35 Of The Most Awkward Couples' Pictures I Selected From My Instagram Account
My name is Mike Bender and I'm the co-founder of an Instagram account "Awkward family photos" dedicated to celebrating our most cringe-worthy photos. At AFP, we laugh with our community, not at them, and let's face it - we all have cringe photos!
In honor of Valentine's Day, I decided to put together some of our greatest couple's photos submissions and the stories behind them to celebrate the inherent awkwardness of amor.
“They encountered a black metal band during their engagement shoot.”
I went home one weekend to see my parents and found my mother hanging up an awkward photo from my childhood. At first, I thought it was so strange that she was memorializing something so cringeworthy, but then I thought about it more and it was kind of genius.
Given that we all have photos like this, I thought what if (along with childhood friend, Doug Chernack) we could create a website where everyone could share their strange family pics and that's how AFP was born. We had no idea it would become as popular as it is today.
"My favorite picture of my parents. Them on their wedding day, 1991."
"Found this version at my grandma’s. If anyone in the family had broken up with a significant other, she had a Sharpie ready to joyfully remove the offending partner."
We receive well over a hundred photos per day and since we began in 2009, have received over 1.5 million photos from around the world.
Personally, I'm a fan of anything from the '70s and '80s... I just love the clothes and the style at the time and it was the golden era of the photo studio, where families would go and embrace the most uncomfortable poses, like piling on top of other family members. Looking back, it was a gloriously awkward time.
“Dad was sure the church photo would only be taken from the waist up.”
“We had the worst wedding photographer in the world. I think this says it all.”
From the time our website and Instagram began, people have really embraced Awkward Family Photos. We have always been about celebrating the awkwardness rather than making fun of people. After all, we all have them and the way we see it - sharing your awkward photo is kind of a badge of honor, something to be proud of!
School photos and baby photos might be the most popular followed by family portraits and wedding photos.
"I was going through the pictures when I saw I totally blocked my husband out with my big hair. Then a good friend of mine pointed out the bush in the background looks like a demon."
“When the preacher said ‘Kiss the bride,’ my four-year-old decided to put a finger in my butt.”
We have a new game with all of our greatest photos where players get the chance to caption the pics with famous movie lines. It's really fun for the whole family and a great way to spread the awkwardness! You can purchase the game here.
“This is a photo of my Ma and Pop out on a date in the ’80s. My mom must have followed the instructions on my father’s shirt because 9 months later I was born!”
“Here’s my Mom and Dad in September 1970. Credit to the photographer for the special effects pre-photoshop.”
“I photographed my sister-in-law’s wedding (my husband’s sister). I knew the window overlooked a part of the hotel’s roof, but I didn’t notice the workers until after I snapped a few pictures."
"My parents leaving their wedding reception for their honeymoon road trip in a VW van. 1971."
“My husband and I wanted to take a Christmas family photo with our dog Rylee, but he kept wandering off. When we got home our photographer called us and said, ‘I found where Rylee was.”
"My sister is the one who has wisely chosen not to participate in this smooch-fest.”
“Despite the doom & gloom depicted in the picture, four kids & 28 years later, we’re still together.”
“The chainsaw was the neighbor’s Christmas present. It's funny because my mom is smiling even though my dad looks kind of like a potential serial killer.”
"My parents on their wedding day, Vancouver 1986."
“My parents in high school… I’m not sure what is going on here.”
“My parents' wedding photo taken in the early 60s with my mother wearing pan-stick makeup. My mom just looks SO happy, doesn’t she?"
“The only thing I know about this photo is that my parents were at a business event.”
“We were doing a newlywed photo shoot. We wanted to take romantic photos but something caught his eye while he was trying to pose."
“I’ve always told my husband that he’s been smitten with me since our first date. It’s easy to understand why when we look back at our engagement pictures.”
“My husband and I got married before everything in our area was shut down for COVID-19. Loved this photo of us with my new father-in-law in the background…on a dig.”
“Yes, this is my engagement picture. We thought it would be cute meaning ’til death do us part, but everyone thought it meant our love was already dead.”
Photographer: Jack Carey, Edited by Robin Simpson
“This is my parents getting hitched in Oatman, Arizona on the gallows in ’88. Yes, legally.”
“My aunt and uncle's family portrait from the early ’90s.”
“My parents going for a ride right after they got married.”
“We just got married, and had no kids… just this cat skeleton, “Bones”. We decided to take him with us to our first family portrait.”
“The photographer directed us to close our eyes and look relaxed. My fiance nailed it… actually, I think he fell asleep.”
“Our wedding was held over Thanksgiving at my grandparents' church and they wanted to keep the festive decor in place for our ceremony.”