All photos courtesy Awkward Family Photos
Addicted. Totally. And without remorse of any kind. It's my computer and I. It's not just that I love using it as a tool to create art. It's the web. The Internet is my worst vice and my greatest enjoyment. I am always on it. My husband has even said that someday he expects to come home find me stuck INSIDE the monitor, like some sort of Twilight Zone episode.
I can justify it to some extent, because I am not a TV watcher of any significance. I'd rather be on line, checking out everything from eBay to newspapers to blogs by other artists and writers then sitting in front of some mindless sitcom or self important drama. I've even discovered a whole cache of blogs that write about vintage stuff and collecting, which is what this very blog started out as about 5 years ago. There is no end to the kind of information I suddenly find myself interested in. Hey--wanna know more about scroll saws? Ask me!
Lately, however, my addiction to the net has to do with something more essential: getting my daily dose of humor. And my top choice of enjoyment? AWKWARD FAMILY PHOTOS.
The magic of photography is the capture of the small moment. The unseen record keeper getting the great shot in the split second. Naturally, we think of the epitome of this genre, Henri Cartier-Bresson:
"The simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as the precise organization of forms which gives that event its proper expression... . In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little human detail can become a leitmotif."
And then, sometime the success and attraction of photography comes in the form of the posed picture or the planned portrait. I could go on and on about that kind of photo shoot with regard to the genuine artists I love who perfected that genre, like Diane Arbus, but since I am talking about my daily laugh-out-loud moment, let me get back to Awkward Family Photos, a site dedicated to just that: awkward family photos--the kinds of pictures we shoot or are taken of us that are generally purposeful or meant to be taken seriously, but end up anything but. The sort of picture that tells us much more than the picture's subjects may have intended.
No matter what my mood is, once I head over to this web site, I am laughing. Literally. Sometimes to the point of tears. And, I even look at the older entries, and laugh again. And again. Of course, I must give credit to the site's creators, because often it is their captions for the photos that make for the funniest part of my visit. The caption for the picture below is: You can always spot the father who someday, will have trouble letting go.
If pictures alone are not enough for you, there are also great stories shared by family members. Like this hysterical letter regarding what kind of responsibility guests need to take on to insure a successful Thanksgiving. Ahem! Read it now, you lazy schnorers, you!
I have to admit I had the hardest time choosing pictures to put in this post. And, once I started looking at the site again, I couldn't stop. That's a problem, because things that need to get done are not getting done. I'm having too much fun hanging out at AFP. My best advice is to tell you that you need to really take your time and check out the site for yourself. Make sure to pour over every page. CAUTION: DO NOT SIT AT YOUR COMPUTER WITH ANY SORT OF BEVERAGE, UNLESS YOU DON'T CARE IF YOU SPRAY YOUR DRINK THROUGH YOUR NOSE ONTO YOUR KEYBOARD.
Once you've had a chance to get your own belly laughs, head over to this site and vote for AFP. They deserve to win!
Finally, let me share my favorite picture from AFP. Look closely. Look VERY closely. BTW, has anyone seen Aunt Telcia?