Awkward Family Photos – Now in convenient book form

Two young children in a black-and-white family photo from 1962. The girl on the left has what can only be called "shelf knees," as "knobby knees" simply doesn't go far enough.

Having knee shelves definitely qualifies for Awkward Family Photos. (Photo: Flickr)

Awkward Family Photos made a splash online last year as people from far and wide came to enjoy the stilted splendor and intense discomfort of people the world over whose most awkward posed moments were caught on camera. The bizarre family portrait depository created by Doug Chernack and Mike Bender went viral and became its own meme. Now the primo source for strange family photos is coming to the easily amused in convenient book form. If your computer literacy is as fresh as the 1970s attire commonly found on the Awkward Family Photos website, the book is for you.

Awkward Family Photos – in case you missed them

Awkward Family Photos is a website where we can all visit to laugh over just how strange other people look. Mike Bender and Doug Chernack began with just a few shots from friends and family, but things quickly took off. Rather than leaving those old family portraits buried in the pages of a photo album, Awkward Family Photos gives them new life. Now those theme photos, strange baby faces and shipwreck-from-the-past stylings are big business, so much so that Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb recently had Bender and Chernack on the “Today” show. The duo no longer needs payday loans with no fax.

“Awkward Family Photos” will debut at No. 3 on the NYT list

The website for Awkward Family Photos gets about 15 million hits and users submit more than 6,000 photos per month, so the book was a no-brainer. Considering that it will debut in the number three position on the New York Times best-seller list, other people’s embarrassment is clearly a hot commodity. Gifford, who is awkward enough on television, claimed she had photos of her own to contribute. Imagine just how awkward the non-celebrities who populate Awkward Family Photos must be – then run out and buy a copy of the book or find the funny on the Web.

Awkward vs. inappropriate

In general, Bender and Chernack claim that Awkward Family Photos is family friendly. They do their best to keep the more risqué shots off the website, and they aren’t in the book, either. The creators also do what they can to prevent family strife. If a photo goes up that causes friction, it will generally be removed from the site. Thankfully, there are so many hilariously appropriate submissions that Bender and Chernack claim they have “no shortage of material for future books.”

What’s next for the Awkward Family Photos crew?

Taking a page out of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” Bender and Chernack are planning an awkward family videos site. It will be interesting to see if that site will capture the same “skewered on the end of a fork” moment-in-time feel that still photographs convey. Considering their success with Awkward Family Photos, it seems likely that whatever they touch will turn to extremely awkward embarrassment gold.

(Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/foundphotoslj/ / CC BY 2.0)

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