fun with google image search: Olan Mills

here’s a confession for you:  i have never, ever taken an Olan Mills portrait, neither solo nor with family, and i gotta tell you… i feel like i’m missing out on an important part of the black experience.  one of my current life dreams/goals is to go get one of those 2-part pictures, the one with you sitting and smiling happily in the foreground, and a picture of your serious thoughtful face floating around in the back ground.  yall know what i’m talkin bout, right?

so until that happens, i have to sate myself with looking at others.  i found some fun ones via google’s image search.  not all of them are Olan Mills, but all of them are freakin hilarious.

*The library backdrop. Oh, why hello there, young scholar!  How lucky of you to find me here amongst my many leather-bound books!  It is here that I spend all of my days meandering among those who truly understand me: Tolstoy, Euripides, Kafka, and Sista Soulja.

*The Fade-Out. Because it’s pretty much the only way to make a mullet or a banjo look classy.

*The Kids. …there are open fields and bubbling brooks in inner city Detroit??!

*The Pets. I don’t think I’ve ever truly seen a cat frown before.

*The Classic. Sometimes I’m joyous and carefree.  Other times, I am pensive very tuned in to the suffering of the world.

*The… Bizarre. Wait, what?

The fact that they’re all probably brother and sister makes this really creepy for me.



*The Awesomest. Hallelu-him!

NOTE:  click-through link on that last one is potentially not work safe.

11 responses to “fun with google image search: Olan Mills

  1. Wait — that guy in the brown/blue striped shirt with the glasses kind of has a Will Ferrell vibe going on.

    …and don’t feel bad: I never had one of these photos taken either. I *do* have some pretty horrible Glamour Shots to make up for it, though.

    • lol that IS will ferrell!

      and its funny you mentioned glamor shots because as i was looking for/at these pictures, i decided that that should DEFINITELY be the focus of the next fun with google image search post.

      …feel free to submit your own! please do please do please do!!! lol

  2. ….lemme think about that. There’s one particular picture that made me want to crawl into a hole. They should be ashamed of themselves for selling me that package. Blew all that smoke up my ass saying how great they were, and meanwhile I was making troll-face in half those pictures.

  3. LOL I definitely have a Glamour Shot to add to the next post. And a couple of Olan Mills shots too, though I never got the elated/pensive two-piece combo (WTF, Mom?!)

  4. Wow….flasbacks to the library shot in 6th grade. That is hilarious!

  5. Most of my elementary school pictures were like this. Either a bridge or a rail fence.

  6. I just want to note how fucking depressing these photos are. God, those poor people.

  7. okay. we can consider this an official call for Glamor Shots/Olan Mills pictures. you people are teasing me a little too much in these comments.

    SEND EM!!!!

  8. OMG, Olan Mills. Just after I graduated from high school I got a job selling Olan Mills portraits via telephone–i.e., cold-calling people out of the phone book, trying to persuade them to spend their money on a set of photos. I lasted five days. On the fifth day, I ran screaming into the street and never went back.

    Up until now, I have never actually seen Olan Mills handiwork. They didn’t even have samples in the office–just card-tables and telephones.

    Now I see why. If I had seen an example of what I was trying to sell, I would have run screaming into the street before I’d finished filling out the application for employment.

  9. back in the day I did plenty of those glamor shots…can you find some with people sitting in wicker chairs….that was “the pose” in the hood!

  10. If you could live forever, would you want to?

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