Imagine this scenario:
You’ve gotten together with your friends a big cosplay photoshoot. You’ve planned, discussed ways to pose, along with set up a place and time where all of you are gonna get together and do this thing. You all worked really hard on your costumes and you know when you get this group together you’re gonna look AWESOME.
I liken it to an artist planning out a painting in advance, gathering their brushes, paints, carefully deciding on a color scheme, plotting out where certain things go, ect. And they finally start working on it, and they work HARD, and it’s coming together so very well and …
… Then someone runs in and throws bright blue paint on it. Maybe not much. Maybe they just get a smear up in the corner, but it’s THERE, and now it’s there for everyone to see. And it wasn’t part of the artists design, and it doesn’t add anything to the painting, and in fact, it only angers the artist and pulls focus from the overall picture.
Photo-bombers for organized photo-shoots are the blue smear in the corner.
I absolutely CRINGE when I hear people joke about planning to do this to another group. It’s tacky, and while it might be hilarious to ONE person, there are a great deal more that aren’t in on the joke, and who have worked HARD on their costumes and who are there to be together for a cohesive photo that shows off their talent along with a common grouping of characters.
If you ever consider doing this to a group, THINK ABOUT EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THAT GROUP. You are one person, among many. This is not a protest, you are not making a point by photo-bombing, and the only message you are sending is “I have absolutely no regard or respect for anyone except myself.”
Don’t do it. Please don’t joke about it. Joking about it makes it seem like this is an okay thing to do, which again, it isn’t. It’s really rude.
If you see a big group doing their thing, ask the leader if you can grab pictures with them after they’re all done. Usually, they’ll say yes! Or, you might snag photos with a few individuals after for a better more intimate shot. Then you can do all of your crazy moves for the camera.
But respect the planning that other people do for these things. Sometimes, they’re planned almost a year in advance. And a year’s worth of planning should not be ruined by the last minute whim of some blue smear.
Relevant to my aggravation of the day, where in people argued that being upset by this (it actually happened this year to a big group shoot at Dragon Con) was “taking things too seriously” and “sucking the fun out of [cosplay]”, etc. Which is total crap.
This isn’t even about taking anything “seriously” it’s about not being a dick. Photobombing a shoot in this manner is like sticking googly eyes on someone’s piece of artwork. It’s funny for about 5 minutes and then it ruins the vision of what was intended and mars someone’s (in this case a lot of someones) hard work and effort and it’s not cool.
Again, it’s about not being a dick and spoiling something that other people worked very hard, throughout the year, to put together for the sake of your* own personal joke/fun.
If you had spent a ton of effort to throw a party and then some random person wandered in and shoved his face in the cake “for a laugh” would you just shrug and say ‘oh well, people laughed, I shouldn’t be so serious?” No, no, you wouldn’t and by inserting yourself*, uninvited, into a photoshoot (where photos are the ENTIRE PURPOSE OF THE GATHERING) that is essentially what you’re* doing and it’s not funny nor cool.
If you come across a photoshoot and you’re dressed as Deadpool or Waldo or Carmen Sandeigo or something else that you feel would make a funny “photobomb” ASK if it’s okay to jump into a couple of shots. A lot of group will say yes and laugh and have fun with you for a couple of poses, because they’re in on the joke now and then you can move on and they can continue to creative the art they were going for. However, understand and respect that if they say no they have reasons and you should take that no gracefully and find another group that might be more willing to work with you.
As Katie pointed out, the entire thing comes down to respect and either you* get that or you* don’t.
There is a humongous difference between photo-bombing some random hall photo (haha, annoying but easily retaken) and jumping into any sort of pre-planned shoot regardless of it being a big gathering or a little one. If you’re intruding on a planned shoot, you ask permission and you ask prepared that the answer may be no and you move on. End of story. Don’t be that person.