Black & White Photography: Tips for Creating the Best Images with Monique Hoppe
“If you want to shoot fashion, shoot in color; but if you want to shoot emotions, shoot in black & white.”
I don’t know who said it, but it helped me find my personal style. About a year ago, I was lost and felt disconnected from my own work. Everybody told me that nothing was wrong, that my images were beautiful. I, however, couldn’t feel my images. I was focusing on making everything beautiful but the emotional connection was missing. I read this quote and challenged myself to shoot nudes in black & white. Nothing is barer than the human body. It was just me and the model, no clothing to hide, no color to distract. I felt connected and had found my niche.
When I started to shoot fine art nudes, it was all about the intimate moment. My clients felt so vulnerable and powerful at the same time. I began to feel that shooting in color was just distracting; there was something special about black & white fine art nudes. Black & white let me connect more on an emotional level, it gave me the opportunity to focus on shapes, lines, composition, contrast, light and the connection with my client, showcasing their inner beauty. Black & white photography is so timeless, impactful, elegant and powerful—my love for black & white is limitless!
Creating a strong black & white image is not just about removing the color!
Here are some techniques I use to Creating the Best Images in black & white that stand out.
Think in black & white!
My black & white images are not an afterthought. When I shoot in black & white, I create the images in my head before I pick up my camera.
The main reasons I choose black & white instead of color are:
a. My focus is on creating beautiful lines, and I want to emphasize the female shape. Most of my fine art nudes are very high contrast, more graphic and bold.