Awkward Family Photos: The Book

Awkward Family Photos, by Mike Bender and Doug Chernack, Three Rivers Press.

If you think your family is awkward, compare your clan to the families on display in “Awkward Family Photos,” a LOL-funny book of pictures and stories culled from the pages of awkwardfamilyphotos.com. The blog—launched by screenwriter Mike Bender and television producer Doug Chernack in April 2009—was an overnight sensation, flooded with visitors who couldn’t help but gawk at the disquieting user-submitted photos, which range from hilarious to downright disturbing.

Much like the blog, the book is divided into categories, which include: Family Portraits, Mom and Dad, Siblings, Grandma and Grandpa, and “Strange, Not Awkward.” In addition to the pictures, the authors have included reader-submitted missives, as well as descriptors of common awkward family poses like “The Armshelf,” “The [Forward] Lean,” “The Pile-On,” and “The Oh-What-a-Feeling.” Predictably, there’s a series of shots of families in matching outfits, and more than a few out-of-proportion adolescents with braces and glasses.

But the funniest photos go beyond bad hair and forced poses. My favorites include: “Pin the Tail,” in which a loving couple poses outdoors, oblivious to the farm animals “doing it” doggie-style in the distant background; as well as a family New Year’s card in which the child in the center has just peed her pants.

After flipping through the pages of this book, you’ll no doubt pause to reconsider your own family, and probably come away feeling graceful by comparison. But if you identify with the subjects in “Awkward Family Photos,” at least you can celebrate the fact that you’re not alone.

See also:
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The Typo Eradication Advancement League