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Fort Worth wedding photographer | The Gift of Life

I was working with my friend, Paula (who was also my boss) at a spring fashion show. All of the proceeds were going to benefit a local charity. We had so much fun designing the different outfits, decorating the venue and seeing our vision become a reality as we watched the models walk down the runway. Everything went beautifully. The show was a huge success! While we were packing things up afterwards, I happily began offering ideas to Paula about how we could make the next years’ show even better. Paula had been struggling with cancer. She quietly replied, “I’m not going to be here next year.” She had always been very optimistic about her treatments, but what she said next changed my life forever. Paula said, “I want to be here next year. I want to watch my two twin boys grow up and have grandchildren someday. I want to do so many things. I want to live. I want to live. I WANT TO LIVE, but I can’t. You have the gift of life. What are you going to do with it?” In tears, we held each other because we knew she was speaking the truth. This was the last time that I saw Paula.


Why am I telling this tragic story? Because the sadness that I felt, inspired me to discover what really mattered in my own life. I created a list to live by and wrote out my priorities, goals and wishes. In doing so, I realized there were meaningless activities that I needed to give up and replace with something worthwhile. I resolved to be intentional in creating good memories, grateful for what I have been blessed with and to live with the purpose of loving myself and others well. This has made all the difference! Up until that conversation, I was just existing: doing the next thing and looking for someone or something to make me happy. Paula’s simple question forced me to look into the mirror and to decide how I really wanted to live my life.


I would like to say the same thing to you. “You have the gift of life. What are you going to do with it? ”



“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist.” Oscar Wilde

Kim of Kim Hayes Photography is a Fort Worth wedding photographer located in the DFW area. Kim is a wedding, engagement, senior and family photographer serving Fort Worth, Dallas and the surrounding communities.
  1. Natalie Gonzalez

    March 10th, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    So touching, Kim, and so true. You inspire me so much with your bold, big visions, which ultimately point to your faith in Christ. I know that I don't want my testimony to be "busy about nothing." This is a vital reminder.

  2. Amber Dominguez

    March 10th, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    beautiful Kim!

  3. MichelleLadlow

    March 14th, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    So inspiring, thank you

  4. Anonymous

    March 15th, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Beautifully sad story! Thank you for the reminder and for sharing!

  5. Michael ONEILL

    March 15th, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    From one photographer to another, great work

  6. Michael ONEILL

    March 15th, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    From one photographer to another, good work!

  7. Lauren Ridge

    March 16th, 2016 at 2:09 am

    Wow. This really puts things into perspective about living each day as if it were your last because we really don't know when our time here is going to come to an end.

  8. Isabel Shaw

    March 17th, 2016 at 5:38 am

    I have been really trying to live my life this way for the last several years! It has made such a difference in our family dynamic. I finally decided having 2 full time jobs wasnt worth the time lost with my family and quit my day job to focus on photography last month. It has been amazing!!

  9. Dawn Tiedemann

    March 21st, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Beautiful work!

  10. Allison Craig

    March 22nd, 2016 at 3:20 am

    Such a touching post. It seems like those reminders come when you don't realize you need them. Wonderful post!

  11. Rebecca Penny

    March 22nd, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    oh goodness. What a beautiful reminder of how fragile life truly is. Thank you for these beautiful words.

  12. Morgan

    March 24th, 2016 at 4:59 am

    I am so sorry Kim. What a great legacy for this sweet woman to leave behind… the idea of changing your life. Thank you so much for sharing. this is just what I needed today.

  13. sally salerno

    March 28th, 2016 at 10:21 am


  14. Kendra

    April 7th, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    This is beautiful! Needed this today, thank you for sharing your heart!!

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