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More awkward than family photos? Awkward family pet photos!

awk3We’ve all got them…the embarrassing old pictures that make us cringe. Whether it’s the matching sweaters, outdated hairdoes or ridiculous staging, it turns out millions of people couldn’t resist sharing their own awkward family photos.

Listen to An extended conversation with “Awkward Family Pet Photos” authors Mike Bender and Doug Chernack

And the guys behind the wildly successful website and best-selling book “Awkward Family Photos” are at it again, finding it’s not just people that subject themselves to such absurdity.

“We noticed that every single time we posted a pet photo we were getting such a huge response it just felt like this was a separate world and really there’s a separate world there and it deserves a home of its own,” says co-author Doug Chernack.

Along with his buddy Mike Bender, the pair created a separate website that’s now spawned a new book, “Awkward Family Pet Photos.”awkward1

“The pets aren’t the awkward ones. It’s us,” says Chernack. “The fact that we do so many things that we want them to be part of. We throw them birthday parties, we give them middle names, we take them to see Santa Claus at the mall.”

But we don’t just subject our pets to such awkardness at Christmas. Chernack says his favorite picture in the book is a guy posing with his terrified looking cat on the lap of a freaky looking Easter Bunny. “His eyes look like they’re about to pop out of his head.”


One of the biggest surprises for both was all the different kinds of animals people consider pets.

“There were pets out there I didn’t even know you could have as a pet,” Bender says. Like skunks, racoons, alligators and other seemingly wild animals, which just adds to the awkwardness.

But even though there are plenty of cringe-inducing shots, you won’t find the guys deliberately making fun of anyone.


“We both felt like this had to be a celebration of awkwardness. You know especially given the fact it started with our own photos,” says Cherneck. “We bo no means are saying that we are any less awkward than the people that submit.”

By Josh Kerns/97.3 KIRO FM

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