LA at that time were very well integrated, believe it or not. Anyway, there's plenty of great faces in there).

Marc Crisafulli said...

These people aren't ordinary..
they're extraordinary!

Jenny's clearly the true expert here,
but recently I've also been going through footage of old newscasts on my videotapes...
some of the faces in 'man on the street' or
'local call in show'-type stuff
can be really interesting.
You can also watch how these people move
and pick your favorite frames.

Anonymous said...

You Tube is full of ordinary people. And atleast there you can see them in motion and more details about them. You Tube is also full of non-ordinary people.^^

Max Ward said...


Jenny Lerew: 1

My Observation skills: 0

Jenny said...

Max Ward, if I had a dime for every time I don't notice something pertinent(not saying I was esp. so, mind you) on someone's blog--I'd be filthy rich. My observation skills ain't so hot. ; )

Anyone want to take guess on where U.E. is this late afternoon? My vote: he's pizza-eating in the north Valley.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Jenny: Ha! Wrong! I went with Mike to the W.C. Fields exhibit at the Motion Picture Academy. It was great! The Fields letters were fascinating and the photos were incredibly well chosen. What a range of expressions!

Antique store photos? Thanks for the tip!

Cable: Wow! Mug shots! I'll take a look at them. There's an interesting new book of 1930s police mugshots called "Least Wanted." It's $50 though; very pricey.

Trevour said...

The weekly ads in the Sunday paper are a good source. Especially department store ads with all the models posing in the latest affordable fashions. Regional ads (in my case, Fleet Farm and Pamida) are even funnier, because they never contain the quite sexy female or the very manly models. They look like regular folk. Furthermore, they just have goofy fake expressions.

msmarg said...

Try searching for expressions like grin, frown etc on flickr, and if you want inspiration for some really funny expressions do a search for grimace

Ape Lad said...

Here's a blog full of found photos featuring ordinary people by the truck load. Try not to look at them for too long though, it gets pretty depressing when you start to realize most of these people are probably long dead.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Ape, Ms, Trevour, Anon, Marc, Cable: Thanks much!

Tim said...

The Sartorialist is a great source for normal looking people with a touch of weirdness.

mike f. said...
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Freckled Derelict said...

Don't forget vintage group school photos.
Those are my favorite.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Tim: Interesting site! It's great to see what people in other branches of art are doing!

Freckled: I forgot that you'd mentioned that once before and posted some on your site. Thanks for the reminder!

Lee-Roy said...

I've got a great book, but I can't tell you what it is, because I'm a filthy greedy monkey. It's true.

(long pause)


Goddammit, okay I'll tell you, but you have to understand that I've been wanting to do some drawings based on or inspired by this book for months, so you're not allowed to draw from it until I have. Agreed? Well, of course you can do whatever you want. Don't let my greedy ass stand in the way. The book is La Porte, Indiana. Look it up, cuz I'm sure as hell not going to give you a link.

(another long pause)

oh, fine. here.

Lee-Roy said...

p.s. My Grandma was from La Porte, Indiana.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Lee-Roy: An impressive-looking book! Thanks for sharing!

Tim said...

Hey Eddie, it's a bit late now probably but I've got a great link for you! Bill Sullivan's turnstyle photos. Check out some of these gormless expressions. Priceless!

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Tim: Great stuff! Thanks!