Don’t Forget about Black and White

When I’m editing photos, no matter if they’re Vermont wedding photos or family photos, one of the first things I think about once I get a hold of a specific picture is how it will look in black and white.

Black and white photography is, unfortunately, becoming a lost art form. Many years ago you had no choice – your portrait had to be in black and white. As technology has changed, however, black and white has gone the way of the VCR – slowly but surely becoming less and less used.

Now there are a number of photographers who do like black and white. There are some who shoot only in black and white. But often these photographers are high end art photographers who cost a fortune to hire.

I think there are certain portraits that just work in black and white. Take the above picture. This portrait was taken of a stable owner. She has a tough-as-nails personality that cannot be denied (although she can also be a big old marshmellow, but don’t tell her I told you that). We did a shoot and of course she had to include her gorgeous dog. Once we got him to lie down I had her lie behind him and relax on him – it’s not often you get a dog big enough to recline on – and this was the shot.

In color? It looks okay. The foliage behind her is green and doesn’t quite go well with her outfit, but the big problem I had was that her dog has a very camo-like color, so he almost blended into the ground.

Adjust it a bit with black and white and we get an entirely different photo.

If you’re hiring a Vermont photographer, no matter whether it’s for weddings or a portrait session, always ask them if they do black and white portraits. It’s not only highly flattering, it can take any portrait and can transform it into true art.

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