The Right Time is Now - Kylee Sharples of Wilomark Imagery
I'm about to share something with you that isn't all sunshine and rainbows. Some may find it confronting, others may feel compelled to remedy the situation. People will take out of this story what they like, I just hope that it starts people thinking and talking about existing in photographs.
I've put on weight – 35kgs to be exact. I've always been slim, even became a gym junkie and fitness freak for a while there, so these past 18 months has seen me become more and more withdrawn, all because I'm embarrassed about how I look. I've resorted to wearing "comfortable" clothing because anything that is fitted makes me want to curl up in the foetal position and hope that the world can't see just how unhappy I am with how I look and feel. The fact that I keep getting reassured that "it’s the medications you take for your migraines" doesn't change the fact that I cringe whenever anyone wants to take a photo of me – to the point that I will always be the one behind the camera rather than in front of it!
Subsequently, I have avoided having my photo taken quite successfully – but – what if I never get to my goal weight? What if something tragic and unforeseen was to happen to me tomorrow? What if I got sick or was in an accident?
Recently, I've been touched by several stories of this exact thing happening. Out of respect I won't go into details, but a young person close to us lost his life suddenly, another has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, yet another three people have passed away after long illnesses. Another was someone that had enquired about having portraits but was waiting for the "right time" to have their family photos done, sadly, a child in that family passed away suddenly before the photos were taken.
We all wait for the "right time" to have our portraits taken professionally: when things are perfect; when we have lost weight; when our hair is longer; when our teeth are straight; when we look perfect; when we have spare money in the bank and can "afford" to splash out on photography. But what if that perfect time never comes? What happens if we die and our children had no photos of us to remember us by, or if the only photos they had were Facebook selfie snapshots or groups photos that are blurry? What happens to your photos if your phone stops working, your computer fails or gets stolen, or Facebook ceases to exist?
I've now realised – there is no such thing as perfect. The "right time" to exist in photographs is now, whilst you still can, because right now you are already perfect in every way, you are amazing right now. Right now you have your health to celebrate and you have a beautiful story to tell and share with the world. How do you know it will be the same in a few years’ time? A few years’ time might be too late. Sadly, this happens far too often. We see people regret not having a nice recent picture taken of their loved ones before they passed away, or how they wish they had their portrait taken before they got ill and their lives got turned upside down, but they held off because they were waiting for the perfect time or because they couldn't justify spending money on professional photography.
I'm going to get my portraits done soon. I need to know that my kids will remember me as I am now, this size, this quirky, funny, cheeky, sarcastic, loving and caring woman that loves them so deeply. They love me for who I am now, they deserve to have the most recent version of me as a memory should the unexpected happen, not the "me" in the photos I had taken years ago that they were too young to remember, but me, here and now. I honestly don't have a decent photo of myself that I can see being used at my memorial – isn't that just sad.
I understand that professional photography is an investment; a discretionary spend. Choosing a professional photographer can be difficult and certainly not a decision that should be considered lightly. That is why I'm offering payment plans, so that the unique and valuable services I offer can be available to more people. So that I can make more women feel sexy and empowered with confidence and self-esteem, so they can celebrate their lives right now and not plan to do it in a few years’ time.
What photos will you leave behind to define your life? The drunk pictures taken in a mirror of a pub toilet, the old formal and school photos you had taken 20 years ago that make you cringe, or gorgeous portraits that represent who you really are, and make you look and feel like the very best version of yourself, which make you proud to show off who you are at this very moment in time? None of us are getting any younger and none of us can guarantee that we will still be here in a couple of years, or that we will be in the same good health. Whether you are turning 30 this year or 80, you deserve to celebrate your life and exist in stunning pictures. If it is something you really want for yourself, money shouldn't have to be a barrier. We all find money for the things we value. Aren't you valuable? Life is not a dress rehearsal, you don't get a second chance and you will never get those years back.
Article Kylee Sharples