Local College Student and Friends Give Photobomb a Run for Its Money

By: Greg Otten

RUINED PICTURES? YEAH HE’LL TAKE THEM

A local college student takes photo bombing to the local crowd, and the reactions couldn’t be more appropriate.  Or inappropriate depending on how you look at it.

What is photo bombing, one might ask?  It’s simple.  Find a picture being taken, position yourself (obscurely) in the picture and smile – or not.

According to Whois.net, ThisIsPhotobomb, a website that is devoted to the art, has been functional as a stand-alone site since 2009.

With more than 1000 pictures, it is easily the biggest collection of ruined photos anybody has ever taken the free time to collect.

But with the advent of Facebook, creeping has become a more intimate project.

Tom Miller

Creator of Creepin Album

“My brother showed me Photobomb,” said the creator of Facebook’s Creepin Album about his inspiration.  “Then I was at my rival high school’s prom, and I decided to ruin a couple of people’s pictures.  I just stuck my head in there and said, ‘Cheese!’”

Thomas Miller, a sophomore at Kirkwood’s Iowa City campus, has taken the task of compiling his friends’ best ruined pictures.

“Ever since it got kind of big,” said Miller, “I get five to ten messages a week in my inbox of people saying, ‘Dude look at these.’”

But just because you send the pictures to the Keeper of the Creepers, you are not guaranteed entry into the system.

“A lot of them don’t make it because they aren’t worthy,” said Miller.  “The standard is pretty high.”

One of the most beloved pictures of the audience has two male friends kissing on a dare, and what do you know, another person creeps into the picture underneath the arms of the two friends.

With material like that, the effort put into creeping needs to be top-notch – kind of.

“If it makes me laugh it goes on.”

THE ART OF THE CREEP

Slow to start, the album contained only the prom pictures of Miller.  But soon, the competition started.

“The ones of me are the best,” said Miller’s brother, Andrew.

The art of creeping is on par with the skill needed for some of the most daunting tasks.

Andrew describes it as such:

Photobomb Excellence

You'll never guess which one is Andrew

It’s not easy.  You have to be patient.  It’s like trout fishing.  You may see an opportunity, but by the time you see it they always see you.  So you kind of have to act like you aren’t going for it, and you have to time it, so when they push the button you just slide right in there.  Also, a lot of people do it wrong, and that irks me. A lot of people just like to stare at the camera.  Why stare at it when you can completely ruin it and draw complete attention to yourself?  That is what I think makes the best creep.

And his pterodactyl creep is proof of his excellence in the field.

CULTURAL PHENOMENON

Since the creation of the Creepin Album, Tom says he has received some weird comments.

“I’ll be at a party and some random people will walk up and ask, ‘Are you Thomas Miller?’ ‘Yeah.  ‘Oh my God, I love your creeping album.  So and so showed it to me and I thought it was hilarious.’”

The pressure to keep a quality product on the internet has done nothing to stop his creative eye from scanning hundreds of pictures to find the best ones.

If the math is correct.  At two years running, giving the start up process six months, Tom has received, estimated, between 400 to 800 pictures to add to the album.

However, the album now only contains a roster of 83 pictures.  The best of the worst, so to speak.

“One of my friends was getting his senior pictures done,” said Miller.  “And while [my other friend’s] mom was doing it, [he] creeped off in the back behind a couple of trees.  There he is in about seven or eight pictures.  Ruined some senior pictures. Taking it to a whole new level.”

These pictures have yet to be nominated for Album status, but rest assured, something like that has not gone unnoticed by Miller.

“Those were some expensive creeps.”

NOTE: Link to album has been requested by creator to be unlinked.  But it does exist.

Edit: Not 5 to 10 messages per day, it’s per week.  Corrected math as well.  Sorry gang.

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