Photobombs & Uncle Bobs: how to ruin a perfect photo

A busy beach choice in high season makes for many photobombs

You may have seen the social media buzz about Tom Hanks “photobombing” a couple’s wedding photography in New York. The couple and their photographer, Meg Miller, were surprised by the popular actor jogging into their shoot in the park. Hanks lived up to his bonhomie reputation and posed for photos with the couple, including selfies he posted on his own Twitter page. That particular photobomb scenario made for an incredible memory the newlyweds will share with their friends and families for decades. Regrettably, most unexpected intrusions into your wedding photography aren’t as happily memorable. In fact, they can ruin a perfectly good photo.

Simple Treasures photographer, Claire Copeland, the original founder of Simple Weddings, shared stories of what is often referred to as the “Uncle Bobs” in professional wedding photography. Most couples have family members with good intentions who want to help capture the special day. Unfortunately, this can become not only a nuisance for the professional photographer, but it can actually prevent a photographer from being able to capture the best images. Common scenarios of Uncle Bobs are occasions when an amateur photographer attempts to tag along beside the professional and capture the exact same composition. This can create a number of problems, from confusion for the subjects being photographed (which camera to look into, for instance) to issues with lighting due to flashes or shadows caused by the well-meaning amateur.  Another example Claire shared is when she was photographing a beach wedding ceremony and the “Uncle Bob” kept getting in the frame of the shot. She was shooting the wedding to take advantage of the gorgeous water view behind the couple  and Uncle Bob was ever present in the background as he was trying to shoot the scene from a different angle. 

Uncle Bobs aren’t the only potential photobombs when you’re getting married in a public space such as the beach. The reality is that most beaches aren’t private and you’ll have to contend with other beachgoers. This is one reason you want to work with a wedding planner who understands the beaches and can recommend locations and times that are less crowded. Getting married in Clearwater Beach during the height of Spring Break is not recommended. That being said, we know that couples also have preferences for beaches based upon where they are staying, the time of year they and their loved ones can travel, and even budget issues which impact beach options. We understand these factors and having a discussion with your planner about location and time of ceremony will help manage your expectations for your wedding day.

Perfect photo of an emotional groom ruined by beachgoer in background

Your wedding day will pass by in a blur, especially if you are having a destination wedding where there are many activities scheduled into a few days. You’ll want to look back at your wedding photographs in the weeks and months after to relive the memories and catch things you may have missed in the emotional whirlwind of the day. Professional photography is one of the single largest and most important elements of your budget, so let our wedding planners discuss options for you to protect your investment. There are ways we can help you respectfully prevent the Uncle Bobs so you don’t have to have awkward conversations with your loved ones.  We even offer clever signs that we can include in your decor for an “unplugged wedding” to minimize smart phones during your ceremony. 

Even with planning and preparation, there are things that cannot be controlled and surprises will occur on your wedding day.  It’s how we react and address those unexpected things that can make the difference and lead to a great story of your special day to laugh about in the years to come. We’ve included a couple of examples of photobombed photos from our talented team just to show that it can absolutely happen – but that’s why you want lots of photos to choose from as well as Photoshop in extreme cases.

To enjoy more of the Tom Hanks story, check out Tom Hanks Wedding Photobomb.  To read more about the incredible photographers on our team, check out their bios and galleries: Simple Weddings Photographers