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Elle Golden Photography Guides Clients from Photoshoots to Superb Prints

By Marina I. Jokic

Having been drawn to cameras and photos from an early age, LeiLani Golden naturally chose her vocation to be professional photography. Elle Golden Photography in Bethlehem, Georgia specializes in weddings and portraits, capturing the milestones in people's lives as well as more ordinary subjects. Golden explains her fascination with photography, which has transformed her life for the better, and the way she distinguishes herself from other professionals.

Weddings, elopements, and couples are the subjects Golden focuses on in her daily work. "I am in love with love," she says in response to what inspired her to enter the world of relationship photography. Golden hasn't always been photographing this subject matter. In fact, she was working as a television news reporter for a while before switching careers in 2010. Having realized her passion for capturing the love between people, Golden decided it was time to formalize her dreams into an actual business plan.

At Elle Golden Photography, "I've spent the last six years honing my craft, traveling to incredible places, and photographing fabulous people and events," she says. Golden's decision to transition from television reporting to wedding photography was an easy one to make. In her previous life, Golden was often depressed by the terrible news she had to report on every day. Emotionally drained by her job, she decided it was time to make a change. Soon after, Elle Golden Photography opened shop and she's never looked back.

"Turning my passion into a career happened almost haphazardly," Golden points out. As a journalist at heart, Golden knew that the next stage of her professional life had to center on photography as a storytelling medium except she wanted to change the types of stories she was telling. "I can't pinpoint the exact moment I decided to end the madness and become a wedding and portrait photographer, but I am forever grateful for that turning point in my life," Golden adds.

Elle Golden Photography adopts a different approach to the art of photographing people. Namely, Golden has carried her photojournalist bent into her business with the primary goal of crafting a story with each image she creates. "I allow moments to unfold naturally and stay as hands-off as possible when photographing a portrait session or wedding," she elaborates. Especially when posing clients, Golden allows them to settle into their positions naturally on their own terms. Honest images make for the most poignant stories and make them relatable.

Using both film and digital formats, Golden brands herself as a hybrid photographer and tailors her medium to the subject at hand. Film, for example, allows much more artistic freedom with a photograph, while digital does a good job of hiding imperfections. If a bride is being photographed outside in a bright setting, film will produce the best results and reveal intriguing details in the image, for instance. Golden shares that the film format is closer to her heart and produces the best images in her opinion.

"Since I'm limited to the number of images on a roll, I am forced to wait for the photo-worthy moments before clicking the shutter," she says. Of course, digital has its own strengths including handling low light settings, which can be very valuable especially at wedding receptions.

Another critical component of the whole experience is tending to her clients after the photography shoot, which includes guiding them in print and product orders. Most other photographers would leave that aspect to the client, while Golden makes it a point to help clients select the best photos, the print material and printing process among others. Golden considered it important to take that task into her own hands, enabling her clients to walk away with heirloom quality products.

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About The Author

Marina Jokic holds a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College in Russian and East...

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