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Live the Dream: Year 2010

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I wrote my last “end of the year” post. (That you can read here.) It amazes me how fast time flies by when you’re having fun. And boy, have I had fun this year. I just re-read the post from last year and I stated in it that it was the best year of my life. There is no doubt that 2010 has been even better. It’s such an amazing feeling when you know you’re on the path that you’re supposed to be. When each year gets better than the last, it’s a sure sign you’re doing something right.

I feel as though this year I learned SO MUCH about myself. I had a rapid growth spurt in a short amount of time. Sometimes the hard part of life is figuring out what you want… but then once you do, it feels AMAZING. This year I figured out a lot of different things I want in my life personally and also in my business. That was the first step, the second step is now chasing and pursuing it full force which I plan on doing in 2011.

But back to the last year… it has been so incredible in every way. I have had so many amazing opportunities come my way and I am so grateful to God for every single one of them. I feel so completely unworthy for all of the things He blesses me with and the many people he sends into my life. I honestly know that I don’t deserve any of it but I plan on spending the rest of my life giving all of the praise and recognition to the only person who I owe all of it to: God. I know that He is the only reason I live the life that I have and that I am blessed with so much love from so many people. I know that God made me who I am for a reason, and I would be failing him if I didn’t recognize the gifts he gave me, and use them with all of my might. In 2010 I made mistakes, but I also can say I did a lot of things right too. I took huge leaps of faith, and because of that, God took care of me. He always does when we trust him. : )

When I look back at this year and all I have done… I am proud. I am proud of the dreams I accomplished and the decisions I made. I got to continue pursuing my other love/passion (besides photography) of traveling— to Jamaica, Colorado, Chicago (twice!), Mexico, Las Vegas, Disney, Atlanta, Paris, Scotland, England, Destin, Ohio, Nashville, and Peru. Most were for “work” and some for play. But each trip was SO.MUCH.FUN. and I am SO VERY BLESSED to have had such incredible opportunities to continue seeing the world, and living a real life adventure. It makes me giddy just thinking about it.

In 2010 I accomplished some pretty huge dreams…

Got a 2,200 square foot studio solely dedicated to boudoir. — scariest decision I have ever made!!! But so proud of myself. It has been the coolest thing ever to have a “place” I call my own. A place where I get to do WHATEVER I want and be WHATEVER artist I want to be. It has allowed me to be truly creative and let my inner self run wild. I am so excited to use the words “my studio”. It never gets old! My images are better now because of it. I love love love my studio and it’s still very surreal that I have a place to call my very own.

Hired my very first assistant/employee. — 2nd scariest decision I have ever made!! But one of the BEST I have ever made. Deirdre has changed my life in so many ways. Before I hired her, I had NO LIFE. I worked 24/7 around the clock just to stay on top of everything. After hiring and training her, I have finally been able to have ME TIME which is SO very crucial to have as an artist. It was so scary hiring her because all of the thoughts of, “What if I fail!? She quit her job to come work for me!!! Omg!!!!” were going through my mind. I was SCARED. But I knew I couldn’t think like that. I knew she was a Godsend and I had to trust him to take care of us both. He, of course, has done just that. I honestly don’t know what I would do without her now.

Took a vacation all for ME in England. (You can read about this trip and see photos in four parts, here, here, here and here.) — Favorite place ever! Best trip of my life!!!! The almost 3 weeks I spent in the UK was life changing. It was a dream I’ve had since a little girl. Yep, even before the dream of being a photographer. Most of my life I have wanted to spend time in England. And I finally made that happen. It was everything I expected and more and I am DYING to go back as soon as possible. I spent the first week with girlfriends, and the last 2 with family and by myself. The time I spent with others was a BLAST, but the time I spent alone gave me time to reflect on who I am, what I feel and what I want. It was so refreshing for me to let go of all of my “duties” and “work” back home (thank God for Deirdre to run things for me!) and just COMPLETELY focus on myself. I hadn’t done that in a VERY VERY long time and it was truly the best thing ever.

Featured on The Knot (website), Green Wedding Shoes, Hot Pink Brides, Grey Likes Weddings, Destination Inspirations (twice, see second post here) and Fabulously Wed (3 times, see posts here, here and here)! — EEK… it’s SOOOO FLATTERING to have been featured on several different major blog/websites this year. I mean really… there are just no words to express my gratitude for this!!! Thank you so much to each and every one of you who have featured my work on your website. I am so humbled and thankful.

Featured in Perfect Wedding Guide of Louisiana. (coming soon!)

Those few things are just the highlights but so there have been so many hundreds of amazing moments in 2010 that it would take me weeks to write about in one blog post.

I am so so so grateful for all of the emails, words of encouragement, facebook posts, cards, gifts, letters that I have received from so many different wonderful people this year. It is the fuel to my fire. It is what keeps me going and it is what INSPIRES the depth of who I am. You will never know how much your words and thoughtfulness means to me. I thank you from the deepest part of my heart. You change my life with every kind and uplifting word you send my way. I could never repay any of you for it.

I am so thankful for the amazing friends God has put in my life. I don’t know what I would do without any of them. As I grow older I come to realize who my true friends are and how priceless they really are. A true friend is more precious than gold. A true friend is someone I cherish deeply and I am so grateful to have true friends in my life who have my back no matter what. I love you all… you know who you are.

And last but not least, I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO thankful for my fabulous clients. Gosh, I don’t even know how to put in words how much I adore each and every one of you. Just know that you each have left an imprint on my heart and I am so incredibly humbled by your trust and belief in me as your photographer. I know there are so many amazing and talented photographers in this world, so I don’t take the fact that you chose me lightly. I heart you all in a HUGE way. Thank you thank you thank you.

2010 has been AH-mazing. But I know with all of my heart that 2011 will be even better. I cannot wait to LIVE THE DREAM even bigger and better. Watch out world, here I come. This is truly only the beginning.

copyright courtney dellafiora 2010

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