I have always been a fan of classic black and white photos. I think it comes from my love of “I Love Lucy” television shows (which by the way I pretty much know all the episodes and various Lucille Ball triva.) I love the 40s and 50s era decorations, lifestyle and fashion, so it just makes sense that I also love that era of photography too.
Black and white photos can add a certain sense of depth and drama to a photo that color can not always do. For me, it adds simplicity. It shows the true emotion of the photo without all of the distraction of colors. And, isn’t capturing those emotions why you are hiring me anyways!?
So here is what I do— When shooting, I am thinking about what the finished, fully edited image is going to look like. And, I always note in my head which image will be a great black and white photo.
Here are a few examples and why I convert some images to black and white!
Black and white photos can also direct your eye to the part of the image that has the most meaning.
In the color image of Brody and Cami, I see the background first. My eye always goes to the green over Brody’s left side. However, in the black and white image my eye goes directly to Cami’s face and her look of pure joy and love, which is exactly what I wanted to convey in this image.
When I look at this image of Jon seeing his bride for the first time on their wedding day, in the black and white image my eye goes directly to Jon’s face. In the color image, my eye leads me to the pop of red in the background to the greenery and THEN to Jon’s face.
Photography started out as black and white and even today black and white images are timeless and recall that classic portrait feeling of years ago. In some cases, the black and white image allows you to see details that you may not notice with the distraction of color.
There is a certain sense of elegance that comes with black and white images. A large part of that elegance is because you are left to interpret the colors. The simplicity of the image allows you to see the beauty and emotion as it was in reality.
The baseline is there is no rules for black and white image conversion and with today’s technology converting images to black and white is so easy. In many ways, whether you convert a picture comes down to a gut feeling as a photographer and what you like for your home as the client!
Want to see more black and whites? Scroll down! (P.S. There is a cutie face at the very end!)
Of course, I had to throw in a cow!