Debrief Staff | Contributing Writer | Monday, 12 December 2016

Facebook Reunites Girlfriend Of Oakland Fire Victim With This Beautiful Photo Of Them Together

Facebook Reunites Girlfriend Of Oakland Fire Victim With This Beautiful Photo Of Them Together

The Debrief: Facebook miracles really do happen.

Have you ever wondered how many cameos you’ve made in the back ground of tourist photos despite your best attempts to avoid it (damn you wide angles.)?

The girlfriend of Griffin Madden, who died in the Oakland fire last weekend set out to be reunited with a photograph of the couple taken last year.

Saya Tomioka took to Facebook, writing ‘I remember tears swelling my eyes because the city was so beautiful and amidst all the lights, I got to look at the brightest light of all, my sweetie. I cried and we kissed. Some random photographer captured this very moment, this very kiss… I never got his name, and he just simply showed us the single beautiful snap shot that he was able to capture’ followed by a plea for help in finding the photographer.

‘I don’t even know if it’s possible, but please share this status if you think it is.’ The appeal luckily reached professional photographer Arken Avan, who took the photograph.

Avan, who frequently visits Times Square, waded through 200,000 images in search for this single picture, which he wasn’t even sure was his. Once located, the photographer posted the image on to social media, tagging Tomioka. 


A photo posted by Arken Avan (@newyorkfaces) on Dec 8, 2016 at 1:38pm PST

The snap tells a story of a couple who, on their first trip to New York together, haggled with a street vendor for the ‘most disappointing pretzel they ever had’ after seeing The Book of Mormon on Broadway and ending up in Times Square where they embraced each other in awe of its beauty. Making it the candid to top them all.

Once the photo returned to its rightful owner, she wrote on Facebook once again. ‘I have been hoping for a miracle, a glimpse of you light back into my life. With the infinite help from our families, friends, and strangers, I finally found you.’


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Tags: Facebook et al