Recently the NBC Nightly News invited viewers to submit their best awkward family photos, which they’ve been adding to their Facebook page. Of course, there’s already an entire website, Awkward Family Photos, devoted to such photos, and they’ve been doing it since 2009.
Well, I have my own awkward pictures, too. After all, my father was the king of taking off-kilter photographs of his brood. Ironically, by profession he had been a fearless cartographer, taking aerial shots of the topography of Venezuela from propeller planes. But after settling down and moving to New York, he refocused his knack for landscape photography on us.
He was constantly taking photos of us, using his Rolleiflex Camera and trusty tripod. Like the paparazzi, we never knew where he’d pop up in our lives with camera in hand, making us pose time and again, until we were completely and unequivocally miserable from having to endure hours of endless photo sessions.
I actually remember taking the photo below. It was right after dinner and we were anxious to go back outside and play with our friends on the street. But my father made us pose forever and it was sheer torture, especially because he was using lights that stood eight feet tall on either side of him, and they were blinding. It’s a wonder I could keep my eyes open. Besides, this is probably one of the few photos that exists in which I look cute in my boy clothes hand-me-down’s.
The photo below was taken somewhere in the area of New York’s Central Park. And yes, this is how my mother would dress us whenever we’d spend a day in the city. Who knows why I have such a simpleton smile on my face. My brothers fare no better.
Even going to an amusement park–albeit, an educational one like Freedomland USA–couldn’t get us to crack a smile. Check out those pants on my oldest brother. Talk about high-waisted.
Can I get a “Bless you?” And why’s that backside sticking out of my brother’s head?? Sigh.
No matter how annoying all the picture-taking was at the time, today I’m grateful my father took the time to capture every minutiae of our childhood. When he passed away, we each ended up with several photo albums, chock full of memories. Some photos are quite good. And then there are the awkward ones. Sigh.
So how about you? Got any strange family photos you’d rather forget about–the kind that have tormented you throughout most of your adult life?