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Photographer Captures Groom Saving Child During Photoshoot

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.

[via CNN]

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Simon Miller's picture

Maximum respect for groom and photographer alike!!!

Karim Hosein's picture

«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….”


Those are the reflexes and skills which are on parade here? The hero sacrifices himself at his wedding and all the glory goes to the photographer (who actually missed the important event)?!? What has Facebook and Instagram turned us into??? “WOW!!! What a great shot!!! How heroic of you to get that. What settings did you use? Was that a Canon or a Nikon? Is your lens weather sealed? Handheld, right?”

How about, “How is the boy? Did the groom get hurt? How is the Bride feeling? …And how is the boy? Is the groom always that selfless, thinking of others above himself? What have we learned? …And how IS the boy?”

Just my 2¢

Stephen Ironside's picture

Well, this is a photography website. We talk about photography related things.

The photographer was taking photos of the bride when this happened, and the groom was a little ways off. By the time the bride saw what was happening and yelled out, which prompted the photographer to turn around and see what was happening, the scene was basically over and the kid was out of the water.

So yes, that's what this is what this is all about. Photojournalistic reflexes. If the kid had been in obvious trouble, I'm sure the photographer would have done something to help. If I had turned around and saw the kid out of water, as in the first photo, I'm sure I'd have probably done the same thing if I were far enough away for a 135mm lens to only be able to get that close.

Of course it was a heroic thing for the groom to do -- that was never disputed -- but here we talk about photo things.

The original CNN article said the boy was fine and the groom just had wet shoes. :)

Rex Larsen's picture

Glad the little boy is ok. Too bad for the focusing issues.

michael buehrle's picture

right place right time. i'm glad that the child looks to be fine. quick thinking from the groom. good for him. only takes one photo to make you famous.

Eduardo Francés's picture

Mad respect for the groom!

Deleted Account's picture

It's good to read stories like this where someone puts their plans on hold to help someone in need. I'm sure the bride is proud of him and will want those photos to remember the moment by.

Paul Scharff's picture

It's a great story but I would be surprised if any wedding photographer didn't get this shot or even better ones. In my book the real story is all about the groom, not the photographer.

Michael Miley's picture

Must be Monday, because there sure are a lot of quarterbacks around!