When the crisis becomes the gift

Laura_Cottril_Photography_0W7A4394It was my last session of the year. Sifting our schedules between work travel, knee surgery and the unpredictable November weather we finally arrived at our perfect date. We met at the naturally beautiful Moraga Commons as the low winter sun glowed through thin misty clouds. The temperature was cool and fresh, perfect really. Arriving a bit early I gathered my gear in the back seat and started tucking my phone and keys into my zippered backpack pockets for safety. I waved as my client pulled into the lot, hesitated, then closed the door to go greet them.

Walking back to my car to gather my belongings I realized I’d previously locked the doors with the intention of having my gear with me. This was the first time in my eleven years as a portrait photographer to EVER accomplish something so brilliant as this. Clearly my head was in the zone and car keys were not high on the list. As the shock swept across my face, my client stepped into action. We called AAA while he sprinted to their car and across the street to the gas station. That low grazing sun was not waiting. In less than ten minutes my client was back with an angel from the gas station. While my tow truck contact was asking me for details on the phone, my car door was being expertly released to a collective sigh of admiration. Wow. My client was my hero!Laura_Cottril_Photography_0W7A4365

As dad took the gas station angel back to the station, we started our stroll down the bike trail finding amazing golden light wherever we turned. Rather than the locked car being a disaster, it actually brought some excitement to the session. We didn’t have as much time, but we were immediately immersed in the best light of the day, no waiting. An unintended gift.

Already we had our story.

Amid the frisbee golfers, the laughter and the light, our time with schedules, surprises and the setting sun was just right. A big thank you to my wonderful client for taking a surprise situation and making it a fun adventure!




  1. Carol Gage Andrews Jensen

    You. Are.Amazing!

  2. Marla Filipponi

    Lovely, Laura!

  3. Veronica Dangerfield

    Divine order in all its perfection.

  4. Kyle Spencer

    Photos came out great Laura! Glad we created a little adventure to our photoshoot đŸ™‚

  5. Diane Macgregor

    What a precious gift to share, GREAT photos of my darling family

  6. Diane Macgregor

    what a precious gift to share, GREAT photos of my darling family