Sylvana entered the Woman’s World project because she wants to exist in photos. She always dedicates herself to making sure there is a record of every family event and every member for prosperity. Sylvana told us she detests any photo ever taken of herself, even though she makes it her business to take photos of her colleagues, and makes them like themselves in the images. Because of this, she doesn’t think she is setting much of an example to her amazing 19 year old, daughter who believes herself to be un-photogenic. She has handed on her photographic skills as well as her bad attitudes, and is very disappointed in herself for it.
Sylvana has certainly had a full and complicated life. She has worked extremely hard, taking little recreational leave. When she found her father after he committed suicide, she was left looking after her widowed mother and at the same time has fought battle after battle to get her daughter the help she needs. After years of painful back, feet and other health issues, she has finally decided to treat herself.
Sylvana loves photographing Australian animals and trees, and is a self confessed nerd, reading Terry Pratchett and even cosplayed as one of her favourite characters in his books. My studio assistant and Sylvana had a great time talking about Terry Pratchett and cosplaying.
As well as Sylvana’s physical health issues, she also inherited her father's Bipolar and she’s been bullied within an inch of her life (literally) for most of her life and it was important for her to share her story. She mentioned she would love to be able to do something to help others understand and be more aware about how to work with mental health and bullying issues. With both her mental illness and physical issues, she is always relying on different medications to help with the pain and level out the chemicals in her brain. When Sylvana expressed her feeling about the medication she took, she explained how much she hates relying all the medications, but that she needed to keep taking them to help her function doing basic day to day things, and to raise her daughter the way she wants to. I can absolutely relate to this, taking multiple medications for my own health issues. Sometimes it feels like life is based around when the next dose is due and taking so many medications is not without side effects, some of which can be quite awful.
For those people that don’t know about bipolar or have never met a person with bipolar I would like to attempt to explain what this is. There is no proper definition of bipolar, only that it is a chemical imbalance of the brain. There are so many people with this mental illness, but not everyone presents with the same. Most people define bipolar as a disorder of emotions, so going from one emotion to another and another. Although this may be true for some it isn’t true for everyone. For some people it can be 2 emotions that fight over the brain and body. I have a cousin with bipolar and I asked her about what it’s like:
“Everyone gets so scared when I tell them I am bipolar because lots of people believe I’ll change at any moment. Sometimes I think they get confused with multiple personalities syndrome and bipolar. Everyone who has bipolar is different, no one has the same circumstances. With my bipolar I only get highs and lows, which means my brain can go from really happy to completely depressed with in only a second. I can’t control this only maintain it with medication.”
Sylvana has always told herself she doesn’t look beautiful, either because of her teeth or her weight, so I’m very happy she had the courage to apply to be in the Woman’s World project. We had such a fun time getting to know her and created some beautiful images for her as a keepsake.
I’ll let her tell you about her experience:
“From the moment I walked into the discreet but bright studio, I felt like I was with friends and kindred spirits. Not only did I feel like an important and special person, being made up and coiffed to look my best, but I was treated like a real and natural person. No fake compliments or gushing overtures. It was a perfectly fun and comfortable experience that made me feel beautiful and deserving.
Cudos to all in the studio for their skills in the arts, but also their real and welcoming attitudes. I find it amazing how others can feel like friends as soon as they open their mouths, despite having no idea what kind of person you are. Wilomark have a team that makes you feel welcome without gushing; relaxed without being distant and encouraging without any fakery. Even if the studio were bigger or more polished it would not replace the open and friendly personalities that welcome you in.
I would recommend Wilomark, especially to those who aren't confident in front of a camera or who believe themselves to be un-photogenic, like I do. Kylee and her team well show you how wrong you are.”
Sylvana you are beautiful person, inside and out and I hope we showed you that.
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