Rulings & Madhaabs - I'm so confused


Junior Member
Assalamu 'alaykum.

I'll get straight to the point. The thing is, I ALWAYS get confused when it comes to rulings. I know I don't speak Arabic and so I obviously can't "verify" the authenticity of hadiths and/or rulings and whatnot. Because of this, I've constantly been trying to adhere to the *stricter* ruling which goes against my nafs (like the ruling which says photography is haraam: never-ending battle right there, my family hates me for not taking pictures!); I honestly have no clue whatsoever. It's becoming so hard for me because I always have doubts, and then I go paranoid thinking I'm following the wrong ruling. It's a vicious cycle. :(

Would it be okay for me to pick a madhaab and follow it? If so, how do I choose a madhaab? My family apparently "follows" the Shafiee madhaab, so should I follow that one? Or should I just try my best to follow the rulings I believe are authentic?