Nida + Mueen got in touch with me this fall about a last minute anniversary session to celebrate one year of marriage and I was so pumped to work with them! It’s common for my couples to ask my suggestions on locations, or even for me to pick them entirely, but Nida specifically wanted to do their session at two infamous Marin locations: the Cypress tree tunnel and Inverness’ shipwreck. The cypress tree tunnel has been on my photo bucket list for YEARS and I basically jumped up in excitement when I saw that written on their inquiry form haha. Ahhh I’m STILL so excited about this Point Reyes anniversary session!
If you live in the bay area, you know that the coast (like San Francisco) has the most temperamental weather around. It’s almost impossible to predict and can change on a dime; in the fall and winter it’s often very overcast or misty, and cold. In the days leading up to this session, I was keeping my eye on the forecast and crossing my fingers that we’d get at least 40% sun. I would’ve been happy with partly cloudy skies if the rain held off! But on the day of the session as I drove south on the eastern side of Tomales Bay, looking west at the sky, there was not a cloud to be found! And not only was it sunny, but it was WARM! And not only was it sunny and warm, there was no wind whatsoever.
I was absolutely floored; it’s so rare to see days like that in late fall on the coast! Although, I definitely feel like I paid the price for that karma. 😂 I live 90 minutes north of Point Reyes and I underestimated how far the gas in my tank would get me; I didn’t notice how low it was until I was 3/4 of the way there, and way out in the middle of nowhere, with no cell service. I pulled over twice when I found even one bar of service to look for where the nearest station was, but it wasn’t enough data. I kept driving, almost resigned to the fact that I’d likely have to call for roadside assistance to bring me a gas can later. But then I had this stray thought: wasn’t there a station in Point Reyes station? There had to be; that was a pretty bustling and self-contained community. Lo and behold, after cresting a hill to drop down to Point Reyes downtown, a gas station came into view. But my troubles didn’t end there…
point reyes anniversary session
In the meantime, I met up with Nida and Mueen and we started their session at the shipwreck. This was fun for me to visit as I photographed the boat way back in high school, and hadn’t been back since! You might remember, I talked about doing the same thing at the deYoung Museum for a session last year! After a while, we wrapped up there and headed to the tree tunnel. While I’d seen plenty of photos of it, visiting was a new experience, and it’s so incredible to see in person! Because the weather was so nice, there was a decent amount of people there — which, at times, made it a challenge to photograph around them, but I made it happen! I also got to play around and experiment with a couple new special effect techniques which was SO fun. Not to mention the GORGEOUS golden light we got from the sunset!
At sunset, we bid goodbye and I waved to them as I walked back to my car. Only to find it… malfunctioning. The engine wouldn’t turn over, and the dashboard was going haywire with literally ALL of my problem/check engine lights flashing. I’d never seen anything like it, and frantically called my fiancé George. Thank god I had service this time around (although I have no idea how, the tunnel is in the middle of nowhere), otherwise I’d be SOL. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong: I hadn’t left any lights on or the door open, and the car was only five years old, so how could the battery have died?? But that was the only explanation George could come up with. Since the sun had gone down, cars were quickly peeling out and after a while there was only one or two other people still there. I hung up and ran over to the nearest car; tapped on their window and asked if they could give me a jump. They did, and thankfully it started my car! It would have been awful if someone hadn’t been there to help. I would’ve been stranded for literally hours — if I’d either have roadside assistance come out, or if I left my car there and had George come get me. I’m so thankful neither of those things ended up happening! But damn, what a price to pay for great weather. 😂 (if you’re wondering/concerned, we immediately replaced the battery that week — it had died again the day after this session when I went to the grocery store, so we knew for sure it was toast.)
Anyway, all in all: this Point Reyes anniversary session ended up being one for the books in more ways than one!!