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Time—we think that we have so much of it, until it is gone. That is why time is one of the most precious gifts we have in this life.

It is easy for us to get stuck in the fast-paced, over-worked, stressed beyond all measure lifestyle that we are all too familiar with. We forget to slow down. We forget to breath. We forget to be present. And, when we finally pause to reflect, so much time has passed that the details have faded.

Images can document our lives and help us recall the emotions, events, and people who have been such an important part of it. But photographs are not just for big milestones. While those are valuable to remember, we have found that it tends to be the unexpected, or quiet moments, where some of the most precious experiences happen.

Your next days are never guaranteed. As harsh as that may sound, it is reality—which means, the excuses need to stop! One day when you pass and loved ones look for photographs of you, they are not going to care about your weight, whether or not your hair was just right, that you had dark circles under your eyes from lack of sleep with a new baby, nor will they notice if the clothes you wore fit perfectly. What they will see is the warmth in your smile, the love in your heart, the tears in your eyes from the laughter you shared, and the joy beaming from deep inside you.

Life is full of phases. Each new chapter is as special as the last. No point in life is ever perfect. Yet, are we so consumed with waiting for the right moment to have our photograph taken, that we end up never getting around to until it is too late. The time for a photo session is not when you lose an extra fifteen pounds, finally find time to make it to the salon for that color you desperately need, or after your zit disappears—thank you photoshop! The time is not when the kids get just a bit older so they will cooperate more for the photographer or waiting for the day when weather is absolutely ideal. No. The time for photos is now. Not tomorrow, next month, or even next year—the time is now.

The stories, memories, and experiences in your life are ones you can never get back. Life keeps moving forward. Time is not unlimited. However, photographs give us a unique opportunity to stop time in its tracks. Images can preserve pieces of our life story, that when placed together, weave a complete tale. How incredibly powerful is that?!

Do not regret missing opportunities to document this beautiful life that you have been given. You do not know exactly how much more of it you will get.

—Written for Ilona Jade by Mandi Ann

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