Say “Fuzzy Pickles!”
Maybe the Fuzzy Pickles/Photo old guy from Earthbound was actually Ness’s father in a disguise.
And he popped up at the most random moments was to capture his son at the moment random moments in hopes of putting the pictures in a small timeline to show how his son grew over his adventure and to capture his son and his friends’ smiles.
And maybe the reason why he vanished after taking a picture was cause he lived in the world of Mother 3/lived somewhere faraway and the teleporter couldn’t keep him in one separate place for too long.
And maybe he wore a disguise because he couldn’t be there for Ness’ younger years and Ness wouldn’t recognize him however he looked, so the disguise was to attract attention to the Fuzzy Pickles man himself.
Just a random thought I had while playing Earthbound today during study. It’s probably a headcanon for me so. Sorry if it’s really stupid haha;;;
HHHHHHHHG, I’ve completely been forming this theory too. I’m still trying to decide on all the details, I would lean more towards some connection to Mother 1, like being alternate timeline George, old Ninten, or some other relative.