We’ve all had it.. The one person (or in my case, the few people) who see a fancy camera and just have to get in on it. Your centering your frame, setting your focus, the aperture, and shutter speed are perfect. Suddenly, just as you’re about to click that shutter… A small head pokes out of your model’s ear as if she sprouted another head. You poke your head up and you fight the urge to roll your eyes, you’ve been through this before. Yet, there’s something that you didn’t do that could potentially have been your downfall. Today, I share the ultimate photography tip for photo bombers!
Face the Facts That It Will Happen Several Times In Your Career. Everybody does it. Yes, even me.
One time, at the Gathering of the Juggalos, I just really was excited to meet one of my favorite photographers. I wasn’t thinking with my photog goggles on. At that point, I was a fan. So, every year he goes on the ultimate photo hunt at the Gathering. His pictures all all over the web, but in all honesty… I just wanted him to talk to me. To acknowledge my existence. I did everything in my power except yell “Igor, breathe on me PLEASE!”
So, he goes to shoot the girls of wolfpac in a group and I just… thought to myself: “This is my chance! I have to take it!” I did it. I jumped into their shot, trying to look natural despite all these women being completely half naked and me being clothed and successfully photo bombed for the first time in my life. I really just wanted to be a part of it. After the shot was taken, I stood amist the models walking away waiting for him to say something to me. I think I wanted him to put me in my place but more for him to “notice me”. He looked dead at me, with his usually disinterested face and said “What is this madness. This upside down anarchy symbols on your vest.” My eyes widened and he said “Ugh, I just have to take a picture of it.” and snapped a picture. Low and behold, myself and one of the cooler girls from the tour ended up on his website.
It was official, my favorite photographer had noticed me and it wasn’t even because of my photo bomb! The fact still remains that I did it. It didn’t matter what my reasoning for it was, it was just something that I felt was right at the time because I wanted to get his attention. Do I frown on it now? Yeah! I even considered sending him an apology email, but I honestly really don’t think he cares.
What That Story Has to Do With Your Photo bomber?
We as photographers make a huge mistake. When someone “unwanted” hops in your picture, you typically get annoyed because you’re not looking at it from their perspective. What’s their perspective you ask? I’ll tell you! When you’re a person who intentionally hops in a photo taken by someone else, it’s because you want your picture taken too! You’re excited to see something official go down right in your clear path and you want to be a part of it by any means necessary. (Take it from the person who photo bombed just to get yelled at about photo bombing!)
So what’s the Photography Tip for Photobombers?
Photobombing gives you a chance to market yourself and make a genuine connection! You can stop that photo bomber and make it a group mission. They want a memory, and you want a fun photo you and your client can laugh at later. With the permission of your client, invite the bomber to be a part of it. Smile when you say it, and make it fun! In my case, my “photobombers” didn’t even intend to bomb the picture, they just stood and watched. Yet, I wasn’t letting that happen! No way! I told them to jump in! “Come be America’s next top model.” When I looked over to Christine, she was smiling and amped up.
The important part: After the mini photobomb shoot, I took a picture of them by themselves and offered them my business card. They were all interested and one girl mentioned emailing me and talking about booking. She said she’d always wanted to have a professional session and that it seemed fun! I started the session off with one amazing client and ended with four. Don’t miss an opportunity! If you can, get a hold of their information too! Offer to email them a digital copy of the image they jumped into or tell them that it’ll be featured on your Instagram! Remember that this is as much for you as a photographer as it is for them as a client.
Bonus: What to do with the bombed shots.
Make an album for it on your Facebook page or dedicate a semi-annual blog session to a showcase of bombed pictures. It will bring a more down to earth vision to your brand as well as a fun collection for yourself. Photobombing is only bad if you make it that way.
PS: These fun people weren’t the only one to bomb that day.. *coughs* Christine.
Stay tuned for Christine’s session blog about her shoot and how she may have gotten chased around by a duck who just wanted to watch! Yet, if you can’t wait don’t forget to subscribe to the digital newsletter and you can also check out Christine’s Page on Facebook where you can see more pictures of her lovely face.