Story Behind Photo of “Umbrella Dad’s” Touching Gesture

“Story Behind Photo of ‘Umbrella Dad’s’ Touching Gesture” originally appeared on Yahoo Parenting and was reprinted with permission.

Image Source: Eumine Choi
Image Source: Eumine Choi

An image of a soaking wet father using his umbrella to shield his son from the rain is resonating with millions of people this week.

The photograph, taken on Thursday, was shot by 25-year-old Eumine Choi in Queens, New York. Choi posted the image to Reddit on Friday night with the caption, “Hope the son just grows up to realize how lucky he is… Pay it forward.” Later that night, another Reddit user reposted the image with the simple caption, “Dads.” That photo has since gotten more than 3.9 million views.

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“I was leaving work and it was pouring rain and I opened my umbrella and looked up and there was the dad and the son walking,” Choi tells Yahoo Parenting. “I was about to cross the street and I just wanted to take a picture to show my friends later that night. I wanted them to see what I witnessed.”

Choi says the dad’s loving gesture struck him for its selflessness. “The dad was carrying a leather briefcase and some food, and instead of worrying about himself, he gave the umbrella to his son,” he says. “Actually, his son wasn’t even holding it; the dad was holding it for him, and only certain people would think to do that.”

Not a father himself, Choi said the moment made him think about his own dad. “It was sweet. It reminded me of my dad and all the times he did these kinds of things but I didn’t even realize,” he says. Choi says he doesn’t think the young boy, who looks about 3 or 4, had a sense of the sacrifice his father was making. “I think the kid was eating a snack or something. I don’t think he realized what his dad was going through at the time.”

One of the friends Choi showed the image to convinced him to post it to Reddit, so on Friday he created an account on the site in order to share the photo. “I never expected it would go viral the way it has,” he says.

And while he’s surprised at the reach of the picture, he says the universal nature is probably why it’s so popular. “I think everyone can relate somewhat and can recognize how much of a selfless act this is. It struck a sweet spot,” he says. “Dads, they don’t get as much credit as they deserve.”

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