Awkward Family Photos
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Awkward Family Photos

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  2,589 ratings  ·  196 reviews
Based on the hit website, (“painful, regrettable, horrifyingly awesome snaps of family bonding, you will laugh so hard that people in adjoining offices will ask what’s wrong with you”—Esquire), this full color book features never-before-seen photos and hilarious personal stories covering everything from uncomfortable moments with relatives, teen ang...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published May 4th 2010 by Three Rivers Press (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Is it silly to purchase a book when these same photos and many more can be found on the website of the same name? Perhaps. But who can possibly resist this sort of hilarity?


...or bad judgement?

...or dysfunction?

It is impossible to view this book without feeling nostalgic for my own childhood. Crazy family, weird 1970's and 1980's fashions, incredibly awkward photos. This book, and the website which inspired it, are like crack to me. It is a plethora of awkwardness ~ candid snapshots, unintention...more
There is a little bit of WTF inside every family album. Some families have more of these WTF bits than others, and let me be the first to offer you my sincerest condolences if you and yours have less than your fair share. It is my belief that the universe has a limited number of incongruous photo opportunities, and I feel sorry for those lacking documentation of wonderful family togetherness-awfulness, because I'm pretty sure my family stole all these photo ops from your family. Which is why I...more
Jul 26, 2010 Eastofoz rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Readers looking for a really funny "picture book" for adults
Shelves: non-fiction, 2010, humor
This book had some very hysterical family photos and the captions or little blurbs about them made them even funnier. The book is a compilation of way too hilarious pictures that most people can probably relate to from the stilted family portrait where no one looks “natural” to the freaky background wedding/graduation/big event shots. Done in all seriousness, there are some “period” pieces (80s hilarity especially), some “re-enactments” (à la Dynasty, Ma & Pa Kettle for some priceless ones),...more
I was actually kind of disappointed with this book. I wanted it to be hilariously funny, but it was only kind of funny. My favorite picture is at the back and took me a while to figure out - the family is sitting on the couch and there was nothing strange about the picture until I noticed they were sitting on someone else and all you could see of her was her eyes. That did make me laugh.

Otherwise, I found only a few pictures really funny, and my husband was looking over my shoulder going, "I don...more
As you start reading the introduction to this book you'll find yourself chuckling but as you get futher into it you will be laughing out loud to strange looks from your dear hubby or dear children or for that matter anyone within hearing distance. Some of the pictures are just above and beyond hysterical and the captions with them are perfect. I can actually picture myself in some of the circumstances with which the photos had been taken. I'm sure if I went digging through my family photo albums...more
I enjoyed this very much. It wasn't just the photos (they were hilarious) but the way they were presented. There were various categories - holidays, family vacations, siblings, birthdays, etc. and each had a warm and humorous introduction. I guess that is what I liked about this book - its warmth and humour. It didn't have a nasty 'look at those dorks' tone to it, but rather 'look at US, being dorks'. We have all been there and been that awkward! I also like the true stories of family related aw...more
The (inevitable?) spinoff of the hilarious website About 75% of the photos in the book are new and about 25% had already been published on the website. The photos are priceless, and the authors' titles and captions are consistently funny. The authors also include quite a few awkward family emails that are generally entertaining, but I would have preferred using the available page space for photographs. The short introduction about the permanence, and resulting ups an...more
I wanted to love Awkward Family Photos but I only kinda liked it, so I'm really glad I borrowed it from the library and didn't buy it. Don't get me wrong there were some genuinely funny pictures/captions/stories but I found most of the photos only mildly amusing (nothing too hilarious like I first thought it would be). But there is no denying these are definitely awkward pictures and will undoubtedly remind you of your own awkward family photos (probably with some humor and some embarrassment) a...more
Eva Leger
2.5 - Not a whole 3 stars for me. I silently chuckled less than 5 times total. Most of the pics are weird or slightly funny - nowhere near funny enough to actually lol.
The authors would be better off running this like another site - I think it's called or something like that. They post the photos and the sure users comment captions THEN the site users "like" the comments. The comment(s)/caption(s) with the most likes equal the funniest. I've literally choked laughing so ha...more
I am a devoted follower of the Awkward Family Photos website (at, and knew that they had a book out (as of May, 2010); but I had not actually seen it in person until I was at Barnes & Noble today, seaching for a book to peruse while putting in some Comfy Chair Time. I very much enjoyed this book, though, to be honest, I saw no need to actually purchase it, as it only took me about half an hour to get through it.

Awkward Family Photos (website) devotes itself to po...more
Robert Beveridge
Feb 09, 2011 Robert Beveridge rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: awkward families
Mike Bender and Doug Chernak, Awkward Family Photos (Three Rivers Press, 2010)

It was a couple of weeks ago (as I write this; you will be seeing them posted on the same day. Internet time is a funny thing) that I wrote a lukewarm-at-best review of I Can Has Cheezburger?, the blog-to-book that kind of started this whole schlemazel. And I'll admit that maybe I'm simply looking in the wrong places for my blog-to-book fix. After all, everyone loved Julie and Julia, right? (One problem: I loathe memoi...more
This was the funniest book I have ever read. It consists of really awful family photos with hilarious captions. I picked it up while waiting to meet my friend at Borders and I read the entire thing. I thought I was going to get myself kicked out of the store because I was making such a scene. I could tell that people were not sure if I was laughing or sobbing, because I was in complete histarics. When my friend arrived (I was there about an hour before her, hence the ability to read the entire b...more
Let's be clear that Awkward Family Photos is mostly a picture book (duh), but it's an AWESOME picture book. I had seen the website some time ago, but I think it's much more enjoyable to flip through the book version and catch some details that might go undetected if viewing on a computer monitor. (I was given a copy of this as a birthday gift).

I wouldn't recommend buying this at all, but it's worth a library check out, or borrowing from a friend if you know someone who has it. Most of the pictur...more
If you have seen the website, then you know exactly what you are getting with this book. If not, it is a collection of those awkward, at times funny, at times painful photos that almost any family has hidden in an album someplace. By the way, that family in a barrel photo of Niagara Falls, I actually remember being in one myself with my siblings a very long time ago. I wonder if my father or my siblings still have that album.

The photos do vary in quality. Some are indeed laugh out funny. Some a...more
Terry Collins
I've read that some things once SEEN can never be UNSEEN ... and the photographs in the first collection of Awkward Family Photos fall into that slice of the last forty years of the American Experience. Even the most amusing of the pictures on display also offer up moments of clarity - we are not witnessing posed, staged lives on display, but instead, are seeing the sloppy truth of what it meant to live in an already being forgotten America; from an era where photographs were not instant and dig...more
Teena in Toronto
I check out a couple times a week and the pictures are usually funny.

This book is similar to the website and is divided by chapters like Mom and Dad, The Kids, Siblings, Grandma and Grandpa, Vacations, etc.

Included in the chapters are short anecdotes. It's a quick read.

I borrowed the ebook from the Toronto Library. I wouldn't recommend it in epub format. There was usually a picture on the top of the page followed by a header and/or short description. But they weren't funn...more
Lindsay Merritt
The book Awkward Family Photos was a very quick read because it had very few words, but it was such a funny book. It included the weirdest, funniest, craziest pictures of not just families, but class portraits and even animals. I really recommend this book to people who like a funny quick read.
Peep (Pop! Pop!)
Husband and I read this together. As per usual, the captions on the photo's were hilarious. You have to wonder what people were thinking with some of these photos. There are stories in it, as well. Some are hilarious and some had me scratching my head in confusion.

I waited forever for the digital book to become available from my library. It was worth the wait. I wouldn't buy it though as most of the pictures can be found on their site. Maybe if the book was longer? It would make a nice coffee ta...more
David Ward
Awkward Family Photos by Mike Bender (Three Rivers Press 2010)(nonfiction) - Awkward they are, and more embarrassing than funny. A little goes a long way in this genre; this is way too much. My rating: 5.5/10, finished 4/6/14.
Dylan Stetkiewicz
I loved this book and it was so funny. It was a quick read and is good for anyone who likes to laugh. I gave it a five star rating and honestly if you don't laugh at this book you have no sense of humor. Hilarious. Read it.
This book reminded me of my infamous 4th grade school picture where I was mid-sneeze when it was taken. Or how about the time I was trying not to smile in a family photo? Yes, it brought up some awkward, but very funny memories of photos of past (you know, instead of those of the future).

This book had it all:
Wet pants
Matching outfits
Odd poses
Funny fashion choices
Awesome hairdos
and much more...

But, you will find that you just don't laugh at many of these pictures. I think they would have...more
Gift from a friend; read and passed along. Some of the best ones from the website are not present in this book, which kind of makes me sad. I did appreciate some of the stories, though.
Pamela ☼where's my aspirin☼ Tee
While this book was entertaining it seemed toned down from what you'd find on the website, and consequently it wasn't quite as funny. That said, it kept my 10 year-old chuckling and I didn't feel like I had to stand over her shoulder to snatch it out of her hands should anything 'not appropriate' appear on the pages.

Since this book was an review copy, it meant the pictures weren't the 'real' ones. So I can't comment on the quality.

USE? The only use I can think of for AWKWARD FAMILY PHOTOS is as...more
Well I wouldn't exactly qualify this as a book to "read" but if you're looking for a good laugh at other people misfortune, look no further.
LOL! So funny. Makes you realize your childhood was not as "unique" as you thought it was. No wonder 70% of American are on anti-depressants. This one will work our funny bones for a few minutes. The captions are great.
Jun 10, 2011 Cheryl rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cheryl by: Overdrive-El Paso Public Library
Wouldn't say this was hilarious and after a while, it started to feel a bit mean. I did like the one where everyone is sitting on the couch and until you study the picture, you don't realize they are all sitting on someone and only her face shows. The story of the little girl who wasn't going to leave the game she was playing with her sister was hilarious, until the ending which bothered me a great deal.

Read this using Overdrive on an iPad which didn't keep the captions/stories with the picture...more
Rachel Cuevas García
So, so, SO awkward! I can't believe some of these pictures exist! Creepy grandamas, fast-hands babies, etc.
The best part was the chapter introductions. They ring true to what it is like to have a family.
Funny, in spite of a few uncomfortable innuendos. We've taken a lot of these photos in our family.
The cover photo of the family laying facedown on top of each other in a stack says it all. Lots of funny photos. Reminded me of every funny photo taken of my family growing up.

A favorite for me was "There's plenty of room on the couch."
In my family there always seems to be a couch in every family photo, but we always seem to jam more people than there is room. Quite opposite from this photo.

I also love the geriatric Smokey the Bear costume.
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Mike Bender is a screenwriter whose credits include "Not Another Teen Movie" and the MTV Movie Awards. He created the hit website with childhood friend Doug Chernack in May 2009 after seeing an awkward vacation photo hung in his parent's house.
More about Mike Bender...
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