Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Best of 2011 | Portraits

Do you ever feel human beings are pre-programed to be too hard on ourselves? It seems so easy for us to look at where we are at in our lives and feel like we aren't enough. We aren't talented enough, pretty enough, thin enough, rich enough, or smart enough.  We look at those around us, and feel that we don't measure up no matter how hard we try.  The lives of others seem so much more exciting and successful than ours do in comparison.

Each new year, we vow that things are going to be different in the coming year. We promise to improve ourselves, and correct whatever it is we feel is lacking in our lives.  We resolve to work harder, be more organized, stop procrastinating, and to lose weight.  But, have you ever stopped to wonder why we never bother to look back at the road we have traveled and acknowledge how far we have come?  Why is it so hard for us to feel proud of ourselves? To pat ourselves on the back for a job well done?  To feel like we deserve everything we have, and more?

As a photographer, it is incredibly easy to look at the photographs that others have created and feel like you fall short. It always feels like there is someone out there that is more talented and more creative than you will ever be no matter how hard you try. It's easy to feel like everyone else is more successful than you are, and it's easy to wonder if you should keep going or just hang up your camera and quit. I've certainly thought all of those things a zillion times in the past year. But no more! 2012 is going to be my year to stop all of those negative thoughts. My motto from here on out is I am enough. I am smart enough. I am talented enough. I am good enough. I deserve to be happy and successful, and so do you!

Two years ago, I had never held a DSLR camera or used photoshop.  Since then I have spent most of my free time reading every book, article, and online website I can get my hands on.  I have looked at thousands of photographs taken by others, and I have taken thousands myself.  I've taught myself an overwhelming amount of things in a relatively short amount of time.  When I stop and I look back at how far I've come, I can't believe it.  I really do have a lot to be proud of!

So, please join me for a short look back at some of my favorite portraits of 2011, in no particular order.  All of these people are wonderful and amazing, and I owe a lot to them for taking a chance on me and helping me get started.

Thank you for joining me on my journey in 2011, and I am looking forward to see what 2012 has in store for me.  Best wishes for happiness and success in the near year to each of you, too!

Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area. Visit Michele's website at Become a fan of Michele's work on Facebook. Follow Michele's updates on Twitter.

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