Picture Perfect – the Photobomb

The photobomb. I bet it’s been in existence since the first time someone said, “Cheese!”

Depending on your side of the camera, photobombs are either hilarious or annoying. Overall mood and atmosphere play a significant role in the entertainment level, as does age, however there are faults to this formula. The ‘old soul’ second-grader will never be tickled by the moose antlers behind his head, even at the most epic birthday party ever. But your ‘child at heart’ aunt will genuinely laugh out loud at every set of well-placed bunny ears caught on film. Even if it’s at her own funeral. Especially if the bunny ears are given to the loved one who is never amused. Ahhhh…family photos. That’s a future post. Count on it.

The photobomb has gained some popularity these days – in my house anyway – which is no surprise since I have school-aged children and elementary school humor seems to recycle itself with each generation. I sure thought about photobombing pictures as a kid, but back in the old days of film and photo processing costs, photobombs could have gotten you killed. If my sisters and I had ever photobombed any of grandma’s expensive Polaroid shots, she probably would’ve never bought us ice cream ever again – a very sad consequence for us, because we were quite accustomed to eating ice cream at grandma and grandpa’s house. In fact, I bet I have some Polaroids of us enjoying ice cream. Good times.

If you ask me, inanimate objects do a better job of photobombing than any person ever could. Background clutter (or ‘visual noise’, as I call it) silently creeps into otherwise adorable pictures all the time. Like a ninja. What are these ‘visual noise photobombs’, you ask? Let’s take a look…

The ‘annoying object’ photobomb: All you wanted was a memorable shot of your kindergartener stepping from the bus on her first day of school. You waited with your camera, ready. You waited as she came down the bus steps, you waited for a smile,  and…GOT IT! Perfect shot of her, the bus, and…the stupid trash can you forgot to roll back from the curb.

The ‘unsightly clutter’ photobomb: What a gorgeous homemade birthday cake! Looks like it came straight out of a magazine. Too bad it’s surrounded by all the dirty dinner dishes. On rib night. That’s just gross.

The ‘optical illusion’ photobomb (when distance and alignment collide): Everyone’s smiling real smiles in this photo! And everyone’s eyes are open! Only took 45 minutes. Hold on…is that a tree growing out of mom’s head?!

The ‘it was in style at the time’ photobomb: Yes, those are the glasses I chose. Yes, I loved that shirt. Yes, I know my bangs are 5 inches tall – I labored hard to get them looking that good. Okay, I get it, I look like a dork, BUT THAT WAS THE STYLE AT THE TIME!

A photobomb is, well…bombed, because usually the bomb is so close to the photo’s subject it can’t be cropped and short of photo editing skill and painstaking hours, the image can never be fixed. It’s ruined.

As Christ followers, we are and should be a clear picture of Jesus Christ to everyone around us. The trouble is, He is perfect and we are so imperfect. We speak carelessly. We make selfish choices. We offend, we ignore, we react and our thoughtless mistakes so often become a HUGE distraction to everyone watching (or listening). Our selfish sin is a ninja photobomb, distracting everyone from seeing our beautiful Savior. And short of His grace, there is no covering our mistakes.

Thank God for His mercy and grace. His masterful hand is the only one capable of airbrushing the photobombs from our spoiled pictures. His forgiveness covers and restores. And in His strength, we are privileged to reflect Him again.

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One Comment

  1. I like the inanimate object ones too. Or the ones that look weird from a certain angle. I have a picture I took in Sedona of the beautiful mountains and from the angle in my room it looks like a big human face, but when I look at it full on its just a mountain. This picture shows two different sides one of beauty and one a little unusual that most will never see.

    I was recently reconnected to a friend that I’ve known for many years, I always thought of him as being unusual and now I’m seeing the fruit he has always brought into my life.

    P. S. Paul is good at photobombs he’s probably in every picture taken in London.

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