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A shortening of "photo(graph) opportunity," literally, an ideal chance to take photographs, especially of someone famous. The actors all got together for a photo op with fans at the convention. The CEO agreed to a rare photo op for the press.
slang To surprise someone (intentionally or unintentionally) by unexpectedly appearing in a photo they have taken or are trying to take. Kevin, quit photobombing us! We just want to take one nice picture! Ugh, the guy in front of us must have moved because he ended up totally photobombing us.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
a time or event designed for taking pictures of a celebrity. All the photographers raced toward a photo op with the president.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
A chance for a photograph, often for publicity purposes. The “op” here is short for “opportunity.” Deborah Eisenberg used it in her story, “Under the 82nd Airborne”: “‘Relax,’ Lewis said. ‘There’s no one here for them to fight with—this is a photo op.’” See also sound bite.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer