The art of photo bombing…

16 12 2011

<big post warning>

I love photo bombing.

It’s not meant to be a malicious activity, well most of the time.

I hope it brings a smile to the unsuspecting recipient.

And adds a certain je ne sais quoi.

For those that don’t know what a photo bomb is, The Urban Dictionary defines it as:

“The fine art of ruining other people’s photos. Usually by running in the background or making a silly face in the background. It’s usually done to strangers, but shit man, you better run if they notice at the moment, because you might get your ass kicked.”

I’ve partaken in a my fair share.

In the good old days of camera film, you knew that the surprise was guaranteed.

With the unfortunate invention of digital cameras, it has killed a degree of this surprise.

But don’t let this stop you.

So here’s my guide to “The art of photo bombing” with a few examples from theChive.

1. It’s all about the face
Ugly? Deranged? Blank? Intensely happy? Fist in mouth? There are lots of faces that you could pull and sometimes it ends up being a spur of the moment decision. Again, think about the location – what would be the most out-of-place face to pull? Don’t ruin a perfectly good photo bomb with a half-cocked face. Stand in front of a mirror and practice, practice, practice. And do it without laughing at yourself.

Good face...

2. Opportunity
The opportunity must present itself, and I don’t mean someone just taking a photo (see below points). Ideally, the person taking the photo must not suspect a thing. A staged photo bomb is simply not as funny. Think “You’ve been framed” when you know the video was staged. Disappointing.

Hello Kitty snaps...

3. Location
As with opportunity, location can present itself. Think about the environment of the photo – will it result in a close up or a landscape. Do you need to be up close and personal in the background or could you hang out of a tree?

Say treeeeeees

4. Subtlety
Any good photo bomber knows that a true masterpiece lies in the subtlety of the bomb. To be able to creep in and out of the background without anyone realising a thing until the photographer sees the result and you are nowhere to be seen. Think like a ninja.

But sometimes you just need to dive on in there kamikaze style.

If the wind blows, she might be in for a shock

5. Timing

Too early or too late and you miss the chance. If there is an obvious countdown or gathering of people, this can help give a clear indication of timing. Otherwise just get prepared and if you can, pull a face throughout – chances are and if you have prepared the person taking the photo will be looking at their friends, not the background. Don’t believe me? Watch this.

6. Friend or Stranger
It’s easy to photo bomb your mates, but if you really want to push things and earn the respect of fellow bombers, get into a stranger’s photo. With only 6 degrees of separation, chances are you could see it again and you’ll well up with pride at your creation.

Moments later, this chap was attacked. I wonder who did it...

7. Accidental versus intent
Closely linked to point 2, most photo bombs are designed with full intent. Some of the classics will always be the accidental photo bomb.

Look Ma I can fly

8. Commit
Most of the time, there is only one opportunity so you need to nail it. It takes practice but if you know what face you are pulling and can anticipate when the photo will be taken, just commit and worry about the consequences later.

You know this is going to sting...

9. Excuses
Sometimes it can get ugly and I don’t mean your face. Some people simply don’t see the funny side of your beautiful addition to their photo, so have a few excuses lined up. Failing that, just run away!

10. Execution
No, not gangland execution (although if you photo bomb the wrong people, you may as well dig your own grave) but taking into consideration all of the above points. Get out there and make it happen rain or shine!

It came from the sea...

With Christmas fast approaching plenty of opportunities will present themselves. Get stuck in.

Once you refine your skills, you could become infamous.

43 floors up and using my mouth as suction, I scaled the Empire State Building.

Like a ninja, seize the moment.




4 responses

16 12 2011

you left out the all time classic photo bomb….

Wifey x

16 12 2011

Still not sure if that is real or not!

28 03 2012

Had to laugh and be grateful that I was at the scene of the crime on the last one.

28 03 2012

He’s now working out in Hong Kong – goes to show how people will go to great lengths to avoid me. I hope you are educating the locals with various ‘poses’!

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