AWKWARD FAMILY PHOTOS: So embarrassing, so impertinent

By Amanda García Martín. April 13, 2012


You have known this new friend for some time and you get on so well with her that you think she is the most incredible person you’ve ever met. You have projects together; you seem to agree on everything. You admire her. One day, she invites you to have lunch at her parents home, they are charming, very interesting. Now you understand everything. You excuse yourself to go to the toilet but when you return to the living room you can’t look them in the eye anymore. On your way there you found a photo, framed and hung, big, of the family members, but the father, that intelligent and pleasant man, is sitting in such a way that it seems as if he was in the middle of a physical and inexplicable relation with their dog. It is so embarrassing that you can’t imagine why that picture appears to be so prominent and is hung there, without shame, for the whole world to see. Wonderful people like them…

We have no escape; we are all tarnished by a photo from the past. Mike Bender and Doug Chernack found theirs together and decided to sneer at themselves. Instead of hiding it, not only they hung it on the wall, but posted it on the Internet. They wanted us to see who they really are, who we really are, because they also created Awkward Family Photos, a website where they publish the family pictures of whoever lets them. All those that should never see the light of day because they would end with any attractive feature we have ever been granted. So embarrassing, so impertinent.

Still, you can't stop envying your friend. That picture, hung with such nerve, can’t be more that a family joke, maybe involuntary, but upon such ingenuity falls all genius. There is nothing better than creativity when the weight of professional criticism is not on our shoulders. Be all welcome, then, to admire the imagination of all these people that pose without shame, freely, fulfilling the fantasies that, maybe, we've all had for a photographic setting. Fantasies we rejected in the end because we wanted to show that we were cooler than that. (And, please, don't miss the page where even animals seem to lose their appeal.)

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