Life Doesn’t Wait For You To ‘Get Thin’. Life Is Happening Right Now.

September 11, 2014

Blogcademy Zaandam-10

Kerry Murray

Dear Kat
So, this cuts pretty close to the bone. I’m off to New York with my husband this Autumn and I was thinking about hiring a photographer for a shoot. I was thinking this earlier in the year, when I was also planning on dropping a couple of stone, and needless to say with a particularly stressful wedding season (I’m a wedding photographer myself) and one thing or another its almost time for the trip and I have not lost a pound.

My husband and I haven’t spoken about the prospect of a shoot for a while, and I’d been thinking I wouldn’t bother. But today I was photographing a slightly larger lady, and looking back at the images I was thinking, she looks so happy and so in love, and what beautiful eyes she has. Then I thought, why can’t I see myself that way in photos, rather than seeing chin/ tummy/ arms?

I know I’ll most likely not like myself in the images, which makes me think it would be a waste of time and money, but at the same time I do want the photos to record me and my husband in the city.

Do you or any of your readers feel the same about themselves in photos, and if so how do you tackle it? Should I just man up and realise I’ll never be a size 10? And, should I have photos or not? You’re in front of the camera a fair amount, any advice on being photographed?

Hey babe, first off… you are beautiful… and just in case you didn’t hear me the first time listen to me again: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

But I hear you, and I feel the same way 99% of the time. I constantly compare myself to my slimmer friends, and often catch myself thinking things like “If only I could lose a stone, I’d feel so much better”.

Deep down I know this isn’t true. That the shape and size of our bodies is no indication to how happy we are, how talented we might be, or how much we’re loved. It doesn’t mean squat, but it is still a constant battle for a lot of us. I’m always having to check myself when these feelings start to creep in. So I completely understand how you feel.

Here’s the thing though, photographs are not about being perfect. They’re about communicating a feeling, and freeze-framing a moment in our lives. It’s so important.

While at my parents’ house a few weeks ago my mum brought out all the old photo albums with photos of us all inside. Looking back and seeing those pictures of our whole family together was amazing. We laughed at my mother’s giant hair, our questionable fashion choices, and the fact that my dad looked about 12 when I was born. My grandparents looked young, happy, and full of life. It was amazing. It didn’t once cross my mind to focus on anybody’s ‘flaws’, I was too busy hearing the stories about trips I don’t remember, and reminiscing about how special those times were.

As a young adult I avoided the camera as much as possible. So much so that I think I literally have only about ten photographs of myself from my time at University. I spent so much time fixating on what was wrong with my body, and picking apart every imperfection over and over, that I stopped living. I stopped taking photos… which is really sad, because I LOVE taking photos!

The most ridiculous thing about it is that I now look back at those few snaps I do have a wonder what the hell I was thinking. Now all I see is a really young looking, slim girl who, I’d love to still look like now!

at uni looking tiny

This photo cracks me up because I think I was about to run out of cigarettes, which was clearly the worst thing to ever happen to a poor student! (I don’t smoke any more)

looking young

This is when Gareth and I moved into our first flat, just after I finished Uni. This was also before he started working out! We were both so skinny!

first trip to new york

My first trip to New York, aged 21!

Perfection is a myth, a lie, it doesn’t exist. If you woke up tomorrow a size 10 I’m sure you’d focus on something else you wanted to change instead. How we deal with those feelings is what really matters. Do you let them take over and rule your life, or do you tell them to shut up, sod off and push on regardless?

Life doesn’t wait for you to ‘get thin’. Life is happening right now. It’s marching on with or without you and it’s your job to capture those important moments for looking back on later. Remember, you’re never going to live this same day again.

Do it. Have those photos taken. Far from being a constant reminder of how much weight you want to lose, they’ll hopefully be images you’ll look back on for years to come and think “Wow, wasn’t that the trip of a lifetime, and goodness, don’t we both look so young and beautiful!”