Emma McIntyre, the photographer behind the viral photo of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston's reunion at the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards, is dishing out the details about what happened behind the scenes during the social media-crazed moment. After snapping the photo on Sunday, McIntyre, who has been taking backstage snaps at the event for four years, told PEOPLE the snapshot was a moment of luck.
"The moments are really joyful and there are often encounters between winners in this area," McIntyre told the outlet, explaining that many candid moments can be difficult to capture a clean frame. "I try and capture as many of these celebratory moments as I can...It's always fun to capture spontaneous run-ins between actors."
Although McIntyre had been backstage snapping pictures, she had no idea that she'd snap the winning photo of the night, which came after Aniston had won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for The Morning Show just after Pitt also won Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role for his role in the Quentin Tarantino film Once Up a Time… in Hollywood.
"[They were both backstage] doing the circuit of awards press," she explained. "Jennifer had just signed some posters for SAG and was about to walk the press line. I was running back and forth between the two backstage areas and had just taken some photos of Jennifer. I was about to leave when I saw Brad coming down the hallway and sensed there would be a photo-worthy moment."
McIntyre's intuition proved to be right, and she managed to capture the perfect candid moment between the two.
"He called out 'Aniston!' and she turned around and they embraced and congratulated each other," she said. "It was a moment of two accomplished people at the top of their game, acknowledging each other's successes and genuinely seeming happy to see one another."
"The moment was really touching and you could sense the respect between two people who have known each other 20-plus years and are both outstanding in their field," she added.
Although there were two other photographers backstage with her when the magical moment happened, McIntyre credited her jaw-dropping photo to having a good position.0comments
"I positioned myself to the side of where Brad and Jennifer were standing, so their reaction was more angled to me meaning I could capture their interaction and expressions," said.
Aniston and Pitt had been married from 2000 to 2005, and have remained friends since their divorce.