This Is What Happens When You “Combine Stuff” on Instagram

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Amidst a sea of generic, over-filtered, and excessively staged visuals on Instagram is an account that not only catches you off guard, but also manages to do so with everyday objects that are rather unremarkable at best.

Aptly named @combophoto, it features the work of a brilliant, Atlanta-based art director by the name of Stephen McMennamy, who ingeniously fuses together entirely unrelated objects to produce somewhat surreal results. Not only has he racked up over 435,000 followers, but he was also nominated for Instagrammer of the Year by the Shorty Awards in 2018. McMennamy’s work requires no captions, but to the delight of his fanbase, he’ll often delve into the details behind his photography. We just love that his affinity for certain foods has resulted in countless playful collages – and prompts a double take every time.

 

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front loader + donuts 🍩🚜 just preparing for national donut day. #combophoto

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pepper + shoe 🌶 👠 I’ve been called out a few times for showing an unfair bias towards bananas. And though I haven’t actually run the numbers on these allegations, I’d just like to point out that I definitely went through a jalapeño pepper phase too. Maybe I’m still in this alleged phase? Maybe I‘m in hot pursuit of the next object that blends seamlessly with a pepper? I’m fixated on the red ones. I think they come in green too. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong on that. As it turns out, I don’t eat peppers, I just photograph them. And I know what you’re thinking… “Ah-ha! busted! See, we knew you loved bananas more.” And I totally get how you’d think something like that, but the fact that I don’t eat peppers doesn’t prevent me from loving peppers. I love my dog, yet I’ve never once tried to eat him. I don’t know about you guys, but this is all sounding like a really buttoned up defense for my obvious commitment to the jalapeño. That poor shoe though… zero love on this write up. Sorry shoes. FYI, I hate shoes… but I’m not here to lecture people about those horrific little foot prisons everyone insists on incarcerating their feet with. I love a liberated foot, but remember, that doesn’t mean they’re going in my mouth. Okay, too many words… y’all have a super solid weekend. Maybe we do this again next week? ⚡️♥️⚡️#combophoto

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banana + snake I was rummaging through my desk the other day when I came across my long lost list of potential #combophoto contenders to knock out before I die. The list is three pages long. “Banana + snake” was at the top of that list… aaaaand well, here we are. Now if you’re thinking, “oh wow, he’s probably going to have a lot of new #combophotos coming up.” you should know I literally have ideas written down like… “back of the head alien sort of thing”… wish me luck figuring that one out. Unfortunately, the fail rate tends be high with these half baked ideas, but the more I fail, the more I learn, the more I learn the better I get, the better I get, the cockier I become… and then I’m quickly reminded of just how fleeting that feeling of confidence can be, simply because you have to go back to square one. The place where you tinker, test, experiment, get excited, doubt, have revelations, wonder, quit, persevere and often times fail… which as we all know, failure can easily be spun as a negative, but I see it as arguably the greatest learning tool that’s at all of our disposal. You get to choose, fail up, or fail down? Dealers choice. #banana #snake #bananasnake #food #reptile #failure #fail #success

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paintbrush + bananas I feel like when I dig up a #combophoto from the past, I always say, “it’s one of my favorites”, and as much as I feel the need to mix it up and say, I hate this one… I can’t bring myself to do it. I just like it. And I can even say that without twitching. I guess it’s special at this very moment, right now, as I’m writing this. And it’s not because of what you‘re seeing, it everything that led up to me posting it. This simple little image floods my head with pages of memories, as most photos are prone to do, but it goes beyond just the memories of making it, it reminds me of where I was in my life, what was up, what was down, how many things were sideways. So when I say “I like this photo”, I think what I mean is, I love how powerful as single image can be, I love what it reminds me of, good or bad… it’s my journal. This picture is the cover of my journal entry, but I’m the only one that gets to turn the page and see what’s inside. We are living in the most magical time in all of human existence, you have a camera in your pocket, go take a meaningful picture and let’s regroup in a couple of years to discuss… or keep it to ourselves. Whatever. Dealers choice. ⚡️♥️⚡️

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