Friday night, my friends and I got together for Lakeshore Beverage and Brewery Ommegang’s latest Game of Thrones beer event- Return to the Throne. It was a fantastic time. Unfortunately, several of the photos taken by Geek Girl Jess are unusable. Why? PHOTOBOMBING.
Photobombing is the worst.
In case you haven’t heard of this “trend,” (a trend I thought was dead, btw,) photobombing is the act of getting into a photo that isn’t yours. The perpetrator either jumps into the back of the photo or leaps into the foreground, often making an ugly, “hilarious” face. It is awful. Sure, the person doing it gives themselves a laugh (?), but frankly, the photo is ruined- both for the photographer and their subject.
So, let me lay down the law once and for all for EVERYONE: Stop photobombing. Just. Stop. I know you get giggles out of it, but really- the damage you’re doing is not worth whatever minimal reward you’re receiving. Here’s why:
1. You make photographers do extra work. Literally every photo I take at conventions has to be policed for bombers. If I see a person jumping in before I take the shot, I can say, “You. Get out.” Usually, the busted individual obliges. Sometimes, though, they don’t, and continue to interfere- obnoxious.
If I see a photobomber in an image AFTER I take it, hopefully the cosplayer is still around. I’m then forced to say, “I’m sorry to trouble you, but may I take that again?” It wastes time for all of us, but at least a quality image is achieved.
2. You can ruin a photo entirely. The worst case scenario is when I don’t notice a photobomber until I get home. Then, I don’t get to use the photo at all. Thanks for nothing, random passerby!
3. A photographer’s credibility is on the line. Think about points 1 and 2. Imagine you hired me to cover your event, and I produce either a bunch of photos with face-making stooges in them, or no photos at all because I had to scrap so many. I want to create great imagery for the people kind enough to hire me. Photobombers, you could actually be damaging a photog’s reputation.
4. The subjects of the images also lose. The hard work that cosplayers put into their costumes deserves to be noticed. They should absolutely get lovely, well-done images of their art. Instead, they get people selfishly hijacking the photo composition.
At small events, I literally may be the only photographer present. At larger venues, I try to capture first-time cosplayers, obscure characters, and folks who otherwise don’t get a lot of attention. A photobomber may wreck the ONLY DOCUMENTATION of someone’s costume. So sad.
5. Photobombing isn’t “cool” anymore. I remember maybe 5 years ago when photobombing was “new” and funny. Trust me, photographers were never laughing, but at least people were creative. That time is overwith.
6. You’re building your own reputation. When you photobomb, people WILL tag you on social media. Consider what reputation you might be giving yourself if every third photo of you on Facebook is you interrupting someone else’s show. Do you look like a jerk? Yup. Do you care? Well… that’s up to you.
If you are a serial photobomber, please explore what you find appealing about the act. Is it that you like being in photos? Great! Buy a camera and have fun! Is it that you enjoy getting laughs? Cool- there are many ways to do that without creating collateral damage. Are you bored or unhappy at an event? Don’t take it out on others. Instead, put yourself somewhere more fun. Do you just like causing chaos and strife for others? Uh, well, don’t. You need a new hobby.
Please, stop photobombing- for the photographers, the cosplayers, and yourselves.
For more Geek Girl Chicago, follow me on Facebook and Twitter! You can also subscribe by e-mail. Type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.