Dad steals daughter's place in homecoming photos and scores a viral hit

Oct 19, 2015 at 4:42 a.m. ET

LaCrosse, Wisconsin, is a close-knit community with one high school where kids meet up in a central location to take pictures before the homecoming dance. But this year's homecoming photo shoots were a little different for photographer Sharee Schock... and the result is going viral.

Sharee's husband Benjamin had made comments in jest about doing to the boyfriend whatever was done to his daughter. She knew her husband was "up to something" but she was just as surprised — and entertained — when Ben hopped in the picture and posed with his arms around the waist of his daughter's date. As you can see from the pictures, the boyfriend took things in stride.


Although sophomore Ricarra was appropriately embarrassed by her dad's goofy behavior, the rest of the crowd — including her boyfriend's mom — thought the shot was hilarious. Sharee describes her husband as a playful teddy bear kind of guy, and although the photobomb was spontaneous, she says she was not surprised.

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"It was completely in the moment, but Ben knew he had an audience and he'd be able to get away with embarrassing Ricarra, so he took the opportunity and ran with it. He just wanted to be part of the fun," Sharee tells SheKnows.

Sharee whipped up the side-by-side images with a caption as a funny joke to share with her daughter, who shared it with her boyfriend, who shared it to Instagram with a caption that read: "He's definitely a man of his word."

After Ricarra's boyfriend shared the picture on social media, Sharee put it on her personal Facebook page. Things skyrocketed from there.

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"We are local celebrities," says Sharee. "My family thinks it's awesome, but it's a little weird. We live in a small town where I'm one of the few professional photographers… I'm now getting requests from people all over the country to do family photo shoots. It's crazy."

Benjamin has nine tumors on his brain and seven on his spine. The future for this family is uncertain, but this impromptu photobomb is now memorialized forever.

When asked why she thought this picture went viral, Sharee had this to say: "I think a lot of parents feel protective of our kids and can relate to this image. It allows parents to connect in a way that's funny and to send that 'I'm your parent and I'm watching' message to our children. In a time where so many people are trying to be friends with their kids, this picture was a good way to express that message of protection in a way that's not damaging."

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While the Internet is touting Benjamin as a mega-protective dad, Sharee states that she's actually the stricter parent, and the image was meant to be pure fun. And while sharing this photo wasn't meant to send a particular message to society, Sharee has a message:

"Hold your family close. Stand true to your morals. People are only with you for a short time."

They say every picture tells a story. This picture tells the story of a father who likes to have fun with his family and isn't afraid to show the world where his values lie. Something tells us this picture is going to be cherished for a very long time… long after the Internet hype dies down.