I’m a photographer based in Houston, TX that specializes in sophisticated wedding and high school senior photography.
I had never thought much about leaving home for college. It had always been my plan to do so – after all, isn’t that what you’re “supposed” to do? As we neared the end of high school, all of my friends were planning the same thing, to leave Houston and start a four year program far from home.
In January, I committed to attending Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth, 4.5 hours away from where I live. I had dreamed of going to TCU for years. I figured that I would bring my business with me to college and start fresh in a new city. But one day, something didn’t feel right. One day the weight of what leaving Houston meant hit me.
Leaving Houston meant leaving the life full of photography sessions and wedding bookings that I had spent the last three years creating. I started to feel weird about leaving behind everything that I had worked so hard to build. Sure, I knew I could grow my business in Fort Worth, but at what cost? I also started to question whether or not I could get a true college experience while also trying to launch my business in a brand new city. I likely couldn’t grow my business into what I want it to be while also attending university – at least, not without missing out on key college experiences, going through unnecessary struggles, feeling overwhelmed, and getting completely burnt out.
It seemed that I had a choice to make. I could:
Putting my business on hold seemed like the responsible choice, but there was no way that I would be able to come back to my business four years later and have it be in the same state I would be leaving it in. Sure, I’d still have the same skillset + a great team of associates still working in Houston, but my momentum would be gone and much of my personal reputation faded.
Today I want to share with you the hardest decision I have ever made: I have revoked my admission to TCU. This decision was hard, but it is a choice that I am happy with. This didn’t come lightly, and was not spur of the moment.
I’ll be honest, I was scared. Scared of the reactions from other people and what they would think. Scared to be breaking away from a path that had been set out for me. But I’m doing it, and I’m excited. I’ll still be pursuing higher education, studying and taking classes but I’ll be here in Houston (go Coogs!), continuing to build my business and pursue what I love.
By sharing my story with you today, I hope it gives you a little behind the scenes of my life and heart for this online space. RGP is seriously so much more than a company that takes pretty pictures, my biggest goal is to share my passion with you and build genuine, long lasting relationships with every one of my clients, students, and followers.
Reed Gallagher is a Houston photographer for the elegant bride + chic senior, an educator for the driven photographer, and queso obsessed biz owner.