Dear Person Finding Their Way

Written by Heather Gallagher

In your personal life and career, you will encounter red flags. They can be tempting to ignore but your gut knows. Clients may try to look past your true talents and put you into a general box, wanting you to fit their idea of what you should deliver and you may have an internal battle over "money vs. creative integrity". It's okay to occasionally fit the mold in order to pay the bills if it's your choice and within your ability but beware of continuing on this path without course correcting. In the creative industry specifically, it's easy to get painted in a corner and it's hard to bust out of it. 

In your personal life, you'll encounter people who will see your light and try to dim it. They will see the path you are on and recognize, perhaps earlier than you do, that you are on your way to fulfilling your purpose and they will try to clip your wings. You'll spend years feeling like you're making 3 steps forward and two steps back just trying to be your authentic self and that's okay because this is the process. There is great value in knowing what you don't want to do and who you don't want to surround yourself. As painful as this process can be, it will make you stronger and make you appreciate the truly supportive individuals in your life. Hold them close and don't take them for granted. No experience is a waste, just a learning opportunity. 

Never be afraid to ask questions no matter how much you think you're supposed to know and pass knowledge on as freely and much as you can. Accept praise and criticism with an open heart and mind but at the end of the day know that "ya can't please everyone so ya got to please yourself." 


Photo by Chelsea Francis!

Heather Gallagher is an award winning, published and internationally exhibited family photojournalist, editorial and commercial photographer. She resides in Austin, TX with her husband, 4 year old son and boxer mix but hails from the east coast and misses a true winter. When not behind a camera or computer screen you can find her exploring the Greenbelt with her family, mowing her yard while binge listening to true crime podcasts or wandering around parking garages all over Austin wondering where the hell she parked her car. 

Jordan Cooley