Atlanta And BeyondAmanda
Atlanta & beyondest. 2009

Nice People Really Are Out There: Atlanta Family Photography


Family Photos of an Awesome Family and People Being Nice Because They Can

Warning:  This is a long story, but it has fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles…   Ok, no it doesn’t, but it does have plenty of opportunity for you to laugh at me, and a feel-good ending.  Oh, and there’s a few photos of a really adorable family being totally awesome.  Win.  Win.

Sunday morning started with me rushing out the door about 15 minutes later than I meant to.  And that’s what set everything in motion for the amazing things that happened in the afternoon.

I spent an awesome morning in downtown Atlanta with one of my favorite families, making holiday family photos of Jessica and Ron and their adorable twins Emelia and Adele.  Wow are they growing fast! (Emelia and Adele, not Ron and Jess)

As I was leaving Jessica and Ron’s house, I noticed that I’d forgotten to grab my reflector on the way out the door (…groan…), and I knew I was going to need it for my afternoon family session.  After debating for a few minutes about just going to the photo store and buying a new one (too expensive), I decided to just drive home and get my reflector and have lunch (Jessie’s world famous spaghetti.. yay!).


As I’m cruising along on the interstate, I notice that my car is driving a little squishy.  Yeah, I know, right?  But it was squishy.  A second later, a guy drives past me and he’s waving at me and trying to tell me something.  And I’m like, whaaaat?  Because I really am that dense.  I mean, what else do people try to tell you at 80mph on the interstate?  Hey, you’ve got a really awesome Mickey Mouse antenna thingy?  (Well, I used to, but somebody stoled it.)

So, yeah, I didn’t understand what the guy was trying to say, but man, was my car driving squishy.

And then the guy came by again, and he was waving harder and pointing at the back of my car.

And then I heard the unmistakable sound of a flat tire.  Whubba whubba whubba.  Damn.


So, I pull over beside the interstate and get out and its flaaaat.  And I reeeeeally dont want to change the tire by the interstate in this really skinny emergency lane with ginormous trucks flying by inches from my car.  Fortunately, there’s always a can of Fix-A-Flat in all my cars.  I love that stuff.  When it works.  And, to be fair, it halfway worked and I was able to get my car off the interstate and into a parking lot.  But I reeeeeaally wanted it to work all the way to the tire shop.  Oh well.

Disclaimer:  Now, at this point, I should take a moment and explain to you that I can totally change a tire.  And I can do it practically NASCAR style (2nd disclaimer… although I’m quite Southern and love sweet tea and pecan pie as much as the next Georgia girl, I do NOT watch NASCAR).  I used to get a lot of flat tires when I was a decorative painter and spent a lot of time on home construction sites.  I can whip out a jack and spin the lug wrench and get the job done in record time… or at least I used to be able to.

But on this day, I couldn’t remember  where the jack went.  Derp.  Does it go on the frame?  Or on the axle?  Hmmmm….  Man, I really wish I hadn’t left my owners manual in the office last week.

Well, okay, I’m gonna guess that it goes on the frame.


Wrong. Wrong. Oh. My. God. Wrong.  But not in the immediately apparent kind of way.  Nope.  In fact, I learned you can get a Jeep with a flat tire jacked up high enough to get the flat tire off by putting the jack under the frame.  But then physics and mechanics betray you in a big way.  Because the Jeep isn’t quite high enough to get the spare tire on.

It’s at this moment that a Good Samaritan arrives.  And he’s this sweet guy with big glasses and a friendly smile, and he says to me, Hey, how are you doing? And I look up and laugh and I’m like, Oh man, I’m having a great day.  And he’s like, I can tell.  And he starts helping me.

We realize that there’s no way to get this fixed without another jack, so he goes to get one from his car.  And even though I know it’s not going to work, I’m a dummy and I start trying to wrestle the flat tire back onto the car.  At which point, I smash the crap out of my finger.  Ow.  Ow.  Ow.  And so I grab some napkins from inside my car to stop the bleeding and I’m walking around in circles doing the ow-weeee dance… you know the one you do when you’re trying to convince yourself that it doesn’t hurt so bad that you might pee your pants in public… and that’s when I catch a glimpse of the Good Samaritan’s car.

In order to get the jack out of his trunk, he’s had to unload about 20 suitcases (at least) all over the parking lot we’re in.  And before I can absorb the picture fully and start feeling guilty (that comes in just a minute), he’s back with his jack and is crawling under my car.


So, picture this for a moment.  I’m standing there behind my car, which is being barely supported by my extremely overextended jack.  Underneath my teetering car is this really sweet guy who’s just unloaded his entire car to get his jack to help me, and I’m standing there with my bleeding finger wrapped in an old Taco Bell napkin….. and it’s at this moment that I think to myself, Self, this amount of stupidity really deserves to be punished properly.

And then I tell him that he really should come out of there before he gets squashed, because I’m just going to call a tow truck.  And he’s like, Are you sure?  And I’m like, I would really feel pretty guilty if you got squashed by my car.

So he gets up and for a moment were kind of still discussing options when I look up and what comes pulling into this parking lot in front of us?  A Tow Truck!!  Woot!  I run over and plead with the driver to please fix my giant mess, and he agrees to, even though he’s on another call.  And when I thank the Good Samaritan for all his help, I look toward his car and there’s a woman sitting in the trunk of his car, and I’m even more grateful to them both.  The Good Samaritan goes over to reassemble his car.


In just about five minutes Mr. Tow Truck has my spare tire installed and tightened down. I do a little happy dance and then I head over to the Good Samaritans car to say thank you one more time.  They’re almost done repacking their car, and now they’ve got their baby out of the car.  And at this point I’m just amazed at this couple.  I mean, they’ve got a car full of luggage and they’re on their way home from visiting family with their baby in the car, but they are still willing to pull over and help a big dumb stranger in a strange city.

And that’s when I knew what I had to do.  They told me where their home town was, and it’s not far… so I grabbed a business card and told them they should email me so that I could make their family portrait for free.  Because that’s what we do around here.  We reward nice people when they least expect it, right?

Which is why I’m writing this blog post really.  I mean, I want you guys to hear this story because it’s really amazing.  But I also want the Good Samaritan to know that I meant it.  I really want to make your family portrait.  Just email me and well get it set up for you guys.  Because you’re awesome.  And sometimes we should surprise nice people by being nice right back at them.


So, awesome nice couple, if you guys are out there reading this, email me. I mean it.  And thank you.



Amanda Summerlin
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