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This image taken in Wales in c.1853 is possibly the earliest example of a photobomb[1]
A deliberate photobomb
An inadvertent photobomb

Photobombing is the act of purposely putting oneself into the view of a photograph, often in order to play a practical joke on the photographer or the subjects.[2] Photobombing has received significant coverage since 2009.[3] In discussing a "stingray photobomb" picture that went viral, Andrea DenHoed suggests that the photobomb label "implies a narrative of surreptitious sabotage,"[3] although in the sense of unintended and/or initially unnoticed people in the background of spoiled photographs, photobombs have existed for much of the history of photography.

Photobombing has been known to get global exposure, mainly due to the bandwidth and ease of dissemination afforded by the Internet, and the abundance of snapshots by smartphone cameras and other hand-held devices. A number of websites include sections on them, or are entirely devoted to photobombs.

In 2014, "photobomb" was named Word of the Year by Collins English Dictionary.[4]

Photobombing can be described as a person, intentionally or unintentionally appearing in a photograph of someone or something else and intentionally or unintentionally taking the focus and attention off of the intended subject.

Examples in the media[edit]


  1. ^ Edwards, Phil (25 September 2015). "This 1853 image might show the first photobomb". Vox. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  2. ^ "Definition of photobomb". Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  3. ^ a b DenHoed, Andrea (9 October 2012). "A Few Words About the Stingray Photobomb". The New Yorker. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  4. ^ After receiving Royal seal of approval photobomb beats twerk, Tinder, bakeoff and normcore to be named Word of the Year
  5. ^ "Bill Clinton photobomb with Kelly Clarkson at inauguration goes viral". Archived from the original on January 23, 2013. Retrieved 2017-06-04.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  6. ^ "MTV Buzzworthy: Kelly Clarkson Pulled Off The Best Photobomb EVER At The Grammys!! (PHOTO)". Buzzworthy. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  7. ^ Zach Kruse. "The Best of Aaron Rodgers' Photobombs". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  8. ^ "PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth pulls off epic photobomb". Metro New York. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  9. ^ Ed Erhart (18 September 2015). "The first smile and photobomb ever photographed".
  10. ^ Rosseinski, Katie (30 May 2016). "Prince Harry Photobombs A Model". GRAZIA.
  11. ^ raul (2016-04-18). "Paul McCartney's Famous 1964 Photobombing The Beatles George Harrison". Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  12. ^ "Celebrity Photobombers |". toofab. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  13. ^ "Ipswich fan Ed Sheeran swearily photobombing Norwich City legends at East Anglia derby will make your day". The Mirror. Retrieved 16 September 2018.

External links[edit]