EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — A photo captured recently by an Eau Claire family turned out to be a surprising catch of the day.
The shot depicts three brothers — Levi, 4, Logan, 3, and Landon Daniels, 18 months — proudly showing off the fake fish they landed June 29 at a children’s museum in Brookings, S.D.
But what made the photo become an internet sensation is that the youngest brother had put his fish in his mouth just before the boys’ mother, Marika Daniels, snagged the image.
Marika posted the photo on Facebook the day she took it and a lot of her friends thought it was hilarious, but she never expected such a huge reaction. Once people saw the adorable image, they were hooked and couldn’t resist reeling in others.
Marika estimates that as of Wednesday afternoon her photo had been shared at least 800,000 times on social media, including a viral meme in which someone added a caption over the photo reading “Every family has that one kid.”
Stories about the now-famous photo have been featured on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” NBC’s “Today” and in countless other media reports across the world, including the India Times. Marika still holds out hope the photo will show up on the “Ellen, Rate My Baby” segment of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
“My friends started sharing my picture and it just started to spread like wildfire,” Marika said. “I honestly was shocked — and I still kind of am — at how many times this picture has been shared. Never in a million years did I think this would go viral let alone turned into a meme.”
She is as happy as a clam that the photo is winning hearts on the world wide web, although the avid amateur photographer who is always seeking the perfect shot acknowledged finding it amusing that a photo she took with her cellphone is the one netting so much attention.
“I am truly humbled by all the likes, shares, smiles and laughs this picture has brought to so many people already. I think the world needs to smile and laugh more and I feel so honored this picture helped,” said Marika, a former health coach who believes laughter can be the best medicine.
All of the attention means the Daniels family has made quite a splash since moving from South Dakota to Eau Claire about two weeks ago.
Marika said the boys have a whale of a time fishing, especially with their dad, Andrew, who is an avid fisherman.
Thus, it was no surprise the fishing pond — where kids can catch fake fish by linking magnets by the mouths of the fish and at the end of their fishing poles — was the brothers’ favorite part of the museum.
As she took the photo, Marika said she was focused on getting Levi and Logan to look at the camera and didn’t realize Landon’s fish was dangling from his mouth until she looked through the pictures on her phone.
“I told everyone to hold the fish up by their face and Landon took it quite literally,” Marika said. “I just giggled when I saw the picture and thought, ‘Oh, Landon.’ “
Thankfully for all of those caught up in the fun, that picture-perfect moment wasn’t the one that got away.
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