Awkward Mormon Family Photos, Part II

We’re coming up on the one year anniversary of the original Awkward Mormon Family Photos post, so it is time for a sequel. For each photo in the list, I make my case that the people in the photo are Mormon. In the comments, please provide your own ratings, evidences and rebuttals of the Latter-day Sainthood of the people in following images:

  1. Warm-up round: No explanation needed!! Turtlenecks
  2. A Pile of Mulch: Nobody romanticizes toil and thrift like we do.
  3. Stand: This one is iffy, what do you think?.
  4. Heads of the Family: A wacky family reunion game?
  5. Just a reminder why we should be thankful for enforced modesty: Footloose
  6. Say Cheese: No reason in particular, but I vote Mormon.
  7. Hair Band: Iffy Mormonhood, but awesome.
  8. Motherhood: Iffy Mormonhood, but I feel her pain.
  9. The Great Bambini: Mormon!!
  10. Ice Cream Social: Why do I feel like this is some kind of chastity object lesson?
  11. Curtain Call: Let’s hope not Mormon.
  12. Please Be Seated: Can anyone identify the mountains in the background?
  13. Party Till You Drop: Taking the Mormon funerals aren’t sad occasions thing a little too far.
  14. Family Tree: Mormon.
  15. And the ultimate bonus round (no voting needed): This Must Be Heaven

Don’t forget to share key observations, pro and con, in the comments below. Share on Facebook to see if your friends agree with your Mo-dar judgments!


  1. As a professional photographer, I am simultaneously groaning and laughing. I’ve seen way too many of these–but I think Curtain Call has to be the best–worst?

    Thanks for making me smile this morning.

  2. #8 “Motherhood” is indeed Mormon at the time of the photo, but the family has since joined another church.

  3. Stephanie says:

    #14 is the Eyres. It is on their homepage (

    I think the ice cream one is the weirdest.

  4. #1- dead give away– WonDoor!

  5. Next time pretty please include the pictures in the post?
    Here are my thoughts on the Mormonstrosity of the various entries:
    #1 used the word Frickin in her description. Who else says Frickin?
    #3 I like how the girl who chose to immodestly bare her shoulders is off by herself. Just like she will be in the Resurrection.
    #6 Why don’t the girls have their hands in their pockets? At least they didn’t make each person put their hands in the pockets of the person in front of them.
    #9 Good hang-time. Definitely a cookie cutter Utah stake center.
    #10 Not Mormon: A mom who makes her girls wear dresses like that would have more kids if she was really mormon.
    #11 Your hope is misplaced. That dress could only be bought at the distribution center. And was only available through 1989.
    #13 I want the grand-kids to bob for cake at my funeral… AWESOME.

  6. This is Christmas come-early for me. I always refer to or when I need a reminder of why I’m not Arthur Ashe.

  7. The shrub one is the most bizarre–everything else, you can kind of see the thought process, but “everyone pick their favorite bush to hide their shoes?” just makes NO sense. The laundry lady must be Mormon–not so many whites to fold if you don’t have Gs.

    There was a big tree like #14 in my town where LOTS of Mormons had photos taken. It was struck by lightening–you would have thought the prophet had died, the way people bemoaned it’s loss.

    And, of course, the families are forever–I’m kind of surprised no one objected to wearing their temple clothes to a studio like that. There’s always one spoiler in the bunch.

  8. ESO, it wasn’t a studio. They carried in a camera and asked someone to take the picture before they went in for an endowment session. Pretty bold.

  9. Bridal dress with sleeves = almost certainly Mormon.

  10. First one is for sure.
    The bifold divider doors and cultural hall carpeting are dead giveaways.

    Thanks for a good laugh!

  11. Cynthia L. says:

    “The laundry lady must be Mormon–not so many whites to fold if you don’t have Gs.”

    ESO: That’s what I was thinking. And the long shorts. I would say that somebody should tell her that garments aren’t supposed to touch the ground, but that might kill her it looks like! Ah, toddler twins.

  12. Cynthia L. says:

    “Next time pretty please include the pictures in the post?”

    Ron: I totally would, were it not for issues about copyright on the photos.

  13. Stupid copyright laws.

  14. Cynthia L. says:

    Of course, any legal letters sent to us about these would inadvertently out the subjects, who I am certain would like to remain forever anonymous, so maybe there is no practical danger. :-)

  15. Wait a minute, Cynthia, you’re telling me that BCC doesn’t have a full legal staff on a direct line, batphone style, to handle any disputes?

    My faith has been shattered.

  16. Observer fka eric s says:

    There are 4 men and 5 women in no.15. See yesterday’s poll for reference.

  17. @Stephanie: Glad to get confirmation on #14. I looked in vain for a concrete tell-tale sign (a garment line, a missionary short-sleeve shirt), and couldn’t find anything. Yet I couldn’t shake the feeling that, by heck, I will eat my shoe if this family isn’t Mormon.

  18. #4 Captain Hammer totally says frickin.

  19. StillConfused says:

    Mormons do tend to have the dorkiest family photos. Is it a religious thing, like carrot jello?

  20. 1. Basketball lines dead give-away.
    2. I’m not convinced.
    3. Church house for sure, I’d buy it if there wasn’t the shoulder-showing.
    4. That’s rather unfortunate.
    5. I’m pretty sure that’s a scene out of Boogie Nights.
    6. Yep!
    7. Their hair is overpowering any spiritual glow, so it’s hard to tell.
    8. Nope. Mormon women are the best homemakers! Cynthia haven’t you been paying attention?
    9. Word.
    10. Nah. Wisconsin dairy farmer’s family.
    11. Reminds me of the Sound of Music, and also my mom and dad’s wedding photos.
    12. Um, awkward!
    13. There are no words.
    14. I’m pretty sure that’s Linda and Richard Eyre on the far right. Really.
    15. That’s too bad.

  21. #14 is definitely the Eyre Family. In fact, this very photo is featured on their website: They’re about as Mormon as you get.

  22. MikeInWeHo says:

    I think a lot of these people could be Evangelicals too. Why not give the Curtain Call ladies (#11) to the Baptists?

  23. Curtain Call looks like an exact replica of my mother’s wedding photo from the 1973, except she only had two bridesmaids. So, I call mormon.

  24. Cynthia L. says:

    What do folks think about the cemetery one? In the comments at AFP, some people are saying that church or community functions held at cemeteries are commonplace in the South. But I dunno, with that red dirt and Jessica McClintock print dress I just can’t not think of southern Utah.

  25. beccachan says:

    Well, I don’t know about southern Utah, but I do know grandpa’s pocket wallet makes him look like a missionary. I’m sure senior couples go to plenty of burial-barbecues!

  26. Is it really time for a sequel, or time to drop this cruelty?

    I guess I don’t understand the humor. How is it anything but mean-spirited to laugh at people for how they are dressed and have their hair?

  27. “How is it anything but mean-spirited to laugh at people for how they are dressed and have their hair?”

    Yeah, it’s much better to laugh at things people write.

  28. Awww, Naismith, you’re no fun. People are submitting photos of themselves and their families — they’re laughing good-naturedly at themselves. By trying to identify the Mormons, we’re laughing at ourselves. There’s nothing mean-spirited about it. I think posts like these are great!

  29. Naismith what Martin said. I would love to submit my family photos growing up. It’s all kinds of fun.

  30. I think that’s a great idea for a BCC post — have readers submit their own awful photos.Maybe I’d be brave enough to submit my own portrait in Girl Scout uniform. Yikes!

  31. Did they get permission from all the family members before submitting, or was it enough for just one of them to find it funny? Some of those pix are of a vintage to where probably some of the folks are dead.

    I am so sorry to ruin your “fun” by questioning the notion of laughing at other people’s clothes and grooming, but I was laughed at all the time growing up, so I find no humor in it now. None.

  32. Naismith I’m sorry you don’t find it funny. However no worries, you aren’t ruining our fun. We can have fun even when you’re around.

  33. Cynthia L. says:

    Interesting, Megan! That one caught my eye as well when I was researching the post, but I couldn’t justify it concretely. It does seem like some kind of BYU proposal doesn’t it.

  34. Its great that the dad in “family tree” has no problem grabbing his wife’s butt for the picture.

  35. Naismith – I don’t know if this makes you feel any better but here’s the policy of the guys who run awkward family photos: “the site was created as a celebration of awkwardness and we are not looking to humiliate or demean anyone. We hope those who submit do so in the spirit of good fun and recognition that we are all an awkward family”. They started the site with some of their own family photos that they thought were particularly embarassing and awkward. Anyone in a photo can submit but anyone can object if they are in a photo and don’t want it published.

    I’m guessing you’re not a fan of the website “people of walmart” either?

    I think everyone has a least a few of these awful photos sitting around their house. We might as well laugh at ourselves. It makes life more bearable.

  36. Is #3 a family photo, or a band posing for album cover art?

  37. I guess I don’t understand the humor. How is it anything but mean-spirited to laugh at people for how they are dressed and have their hair?

    Yeah, but in fairness, if we got rid of everything “mean-spirited” on the internet, all we’d be left with is porn.

  38. B.Russ, in Utah, all the best bands are family bands! See, e.g. the Brett Family. There’s a bunch of groups like that who occasionally hit the big time, where “big time” in this case means performing in Branson, MO.

  39. 22 the bride can’t be mo or baptist- look at that cleavage! unitarian for sure. :)

  40. #3 the bizarre uniformity says mormon but the missing t-shirt under the spaghetti straps? i don’t think so.

  41. Yeah, mmiles, #14 is the Eyres. That picture is on a bunch of their book covers.

  42. Cynthia, so what you’re saying is: they’re both? Awesome.

  43. crazywomancreek–it depends on how old the picture is. The obsession with covering shoulders of young women is a fairly recent phenomenon. In the 80s, that would have been no big deal.

  44. What picture are you all referring to wherein the bride is showing cleavage and/or bare shoulders?

  45. I don’t see it either, Fiona.

    @CWC: What Kristine said. Also, one of the guys in suits looks teenage. Isn’t it pretty rare to be owning a suit so young in the general populace? At least for populations other than east coast uber-elites, which the rest of the family does not appear to be. I’m actually not 100% sold on that architecture/color/trim being an LDS meetinghouse though. It is close, but not the deadringer that the Great Bambino building is. If anyone can verify similar styles, please comment.

  46. Steve G. (Architect) says:

    46: In my professional opinion, The great Bambini is definitely a mormon meeting house. Heritage-traditional to be exact. Here’s a partial floorplan of a Heritage-Traditional from my own files from 2003:

    That door enters the Serving Area (kitchen) and those are the windows into the young women’s room. Note the double doors and single door into the Electrical and fire riser rooms also shown in the photo.

    I am not sold on Stand being an LDS meetinghouse. I have never seen an LDS meetinghouse with those ugly fake shutters before. Perhaps its an anomaly left over from the 80’s, but I doubt it. Throw in the spaghetti straps and its most likely not mormon.

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