Embarrassing family pictures are one of the great social unifiers. Almost everyone has one. They’re a mix of our most awkward childhood years and the good intentions of family members trying to capture a moment. Most parents will even go out of their way to create a memorable portrait of everyone in the family. Combine matching clothing and anything that seemed like a good idea in the 80s and 90s, however, and we’ve got a recipe for disaster. Sure, it’s heartwarming to see all the kids together, but when half of them look terrified and the backdrop is a series of fake lasers, more is said about the time this photo was taken than what a lovely family you are.
Awkward Family Photos and their sister site, Awkward Family Pet Photos, collect the absolute best of the worst. Both were put together by writers Mike Bender and Doug Chernack, who are known for their knack for comedy. A mutual interest in their own awkward family photos and those of others led them to put together the websites, where they receive tons of submissions from avid readers. The collections are an absolute thing of beauty. It’s true that pictures are worth a thousand words, and the ones they’ve collected speak volumes. Weird backdrops, costumes, and sibling rivalry make their way into so many of these. The sites are a gold mine of laughs and a little bit of shared shame.
So many pictures are weird enough to wonder how they came together at all, but hit close enough to home readers to relate. Many of them are accompanied by a story behind the photo, which is really just the icing on the cake. So many enjoy the sites that Awkward Family Photos already has a successful book of their collection and Awkward Family Pet Photos is on its way to having a book as well.
Each site, however, offers up a plate full of awkward for free through the magic of the internet. Visit Awkward Family Photos here and Awkward Family Pet Photos here. Both accept submissions, so feel free to share your own embarrassing family pictures! To read more on both and an interview with the sites’ creators, read the write up at the Huffington Post.