Embassy Suites Awkward Family Vacation Photo Contest

Well, after more than a thousand submissions and over fifty thousand votes in our biggest contest ever, we finally have a winner! A big congratulations goes out to the Larson family for their amazingly awkward photo that proves wearing those matching bucket-hats, short-shorts, and tube socks was totally worth it. They now receive the ultimate prize from Embassy Suites:

  • $15,000 to cover airfare and expenses

Congratulations also goes out to our five impressive runners-up who win 2 nights at an Embassy Suites Hotel of their choice and a signed copy of the Awkward Family Photos book.

Thanks to all of our nominees and the whole AFP community for submitting so many amazing photos (see all of the submissions here)!


Can’t wait? Book your next vacation with Embassy Suites Hotels now!


Patriot Games

“During our Fourth of July family vacation, this was apparently our patriotic duty…”

 9439 Votes

Submitted by Derek • August 1st, 2011 • 49 Comments »

Summer At The Lake

“Our daughter had rebellious teen years. Now 26 and a successful young adult, this (and similar) pictures make wonderful blackmail material.”

 7993 Votes

Submitted by Mary Ellen Lathrop • July 14th, 2011 • 48 Comments »

Pump Up the Jam

“One can only imagine what was going through my stepdad’s mind when he choose his “outfit” for a day out at Disney World. I’d like to think that his decision came down to the extreme temperatures that come with Orlando, FL in July. However, that doesn’t explain the tube socks. It’s shocking, but the girl with the duck on her head (me) doesn’t look so silly standing beside a man in a belly shirt. This picture is legendary in my family so I’m happy to share it with the world…with my stepdad’s permission of course.

 5321 Votes

Submitted by Amy • July 14th, 2011 • 24 Comments »

Close Encounters

“This is my son on a weekend trip to a drive through safari. My daughter was crying. My son wasn’t exactly thrilled with the close-up animal encounters either.”

 4757 Votes

Submitted by Jennifer • July 19th, 2011 • 49 Comments »

Bag Lady

“Ever since my older sister was born, my dad was filming and taking photos of us. Then I was born and we went to Hersey park. It seems having a baby in a stroller helped equip dad with a way to carry his camera bag aka the part that actually records. Circa 1986.”

 3548 Votes

Submitted by Jax • July 15th, 2011 • 14 Comments »

Bump On A Log

“Family Vacation in Florence, Oregon April 2010. After setting up the entire family and the camera on the tripod for the perfect family photo, my daughter ran to jump into the photo and missed the log, falling over it head first. Nobody could stop laughing long enough to help her and we got 12 shots of nothing but her boots in the air. Of note is how her sister in law put a hand on her leg to save her going over but never broke her pose in all 12 shots!”

 2745 Votes

Submitted by Kathleen • July 15th, 2011 • 27 Comments »

Logging Off

“My wife doesn’t do rides, but we got her on this log ride so we could get a picture with the whole family. Mission accomplished.”

 2295 Votes

Submitted by Kenneth • July 19th, 2011 • 9 Comments »

In Living Color

“Our first trip to Florida. Yikes, what were we thinking? On the way home we stopped in at a truck stop in Kentucky. All of the truckers stopped what they were doing and stared at us. One of them asked where I killed the pink elephant to get the pants.”

 2080 Votes

Submitted by Andy • July 18th, 2011 • 11 Comments »


“Every year, my family would go to our grandparents cottage in Groton Long Point, CT to vacation. We all have nothing but fond memories of summertime there, until we came upon this photo. Not sure what went wrong, or why we hated lining up on the boardwalk to take this photo, but this always makes us laugh and question what we were thinking!!”

 2035 Votes

Submitted by Kaitlin • July 14th, 2011 • 4 Comments »


“Those not in the know always tried to figure out why we were standing in front of an airplane in our swimsuits. When our dad was the company pilot we got to borrow the plane for a trip to California. We stayed at a motel right on the taxiway. Dad wanted a picture of his two loves in life, family and flying, so he pulled us out of the pool to snap this picture. We obliged only to have this picture haunt us for the rest of our lives.”

 2015 Votes

Submitted by Jeff • July 30th, 2011 • 12 Comments »

Restroom In Peace

“Our family was on a road trip in the south and while traveling our 3 year old daughter, just potty trained, had to go. This was the nearest place to us to pull over and stop.”

 1871 Votes

Submitted by Amanda • July 13th, 2011 • 15 Comments »

Dixie Chick

“I’m in the green on the left, fuming. I was tricked into going to the Dixie Stampede. They told me we were just going out for chicken. This picture has been on my family’s fridge for the past 10+ years to remind me of my bad attitude… and because it makes my mom laugh.”

 1735 Votes

Submitted by Ashley • July 18th, 2011 • 17 Comments »

South Of The Border

“My family was visiting my maternal uncle and his family in southern California in 1968. We did all of the normal stuff people did in southern Cali while we were there. This included visits to Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, Hollywood and, apparently at that time, making a day trip to Tijuana. I don’t remember much about our Tijuana experience except for all of the street hawkers and the taking of this picture. This photo has been something my family has been able to laugh about over the years. In reflection, I cannot imagine a better vacation picture we ever took, because it really brings the memories of that vacation in 1968 flooding back every time I see it. And it still provides a good chuckle too!”

 1650 Votes

Submitted by Craig • July 27th, 2011 • 7 Comments »

Invisible Man

“This photo was taken in Las Vegas; I remember the photographer telling us beforehand that I’d “disappear” because of my green shirt and the green screen. The placement of my sunglasses was unintentional, but it enhances the awkwardness.”

 1563 Votes

Submitted by Roman • July 21st, 2011 • 3 Comments »

Brace Yourself

“This is a picture of me and my dad at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, CA from last year. My dad and my brothers convinced me to ride this rollercoaster, despite the fact that I am deathly afraid of rollercoasters. I made my dad sit next to me….thinking that would make me feel safer. I was WRONG. Lol, he was just as scared as I was.”

 1519 Votes

Submitted by Khalia • July 26th, 2011 • 9 Comments »

Problem Child

“My Father took the family on a cruise in Nov 2008. My son (top right corner) seemed to always be getting into trouble on this vacation. He acted like a “wild child” the entire cruise. His face said it all!”

 1519 Votes

Submitted by Kim • July 27th, 2011 • 6 Comments »


“This is my parents and older brother at his first trip to the beach. My dad had very little experience with children before my brother was born, I think it shows.”

 1503 Votes

Submitted by Dana • July 20th, 2011 • 4 Comments »

National Treasure

“This is my mother, brother and I at the Smithsonian when I was 9. The vacation was tense, to say the least, because I didn’t want to be there, my brother wanted to see ALL of the monuments, my dad was married to an itinerary and my mother just wanted to go shopping. Not only was this our final family vacation, EVERY PHOTO WE TOOK on this trip is of us not smiling!!”

 163 Votes

Submitted by Cyndy • July 25th, 2011 • 3 Comments »

Split Decision

“When you go to Hawaii the big thing is to go to a Luau while your there. Well when we went we didnt know our family was going to be split up with a half-dressed hula dancer, but what do you do when your in that kind of situation? Put on a big cheesey smile and try not to make a rude remark.”

 162 Votes

Submitted by Danaka • July 23rd, 2011 • 8 Comments »

Urban Camping

“This was our first camping trip when we moved to Colorado back in the day. Apparently nobody told us that camping actually involves getting outside of civilization — notice the lamp post and train in the background!”

 150 Votes

Submitted by Daniel • July 29th, 2011 • 4 Comments »