Why Feeling Under-Qualified Might Be A Good Thing

Between juggling a new schedule and trying to get back into the swing of spring semester, it’s been a little busy around here. This past weekend, my mom asked me to take my younger brother’s senior pictures (how is he already graduating?) which presented a grand conflict in my life because, as his sister, I want to share the most embarrassing pictures of him, but as a photographer, I have to make sure he looks good and disguise the fact that he’s fake-smiling. It’s quite a dilemma as you might imagine.

I’m still a beginning photographer. It’s new to me and I’m learning and some days are more frustrating than others, but it’s a process. Learning how to become someone I aspire to be has me feeling under-qualified more often than not. I constantly question if I’m ready to take on this project, do I have the equipment to try to make this look good, do I even know what I’m doing, why did they pick me, and how am I going to pull this off? Right now photography is something that inspires me twenty seven times a day, but also makes me very vulnerable to my own insecurities. Sometimes I just have to sit down, set my camera to the side when my pictures are turning out way too dark, and remember that the greatest photographers had this problem once when they were learning what all these buttons are. It’s a pretty encouraging thought.

Perhaps feeling under-qualified is a good thing because all you can do is learn and practice and be inspired. There is no room for ego or bragging rights. There is no room for anything but gratitude for opportunities and projects and life’s daily inspiration. So maybe we should all take on something that leaves us vulnerable to ourselves, to learn what it means to start from the real beginning and to learn how to be grateful for the people who see your work as a foundation and are excited to see where this whole thing takes you. Those people really get me through the moments when my pictures are looking really rough.

So here’s my best attempt to incorporate both the funny portraits and the good ones. Yes, as difficult as it is to admit, he is that photogenic (how frustrating).

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