It’s the Pearson family cabin photo all This Is Us fans have been waiting for!
Though Milo Ventimiglia and Sterling K. Brown‘s characters shared a scene together in season one, audiences had yet to see beloved father Jack with the adult versions of twins Kate and Kevin, played by Chrissy Metz and Justin Hartley.
The cast, including matriarch Mandy Moore, got into character for a special photo shoot with famed photographer Annie Leibovitz and PEOPLE has the exclusive first look at the photos.
This is the first TV series that Leibovitz, who considers herself a big fan of the hit NBC series, has shot since 2005 when she photographed the cast of HBO’s The Sopranos.
“It’s exciting. It’s nice when a legendary photographer, from the many years of good work that she does, is now working with us over here,” Ventimiglia says in an exclusive behind-the-scenes video. “We’re all very excited.”
“She’s an icon. She’s everything,” says Moore. “[She] surprisingly knows a lot about the show, which I wasn’t expecting.”
“We talked a lot about our particular characters, and I’ve never really quite done a photo shoot before, even when we’re supposed to be in character, where we really take that into consideration as much as this shoot,” continues the actress, who portrays Rebecca Pearson. “I felt this sort of bittersweet, dream-like quality that this particular shoot employed because Mom and Dad are with their grown children in different eras. It was sort of a bucket list thing, that’s for sure.”
Moore adds, “It’s pretty humbling that she’s watched every episode of our show. I mean, that’s definitely a win for us!”
“It’s completely humbling and pretty mind-blowing … It’s nice to work with someone who is at the height of their craft and has been so for forever,” Brown says of posing for Leibovitz. “Every day is sort of a pinch-me moment, being a part of this show.”
Meanwhile, for Metz, the photo shoot was a dream come true.
“It’s sort of one of those things, as an actor, everyone dreams about,” she says of working with Leibovitz. “You dream about having a job and then hopefully the job sticks and that you’ll get nominated or you’re critically acclaimed. She’s wonderful in what she captures. It’s such a special moment.”
Ventimiglia recently told PEOPLE about the best thing he’s ever taken from the set — and his answer was as sweetly sentimental as Jack Pearson himself.
“The best thing I’ve ever taken from a set is friends,” he said in PEOPLE’s special edition, The Complete Guide to This Is Us.
“For me, it’s not about an object or anything. For me, it’s about looking at someone that I’ve now worked with for a year or a month or something and saying to them, ‘I’m gonna know you the rest of my life.’ That’s probably the best thing you can take from a set.”
Meanwhile, Moore opened up to PEOPLE about the upcoming third season — and what to expect in the wake of the loss of Jack.
“We see the kids are just about to go off to college,” she shared. “I’m looking forward to watching [Rebecca] sort of reconcile how she’s going to be able to step up to the plate.”
Moore added, “I think she really just regards Jack as the golden parent and the superhero, so I’m curious to see what life is like as a single mom, and be a parent to these kids after this tragedy.”
PEOPLE’s new special edition, The Complete Guide to This Is Us is available now on Amazon and wherever magazines are sold.
Season 3 of This Is Us premieres Sept. 25 on NBC.