If you follow Brandin Cooks on Instagram, you know he's recently picked up a new hobby -- photography.
And when he took a solo vacation to Vancouver last week, a local photographer and Patriots fan, had a once-in-a-lifetime experience with a player from his favorite team.
As Brandin explored Vancouver, he posted on his Instagram story, "Where my Canadian photographers at?" Zachary Cardoso, an amateur photographer from Abbotsford, British Columbia, responded with a direct message and didn't expect to hear back from the wide receiver.
After sending another message, Brandin answered, saying, "What's up, my man?" The two messaged back and forth for a bit, and before long, Zach was in his car making the hour-long drive to Vancouver.
"Twenty minutes later, I was on the road heading to pick Brandin up. Driving in, I had a few of my friends texting me. They were just as confused and surprised as I was," Zach said. "Two weeks prior, I was watching Brandin in the Super Bowl, and now I'm on my way to hang out with him in Vancouver. I was a little intimidated to say the least."
Zach showed Brandin a few of his favorite spots to take pictures, including iconic Vancouver stops like Lions Gate Bridge, English Bay and the BC Place.
"It was really incredible. A player from my favorite team was on vacation to Vancouver for the first time, and he chose to spend a few hours of it with me," Zach said. "This experience was undoubtedly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I wanted him to get a look at some of the beauty of Vancouver. It was such an honor to show him around and let him get his first experience in the city."
Their experience together reflected on Brandin's Instagram page. He posted one of the photos he took at Lions Gate Bridge, and though Brandin and Zach are both amateurs in the art of photography, Zach said it was a great chance to learn from each other.
The whole night was unexpected in the best way, Zach said. And he has the pictures to prove it.
"I have never heard of somebody having a night with a celebrity like that. It just goes to show you how grounded and down to earth Brandin is," Zach said. "I am forever thankful for the experience, and it is something I will never forget."