A Holiday Photo Book That Puts Families In An 'Awkward' Position | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

A Holiday Photo Book That Puts Families In An 'Awkward' Position

Play associated audio

In 2009, Mike Bender was horrified to find that his mother had hung a particularly embarrassing family photo.

"It was a vacation photo. It was my dad's 50th birthday. I was 13," he says. "My dad had my brother and I do a Rockette's kick with our skis. We were on top of a mountain, right by the lift, and I just remember feeling, you know, stuck in that pose: This. Is. Awkward."

But as an adult he realized that the photo was not only awkward — it was hilarious.

And so began the Awkward Family Photos blog. The concept took off, and Bender and co-founder Doug Chernack were soon accepting hundreds of submissions.

"Everybody has an awkward family photo somewhere — somewhere hiding in a drawer or in their attic, somewhere in the house," Bender says.

And with all of the togetherness of the holidays comes a wealth of opportunities for extreme awkwardness — thus, Bender and Chernack's new book: Awkward Family Holiday Photos.

"There is a running theme ... of kids who have peed their pants while on Santa's lap," says Bender. "That, I didn't realize was a thing, but it is apparently a thing."

There are also "bad" Santas, kids dressed in homemade elf costumes, and lots of babies imitating turkeys in roasting pans.

If you and your family want to get in on the awkwardness, Bender has some tips. First, he says, positioning is key.

"Usually, you know, you line up by height, you pile on top of each other, you do the arm shelf, which is where you actually lean on your hand, and your arm is down and you kind of create a shelf for your head. That is a classic."

Poses are also important. "Any sort of pose is going to make a photo awkward," Bender says. And keep holiday attire in mind.

"Matching outfits. You know, Christmas, for whatever reason, really brings out the matchy-matchy in everybody," he says. "So that means matching sweaters, matching red turtlenecks ... matching long johns."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Searching For Buried Treasure In China, A Writer Discovers Himself

During the Sino-Japanese War, Huan Hsu's great-great-grandfather buried his vast porcelain collection to keep it safe. Hsu went to find it 70 years later, on a trip about more than missing china.
NPR

Cheez Whiz Helped Spread Processed Foods. Will It Be Squeezed Out?

Turns out, the history of Kraft's dull-orange cheese spread says a lot about the processed food industry — and where it might be headed as Kraft and Heinz merge.
NPR

Proposed Payday Industry Regulations Must Strike Delicate Balance

The federal government is moving to reign in the payday loan industry, which critics say traps consumers in a damaging cycle of debt. A look at the possible effects of proposed regulations.
NPR

App That Aims To Make Books 'Squeaky Clean' Draws Ire From Edited Writers

Clean Reader — an app designed to find, block and replace profanity in books — has drawn considerable criticism from authors. This week, makers of the app announced they would no longer sell e-books.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.