Happiness, grief, awe, pain. It’s all there in the photography of Gloria Golden, who captures the wide spectrum of human emotion through her camera lens. The Westbury resident’s black and white photography is raw and personal, capturing scenes and people from around the world.
“If I see something I’m really interested in, I want to capture it right away. I want to hold onto it,” Golden said. “If you photograph it, it’s always yours.”
Golden’s emergence as a photographer seems natural, as she was surrounded by the art as a child. Her dad always had a camera with him and growing up, Golden often found herself the subject of his lens.
It was only during a teaching sabbatical in 1994 that the spark of interest Golden had for photography roared into a full flame. She enrolled in a photography class at Queensborough Community College, studying under the tutelage of Jules Allen, a well-known photographer who encouraged her to pursue the art. Golden went back to teaching, but went on to take several more photography courses, in addition to showing her work in both solo and group exhibits.
“The class got me really hooked. I really went into it and took it very seriously,” Golden said. “I don’t look at it as a hobby or something to keep me busy.”
Photography has changed rapidly since Golden first took that class in the 90s, but she’s embraced the changes happily. She used to develop her own images in the dark room of her Plainview home (though she hated the smell of the chemicals), but now enjoys using Photoshop and printing her own photographs.
Her passion and eye for capturing life’s raw moments have garnered her numerous awards and recognitions. Golden has also published four photography books; her most recent undertaking, Photography: An Intimate Approach, released in April of this year, provides a true view of Golden’s style—close-up black and white photos that capture people and places from around the world.
“If I take a landscape, I don’t take the whole landscape, I just shoot a small part of it. My photographs of people are the same, I photograph them up close. I like to see their eyes, expressions. It’s more emotional,” Golden said. “I do the same thing in all my photographs, they’re all intimate.”
To help her achieve a sense of intimacy in her photographs, Golden shoots in color and then converts the images to black and white, saying the monochrome images convey more emotion.
“There seems to be more depth and it’s more soulful to produce black and white photographs,” Golden said. “It seems more dramatic.”
An avid traveler, Golden said she enjoys taking photographs of people, places and landscapes that are different than what she usually sees at home, noting that China has been her favorite place to shoot so far. She also published a photography book on Brooklyn, a homage to the borough she grew up in and how it has changed—and remained the same—over the years.
Golden said she enjoys showing her work and will be at the Brooklyn Book Festival on Sept. 18, followed by an exhibit at the Astoria Bank at 995 Hicksville Rd. in Massapequa from Sept. 30 through Oct. 31.
“I like to know people appreciate my photos. I want to know if they see what I see,” Golden said. “If I’m photographing a person, it’s because I feel some connection to that person, I see something in their eyes. I would like them to see what I see and stop and spend some time looking at it and enjoying it.”
Photography: An Intimate Approach is available on Amazon. Find out more about Golden at www.ggoldenimages.com .