Sometimes when on a job, things happen. You might show up and take photos of the wrong couple at a proposal shoot. You might break into an abandoned house and discover it wasn’t as abandoned as you had thought. Or, you might turn around and see the groom you’re photographing standing nearly waist-deep in water saving a kid from drowning. You know, normal stuff.
Darren Hatt, a photographer out of Ontario, Canada, found himself in an interesting situation a few days ago. While shooting some photos of the bride at a wedding, he heard her shout out and turned around to catch the end of a hero moment. Clayton Cook, the groom, had jumped into the river behind him to save a child. He was able to grab a quick photo before it was over, and it quickly went viral. And apparently, the groom didn't even change out of his wet suit afterwards, nor did he complain about his wet shoes the rest of the evening.
Quick on his feet, Hatt was able to grab a shot of the fleeting moment before it was over. He was using a Nikon D600 and a recently acquired Sigma 135mm f/1.8 Art lens. Hatt was shooting in manual mode and didn’t have time to switch any settings before taking these shots which is expected in a situation like this. He shot them at f/1.8, and says he is extremely happy with the lens's performance wide open. “It was over about as quickly as it started so I was lucky to get the few I did,” said Hatt.
While he thought the moment was unique and definitely a great story to share with his followers, he wasn’t expecting the sudden fame it would bring. “The response has been completely insane,” said Hatt. “Rather overwhelming for someone who prefers to hide behind the camera. Definitely some extra interest. And a couple people wishing I lived in the states so I could shoot their wedding.”
Since posting the photo, he’s gained over 1,300 new Facebook fans and over 300 Instagram followers as of this writing.
Sometimes, you have to be in the right place at the right time, but having the quick reflexes and skill to catch moments like this is a trait that separates the great photographers from the mediocre. Best of luck with the rest of your 15 minutes, Hatt.