In high school, I had this crazy dream to become a professional photographer. I took my little point and shoot camera with me everywhere and used my friends as models. I was obsessed with taking pictures and documenting my life. I wanted to study photography and graphic design in college, but my parents thought it was best for me to pursue a degree in pre-medicine and keep photography as my hobby. During the next four years, I took a break from my camera and practically lived in the library. I realized very quickly that medical school was not for me, got married and moved to Loudoun County, Virginia. My husband bought me my very first DSLR, and my passion for photography came back. I decided that photography was something that I wanted to pursue so I got my business license and opened Claudia Dalton Photography in January 2014. I was working as a special education teacher at the time and running my business part-time. My husband and I would always talk about how great it would be to have my own studio, a place where I could display my work, do sessions in the winter months and meet clients. At that time, it was a distant dream. Three years ago, we moved to Purcellville and got a nice little place out in the country. We saw a spot for a potential studio on the property, but we weren’t sure how it would work out. After months of planning, we found the perfect little shed that we could convert to a studio. The day that it arrived on the property was such a great day! It was a shell, completely unfinished, but it was mine. At that time, my husband decided that I should pursue my business full time. “One of us should follow our dreams,” was what he told me when I hesitated. Not signing my contract was on the hardest things I’ve ever done, but I knew it was the right thing to do. Due to several hiccups with county regulations and installation, the studio took several months to complete it. It was very frustrating to have it there but not be able to use it. This past January, we finally had it all finished, and I had my first session in the studio in February. I continued working on the inside of the studio to get it all complete, and on Friday, October 19th, I officially opened Claudia Dalton Photography Studio! The Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce officiated the ribbon cutting and gave me a beautiful plaque. Friends and family came to both the ribbon cutting and open house the following day. I cannot express how extremely blessed and thankful I felt that weekend. To say that it was a dream come true is an understatement. I know all that I technically did was cut a ribbon, but it signified so much more than that. It was a fulfillment of a dream that I had 15 years ago. Thank you to everyone who has supported me and my business over the past few years, and who has helped me get to where I am today.