All In The Family

August 27, 2013
My family photo, 1977-ish paired with the Muppets! Similarities...yes.

My family photo, 1977-ish paired with the Muppets!

As the youngest of 11 kids, I have contributed to plenty of awkward (and hysterical) family photos.

With a tribe that size, it is inevitable at any given time someone is going through a less-than-adorable phase. Except my sister, Lori. She was always cute.

In the early years, we took our family photo at church. My mom would get a large print made and hang it above our sofa. With each new photo, the previous one went into an album for our college friends to learn an entirely new stomach pain from laughter. We had to be incredibly confident in our friendships to bring out the “albums.” Mates had to be fiancés before those binders came out. Individually, the albums are funny, but the collection is almost too much for one sitting.

Last month, we decided to have a family photo taken since it had been many years since the last one. This would be the first time someone would be missing — our dad. He had incredible patience in life, but when it came to photos, he thought one was enough. We missed him for many reasons this time around, but the photographer certainly had a larger window of time to capture the picture without him there.

Leading up to the picture, I did a Google search on family photos. Instantly, multiple posts of “Awkward Family Photos” appeared. The site and the book practically document my childhood.

Awkward Family Photo: Denim Pile Up

Awkward Family Photo: Denim Pile Up

Awkward Family Photo

Awkward Family Photo

If you ever need a laugh, regardless of your size family, this should provide. Honestly, I was laughing hysterically. For humor, I provided a PDF of inspiration to my family. Most of my siblings knew I was kidding, but one thought I was suggesting we all wear a denim shirt.

I have art directed many photo sessions and although I have experience, I left it at “Everyone wear solid colors.” I didn’t go as far as sending this link (to avoid a unanimous family eye roll), but I think it could be a helpful resource.

And, this one may have some valuable nuggets in it as well although the site design made my eyes hurt.

At our shoot, the photographer started with my mom in a comfy chair, then the two boys, then the two wearing orange—two by two until the 12 people were in place. Instead of this being a photo, the real capture would be video. The in-betweens. The commentary with this most recent photo was as entertaining as as it was all of those years ago during the church photos.

The In Betweens

The In Betweens

One thing is irrefutably true. It is as wonderful to capture the awkward moments as the graceful ones. Or, at least that is what anyone would say who has experienced pure joy from the Grobe family albums.

You’re welcome.