When modern-day photography was invented in 1839, the only option available was black & white. It wasn’t until Kodachrome came around in 1935 that color photography became more widely available and started gaining popularity.
Black & white portraits are absolutely classic. Many times, you can have a standard beautiful image but when you make it black & white… it comes to LIFE!
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.
There is just something special about black & white imagery. Perhaps it’s the way we look back at the photographs of the masters like Richard Avedon, Peter Lindbergh and Ansel Adams to name a few, or perhaps it’s the way old movies have a specific feel to them as we watch them in monochrome.
Black & white photography has been around since the inception of photography, when the masters brought scenes of the west to life and changed the history of art forever.
Until recently, I rarely ever photographed in black & white, but this past year I decided to add a new genre of women’s intimate portraits to my session offerings.
There are a number of ways you can create contrast in the studio. I love to use multiple lights, sometimes with hard modifiers, and then refine the look with negative and positive fill to create a full range of tones and make my images pop.
Looking back over my career for the last 20 years, there is a distinct line of when my work went from predominantly black & white to taking an immediate turn to color. It happened when I captured that first medium format digital image in 2004 and I never looked back.
When you are photographing a couple, you want to make sure you have a great tonal range. This really helps as we convert to black & white later while editing. Many of us look for contrast and texture while shooting for black & white and enhance these elements in post-production. Of course, there are multiple ways to get your Raw images converted, and in this article I have 5 tips for better black & white edits in Lightroom Classic.
As you cull your most recent wedding, you might be asking yourself, “When do I go black & white?” Throughout my career, I have displayed both color and black & white photos in my portfolio. I enjoy black & white images, because there’s simply something different to them.