I just never get tired of the site Awkward Family Photos. It cracks me up every time. Brings me back to my brief stint as a portrait photographer. If you stop and think about the nearly impossible task of forcing people together into a small room in front of a draped piece of fabric and making them pose, smile, sit still and look natural all at the same time, it's no wonder there are so many hilariously bad portrait studio photos in the world.
I've done some pretty cool things in my life, but portrait studio photography was not one of them. It's not something I would ever want my art professors at St. Olaf to know about. I did my best to try and convince the soccer moms and well-intentioned dads to go for the more tasteful photos, but all too often, the customers would get a tad overzealous with the matching outfits and draped tulle.
There was no turning back once they started requesting things like back-lit hair, family pyramids, and the old random Grecian column. Can someone please tell me why Greek columns are such a staple of portrait photography studios? I may or may not have whipped out a killer arm shelf whilst leaning atop of a classic Greek column during my own low-budget senior year photo shoot, but I was young, naive, and shockingly not as cool as you might think. Pretty sure I spent more money on my science fair board than I did on my senior pictures. That, my friends, is what makes those awkward portrait photos so funny - because we've all been there. We all have them, and at some point, we've all rocked the arm shelf.