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Awkward Family Pet Photos

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The authors of the New York Times bestseller Awkward Family Photos are back with a hilarious tribute to the unbreakable and sometimes uncomfortable bond between people and their pets.

There are few things more rewarding than having a pet. They love us unconditionally, shower us with attention, and because of them, we actually live longer. So, what can possibly be awkward about our animal BFFs? Well . . . nothing. In fact, we’re the awkward ones. We adore our pets, but let’s face it—sometimes L-O-V-E makes us go a little overboard. Like giving them middle names, throwing them elaborate birthday parties, and making them a Christmas sweater to match with the rest of the family. Truth is, what they cherish most is our companionship. And maybe that’s the reason we care about them so much—because for such simple pleasures, they allow us to be as awkward as we want.

176 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2011

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About the author

Mike Bender

15 books9 followers
Mike Bender is a screenwriter whose credits include "Not Another Teen Movie" and the MTV Movie Awards. He created the hit website AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com with childhood friend Doug Chernack in May 2009 after seeing an awkward vacation photo hung in his parent's house.

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5 stars
302 (28%)
4 stars
313 (29%)
3 stars
298 (28%)
2 stars
102 (9%)
1 star
35 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 119 reviews
January 1, 2022

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This book is so CUTE. Sometimes "meme" books like these can be a little off-putting because the captions can be super mean (see: PEOPLE OF WAL-MART and LOOK AT THAT FUCKING HIPSTER), but this collection of photos is honestly so wholesome. The captions are simple and understated and let the photos speak for themselves. And the photos are funny! Dogs humping in the backdrop of someone's professional photoshoot! A rat dressed as a turkey! PEOPLE WHO LOOK WAAAAY TOO SIMILAR TO THEIR PETS. It's comedy gold.

AWKWARD FAMILY PET PHOTOS is the sort of book that cheers you up as soon as you read it. And actually, it was exactly what I needed after reading a pretty dark and depressing thriller about the daughter of a serial killer. This book didn't just deliver on the cuddly cat photos-- there's even things like capybaras and cougars, too.

If you like animals and wholesome memes, you'll love this book. It's a keeper.

5 stars
Profile Image for Donna.
1,166 reviews
January 14, 2012
From the people that brought you awkwardfamilyphotos.com and awkwardfamilypetphotos.com, they bestow upon you the book form of the latter, filled to the brim with awkward people and pets looking chagrined. Really, you're either going to love something like this or you're going to hate it. If you hate it, I'm pretty sure you don't have a soul. Because really, who doesn't like to gaze upon picture after picture of horribly awkward people inflicting their deep-seated dorkiness onto their non-human loved ones? It'll give you the chance to laugh, even for just a moment, as you project the horror onto someone other than yourself. That is, after you fix the antlers on your dog.

There's really not much to say about AWKWARD FAMILY PET PHOTOS other than poor animals and hilarious people. It's nice to know that people can laugh at themselves. Because when it's 1986 and you're posing with your cockatiel and you both have matching hair, if you can't laugh at that, you're going to give yourself an ulcer.

AWKWARD FAMILY PET PHOTOS would make a great Christmas gift for the jokester in your family, or a super stocking stuffer for anyone. Image the conversations that would ensue with this book lying about on your coffee table. You might find far more out about your neighbor than you were willing to live with. But that's okay. That's what evergreens are for. Really high evergreens.

With quirky commentary and photos so epically awkward they're have you laughing until you cry, AWKWARD FAMILY PET PHOTOS is something you not only need to buy for yourself, but for all of your loved ones. If they don't appreciate it, see above re: soul.
Profile Image for Mary  BookHounds .
1,300 reviews1,785 followers
November 13, 2011


It also made me laugh uncontrollably. And, seriously, I did have a terrible headache when I started to read this one, but by the time I finished, I was laughing so hard that I completely forgot that my head hurt.

The overall concept of the book is pretty simple, take some family photos from the earlier decades and pair them with funny captions. The majority of them really made me laugh and they even included some chickens with a family. For some reason, people taking pictures with their chickens (ok, there were a few roosters in there too), just seemed horribly funny to me at the time. There is a section devoted to birds, cats, dogs, farm animals and reptiles. Interspersed between the pictures are little essays from a vet and from the picture subjects explaining the photograph. This would make an excellent gift for any pet lover who has a skewed sense of humor.
Profile Image for Scott Collins.
Author 6 books119 followers
January 23, 2012
Great coffee table book. Only took me about an hour to read, but that wasn't even necessary. I didn't find that the blurbs at the beginning of the chapters really added anything to the book. The pictures, as they say, are worth far more. I can't believe some of the poses, some of the pets, some of the, well, other stuff.
Profile Image for ReadingWench.
1,708 reviews10 followers
August 15, 2011
My first reaction was LOL ! What are these peoples thinking? A possum, really? These aren't those cute pictures of your kid who fell asleep on the dog. A lot of these are portraits, professional photography of pets in family photos. Some are Laugh Out Load moments. This book is quite entertaining.
Profile Image for Susan.
Author 2 books5 followers
August 6, 2016
Pretty entertaining. A vaguely alarming factor when you recognize that some of the photos are not far off from what you and your family have taken with your own pets...
1 review
February 18, 2013
idk i did not read it i do not know how!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!how do i ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????/bnjghfgiufjbndjkhfueghtrjhebwknbnvkjdhgi hrgj nfdmvc jvhh tvjgr hdsj fhnvutbrbvntuiejvnj hgh vhjehtr jvf ojr nkjgkhijf hjdsngjkhfu hghofd fdhsu gh d fn gh v jog h HJHCFDJHGJBFJBGJFDBNJKVNJBNDJKLBNJFNBJMJFMBJDNBJFNBNFJBNFJBNJFNBJFDNJBFDNBFNDBNFJNBFJDNBJFNBFNBFJNBFNBFNJBFNBNFDNBJDFNBJFNBJFDNBJFNBNFJBNFBJFNBDBNFJBNFDJJNBFJNBJFNBJFNBJNBJFNBJNBNBJNBJJNBBNBNJBNNFJNBJFJNBJNBJDFNJBNFNBJFBNBJKHBJFKNGUIFHNGRJHDGHVJDFHGNHFDHVHJCDFGDNGGHHGGHGHFHJGHIGBGNJFVGHGFNDSVGFNFVHJFDJHBHIVDBHVJVVCHJBFHCDSGHFVCHBDGFBHVHSBNBVHJGFNVVHXHDFGFHADSGFSHADVGDHJKFBJDFHJDFNJDADSFNSKLJFNVFDKJNBNJFK DJVNHFBJ NFMFH JNMSFJLK;DJFBNFDHNJMEFDHVJNMFVCHJNMDFVHJNMDFVHJENBHJVKLDSMNVHJKNDBHJAKNDBVDGHJKSANDBHJKSDNFBHJKJHJKJHCVJKHGJNMDHJKFHDBNHDXKFJNDBUJHDFVDUIOHFVUIHBFVIWPOJGBHFOERHGTRUEYT547U3I2Y4T5738EHRGTEYUADKHEG4T67YU3IJEWBERWHBDVFRTCSDYFBTVRGFYCUHJNGBHGHYFUJFNGHUIJFKEBTRHYFDUSIKFNGBFIPODWFGVUIOPJNRKEOISCXUHBFTMGJDHUIGFHRJKGVHFJGHJFDGJKHJKGHFJDKHGJKFDSBGJBNVJHFVGBJFKJDSUGBJVKDJFIDUHBGVFJDMrghreouihfjdshnfhjdsnvnbcvnbdgb hffhgjfdkngvcvbgghbrdgggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggghkjghkfjdhgjkbdfhgjkfehjfjkvhbghrjngvgfdnbjhfjdhjbgfhghjhjdgfgjbgfhjkjjhgffhukgfrgjlpursxsvnkutjurwet6679ou52qdxcgm

Profile Image for Luanne Ollivier.
1,624 reviews84 followers
November 16, 2011
featured Mike Bender and Doug Chernack's New York Times bestseller Awkward Family Photos way back in Over the Counter # 20. It truly was a laugh out loud book.

They're back with their latest collection - Awkward Family Pet Photos. All the photos have been sent in by the pet owners (and really every pet you can think of is covered) themselves. Some are accompanied by a short note setting the scene. Others - well some pictures speak for themselves....

Now, I am a devoted pet owner myself - I'm a dog person. I do have many photos with myself and my pups, but I've never taken a formal portrait with them. The studio posed photos had me laughing out loud. I wonder what the photographer thought when one family had a picture of their four children taken - each one with their pet snake.

The candid photos are the best though. Pets are indeed part of our families and their willingness (most of the time) to go along with some very dubious costumes, situations and settings make for some great memories. And with Christmas around the corner, make sure you take a photo as you put that reindeer headband on your dog or take your chinchilla to visit Santa. And then you can submit your photo to the Awkward Family Pet Photo website.

Really, if you need a chuckle, (or a gift for that 'what do you buy' person on your list) pick up either of these (awkward) books!
Profile Image for Diane.
2,023 reviews5 followers
November 14, 2011
As an animal lover in need on a good laugh, I was pretty sure this book would fit the bill. I wasn't aware that there was a website devoted to this as well as Awkward Family Photos until I got my hands on this eBook.

Unfortunately, the eBook was read on my black/white print Kindle, so for a book which consists mostly of photographs, this is not the ideal way to view this book. I was able to flip through the actual book at my local bookstore as well, so that made the book much more fun for me. The book is a quick read, and does include a few brief stories along the way. Many of the photos are totally ridiculous and it made me wonder about the people submitting the photos for consideration -- some are certainly cringe-worthy.

There is a section of Holidays and I think these were may favorite --very funny. In addition there is a section of farm animals which were very fun, vacations with people and their pets. Other sections feature, cats, dogs, exotic pets and just plain "awkward pets".

This is one of those books that would be perfect to have on your coffee table when you are have company over --a perfect conversation started for sure. This book would also make a fun holiday present for the animal lover who has everything. Check it out and see what you think.
Profile Image for Loveland Library Teens.
28 reviews4 followers
January 31, 2014
Quick Picks For Reluctant Readers
4Q, 5P, A/YA, Ages 8+
I’ll admit that I had every intention of scanning this book and moving on only to find myself reading it page by page. Laugh out loud funny pictures of people and their furry friends accompanied by witty taglines and the occasional narrative made this a real pleasure read. Whether posing with their primped up poodle or the 4H prize-winning cow, each of these pictures tells a story about the relationships we have as humans to the animal world without trying to do any more than make us laugh. A real hidden gem within this book are the “Pet-a-likes” featuring photos of pet owners who look like their pets. The resemblance is head-shakingly funny. More than once, you’ll feel sorry for the pets in this book who suffer through designer doggy shoes, relentless attention and just plain old-fashioned awkwardness inflicted by those who love them the most. But then you’ll look at the pet owners and realize that the amount of love they expend on their pets is a beautiful thing. The cover art featuring a pleading lab being hugged with ridiculous enthusiasm by a balding orange-sweatered man will entice anyone with a funny-bone to open this book up and take a look.
Profile Image for Mrsbear.
326 reviews
January 9, 2012
I enjoyed this book. I am an animal lover, cats are of course my favorite pet but I love them all. I enjoy looking at pictures as well. So combine the love of animals and the interest in looking at peoples pictures and you have a win, win for me.

This is not just your everyday dog and cat photos. These are family photos that include the human part of the family as well. We have snakes, pigs, monkeys, and horses just to name a few. Some are dressed, some are posed but all are just a bit out there in my opinion but enjoyable to look at and laugh at. I wondered many times while reading this book if these people meant for these pictures to be funny or if there were serious.

I wish the explanations of the pictures were a little more informative but I suppose they do speak for themselves. It is a fun book that will bring a smile to your face. Also a wonderful conversation starter if you have it on your coffee table!

Disclaimer: this book was received free of charge for an honest review
9 reviews9 followers
January 23, 2012
Awkward Family Pet Photos is just that - a collection of photos of people and their pets. Some are funny, some are confusing, and some are outright bizarre. The thing that I enjoyed most was when I started reading the stories that accompany many of these photos, and realized that these are awkward pictures that these people sent in of themselves! My favorite had to be a family photo, with a mom & dad, and two little girls. The pets include a snake, and a young alligator (crocodile?) with it's mouth taped shut. The youngest girl has obviously had an education on the teeth in that mouth, because while everyone else is looking at the camera, she has her eyes right on that reptile. I do believe she'd squirm right out of the picture, given the chance.

All in all, a cute book, with plenty of funny pictures to share. Great for an easy, lighthearted evening.
Profile Image for Nancy.
352 reviews10 followers
June 20, 2015
This one I found to be more fun than the original. Having had a collection of odd pets in our family over the years I feel for some of these people. But some of them have raised the bar of strange pets and what we do with them for a picture to whole new levels!! We never had any of our pets in professional pictures. And when you have to use electrical tape to make sure your Caiman (type of gator) does not bite your kids in the pro photo session.... Well.....here's your sign. (Some of you will get that joke stolen from Bill Engvall) The priceless one is the stuffed wolf they borrowed from the local Natural History museum for a pic of Grandma and Granddaughter with a very scared family dog next to them!
Profile Image for Charlotte.
1,298 reviews41 followers
November 2, 2011

Okay, we have all seen the hysterical, Awkward Family Photos. If you have not, you must click that link immediately and prepare yourself for hours of laughter. Well, I had no idea that because of their success they created a spin off website, Awkward Family Pet Photos.

There isn't a whole lot to say, but Mike Bender and Doug Chernack have gathered the best of the best. Hysterical family photos with all sorts of pets. Cats, dogs, birds and other exotic animals. This would be a great stocking stuffer for the pet lovers in your life!
Profile Image for Pither.
40 reviews
January 15, 2012
I had heard of Awkward Family Photos, but had no idea there was a pets version. As a pet owner (and one who has instigated her fair share of awkward pet photos), I found the book absolutely hilarious. The photos are funny all on their own. The captions could be hit or miss--most were good and added to the photo, but some almost reduced the humour of the photo. I also enjoyed the 'behind the scenes' stories attached to some of the photos--added even more humour to an already funny shot. Would definitely buy this book, would make a great gift.
Profile Image for Karen Siddall.
Author 1 book48 followers
May 18, 2012
Clever collection! Cute pictures of kids and entire families with their pets - not just their dog or cat either. Many are actually taken in studios! Captions are entertaining and not snarky. There is a section where pets were captured inadvertently, in the background, doing what comes naturally - so this part may not be for the kiddies. This was just a nice little book to enjoy while relaxing (for me). I look forward to going to their website in the future to see photos that didn't make "the cut" or maybe just not "the cut-off."
Profile Image for Stevie.
101 reviews
December 6, 2011
Another book we looked through at the bookstore. Follows the same vein as the website and is entertaining, but nothing phenomenal. I think I would have enjoyed one of the normal awkward family photo books because there would have been more variety than a pets version.
Profile Image for Tiffany Day.
564 reviews13 followers
December 9, 2011
A fun quick read, which - like its predecessor (Awkward Family Photos) - moves blog material into print form. Fun to flip through for a few chuckles; might make a good gift for the animal-centric pet lover. 3 1/2 to 4 stars
Profile Image for Brian.
1,629 reviews41 followers
December 23, 2011
This book is great if you have or love pets. The pets in this book are absolutely adorable, and I laughed out loud a few times. It's hard to compare this book to a REAL book, but I gave it four stars instead for the humor, and the fact that it was an enjoyable read.
Profile Image for Jenny.
189 reviews6 followers
June 5, 2013
The perfect Christmas gift for that wonky relative you have who spends way too much time looking at lolcats, or for that white elephant exchange at work. Would be best in a pet-themed gift basket. But not for me.
Profile Image for Lesley.
2,335 reviews
July 22, 2014
Well my 10 yr old daughter and I read this together. There was some very funny laugh out loud pictures! But also some gross ones. My only complaint I would've like a little more story behind some of the pictures! Great collection of some odd family photos including the pet.
Profile Image for Stef.
1,033 reviews3 followers
November 11, 2015
Not quite as fun as Awkward Family Photos but this was definitely entertaining. It was perfect to have on hand when my boyfriend was getting ready to leave for work and said, "Quick, show me a funny dog picture!"
Profile Image for Terry Collins.
Author 155 books19 followers
April 25, 2019
Maybe too much of a good thing? The weakest of these collections I’ve read, although dogs pooping in the backgrounds of oblivious photo subjects is always funny.
Profile Image for Peacegal.
9,660 reviews83 followers
January 6, 2016
With the success of the website and book Awkward Family Photos, it's not surprising that pets should get into the act, as well. Pets have been paraded in front of cameras since the earliest days of photography, and no doubt were as befuddled, annoyed, or startled then as they often are today.

This book wasn't entirely what I imagined, as not all of the photos are professional portraits nor do all involve human family members. Some are just the "cute animal in a hat, etc." photos of the sort you see all over social media. It seemed to me that the creators were at times just looking for filler.

It also disappointed me to see the authors presenting photos of the "it's not cute, it's dangerous" variety. There's a toddler eating out of a dog's food bowl while the dog looks on, a dog with its tongue partially in a baby's mouth, dogs sitting on babies and other one-twitch-away-from-an-injury scenes. There's also a surprising number of pet apes and monkeys, kids with large exotic cats, and a "family alligator" with its mouth duct-taped shut, which manage to be both dangerous and very sad. If these photos were to be included for their curiosity or historical value, perhaps a few words about our modern knowledge of humane animal treatment and human safety should be added?

And while this is neither here nor there, regarding the family dressed entirely in fur cradling their startled-looking Schnauzer: I sure hope Rover wasn't next in line on the clothing rack.
Profile Image for Amy Palmer.
168 reviews18 followers
November 14, 2011
Mike Bender and Doug Chernack hit the jackpot with their websites Awkward Family Photos and Awkward Family Pet Photos, and both sites have now been turned into books.

Awkward Family Pet Photos is made up of photos that were sent into the website by people who openly acknowledge the awkward positions they sometimes put their pets in. I was one of those people. After finding the website, I submitted a picture and was thrilled when the authors asked to use my photo in the book.

As odd as my photo is, there are many others that really outdo mine! There are photos of cats and dogs, of course, but then there are photos of exotic pets, farm animals, and birds. There are pictures of pets dressed up, pets during the holidays and pets included in formal family portraits.

In addition to the photos, there are some "Behind the Awkwardness" stories and some stories shared by a veterinarian. Of those, my favorite was a story told about a woman with low-vision who brought her cat to the vet for a visit. She took in a stray and fell in love with the kitty. When the vet looked in the carrier, she saw that it wasn't a cat at all. The woman had taken in a possum!

I recommend not only the book, but the website. If you need a good laugh, you'll find many there!
Profile Image for Megalion.
1,479 reviews46 followers
April 1, 2016
The picture on the cover is really the most "awkward" photo of them all. When I looked at these, I saw people who love their animals and including them in family photos.

For me what made Awkward Family Photos funny was that many of the photos are downright strange looking even if sometimes it's just bad hair or fashion.

Yet I couldn't appreciate the snarky captions that went with the pet photos in this book. The pictures were mostly really sweet.

Guess I out myself as an animal lover. Frankly if these are what pass as "awkward" photos, I could probably fill a book myself. But I wouldn't let it be denigrated even in the guise of humor like this.

EBOOK WARNING: I got my copy (epub) via Overdrive from my Library. I read it on my 9" tablet. Many of the photos were really small and couldn't be enlarged to get a better look. It's appalling to me that the book was formatted this way. I suspect it has to do with available resolution of the photos. Easier to blow up for a printed page then a screen. Either way... GO WITH THE PRINT version if you can. It has to be better than this.

But honestly, I'd skip this completely if you cherish your pets and ever take photos with them.
Profile Image for Christyn.
586 reviews21 followers
August 20, 2014
Awkward Family Pet Photo is a fun book full of funny and yes, awkward, family pet photos. There are 8 sections to the book: The Pet Portrait, Dogs, Cats, Birds, Farm Animals, Exotic Pets, Holidays with the Pets & Awkward Pets. Each chapter had an introduction that while not adding that much extra to the book were still entertaining. Some photo's had a little backstory to them, some had a title and a caption, other's didn't need them. There were also a few Tales from the Vet paragraphs that were also amusing. It was fun and certainly brought a smile to my face.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 119 reviews

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