Lillie Elliot Photography

Blog

Welcome to the blog!

It all started with a few expletives as my dad and I banged into both each other and the walls of my sister’s tiny, dark bathroom. Finally we got the little red light on, poured the chemicals, and began. It was the one and only time we used the darkroom kit that “Santa” brought, but I still remember the excitement of watching our faces appear through the murky water. It was magic!

Though I haven’t been inside a darkroom in years, the magic of seeing a moment “appear,” preserved forever, still amazes me.

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After our brief stint as darkroom developers, I went to college and decided to major in Photojournalism. I didn’t really know what it was, but I knew it was something I wanted to explore. I loved it. I loved learning about people and then figuring out creative ways to capture them. I loved the way people allowed me into their lives and trusted me to tell their stories.

At the time, my parents were both lawyers, my sister was in law school and my brother was headed that way (though the oldest, he needed a few ski-bum years in Colorado first). So photojournalism was a bit outside of the “family business.” However, from my dad’s darkroom experiment to my mom framing giant “street portraits” of strangers in our living room (my very first school project), I felt plenty of support.  

I interned with a Durham newspaper in college and learned what photojournalism really felt like. It was hard and it was exhausting, but it was also thrilling. Photographing several assignments a day pushed my creativity and forced me out of my comfort zone, but I left every assignment wanting more time to devote to each story, each person. I wanted to go deeper. I traveled to Thailand with a group of students and coaches to work on a documentary, and it was there that I figured out exactly what I wanted to do. For the first time in my life, the whole world disappeared and I got lost in the story I was telling. I got lost in the amazing life of a boy in Thailand, his family and his journey.

After college, my best friend and I traveled around the world for a year and my passion for travel and documenting lives and cultures deepened. My camera allowed me to connect with people in a way that words couldn't. Though we swore we’d never settle-down and that we’d travel forever, I eventually moved back to North Carolina and began photographing weddings. To my surprise, I felt that familiar thrill of documentation. It was journalism, it was a story, it was full of real moments, real emotion and real people. Though I still consider documentary work my passion, I realized weddings could be part of that world. 

SO, that brings me to now. I live in Denver, Colorado with my beer-making, mountain-climbing, engineer boyfriend and our dog Rambo. And my travel-buddy-best-friend lives up the street with her fiancé (so at least we decided to stay-put for a while together). 

This website is both an ending and a beginning for me. It’s the culmination of many years of dreaming, hoping, planning and working (with lots of traveling and playing in there as well).  But it’s also the beginning of something even more wonderful, and I hope you’ll stick around to share it with me. While the purpose of this post is to share with you my story, I tell it to you so you get to know me and invite me to tell yours. In that way, I hope this is the first day of a whole new journey together.

Lillie Elliot