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6 Simple Ways to Select the Best Black and White Images

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When a typical wedding shoot is over, how many images do you usually upload onto your computer? Chances are, you shot thousands of photos for the event; some from the getting ready, the ceremony, the reception, and the exit. After you send your images to a photo editing company, like ShootDotEdit, you receive back color corrected photos which you can then add your artistic style to.

Depending on your style, you may consider converting some of your images to black and white. Choosing which images should be black and white can be an easy process, as long as you know what to look for. So you can quickly work on your images during your post-wedding photos, here are 6 simple ways to select the best black and white images.

1. Shoot for Black and White

As you shoot the wedding day, pay attention to the moments and photos you are capturing. Just as you should shoot for the story of the wedding day, shoot for images which would look best black and white. After you snap a few photos, take a look at your camera to see what they look like. Training your eye to know what moments would translate properly into black and white can help you immensely during your post-wedding workflow.

wedding ceremony bride and father

Image by David West Photography

Tip: While you shoot for the story, decide how black and white photos can highlight some of the most important moments of the day. You can also plan which photos would look best as black and white for your couple’s wedding album.

2. Create Special Moments

Since the wedding day is an emotional time for the bride and groom, as well as their family and friends, you are likely to capture sentimental moments with your camera. These moments may occur during the first look, when the bride is walking down the aisle, or during the first dance. Black and white photos eliminate any distractions from your photos, meaning the focus will be directly on those you shoot.

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Tip: Keep a look out for other special moments, such as the father-daughter dance or emotional family members in attendance. Converting these photos into black and white helps create classic and memorable images.

Related: Find out what the best images are to take throughout the wedding day shoot, plus how to get them published, with our Free Guide! 

3. Enhance Bland Photos

Because you cannot always guarantee that every shot will be perfect right away, use black and white to help enhance photos which are initially bland. If you capture an amazing photo of the mother of the bride as she helps her daughter get ready, but there are noticeable skin blemishes on her face which distract the photo, consider converting it to black and white. Eliminating the color from the photo can help hide any unnecessary issues and can create the photo you were initially shooting for.

Tip: This technique can also be useful when you are shooting background or location images which are not particularly interesting. A picture of a more run-down church can be enhanced when you use a black and white setting over it.

Related: Justin and Mary Marantz have 5 quick tips to help you shoot stand out imagery

4. Choose the Best Moments

As you work with the bride and groom, you will get to know their personalities. Before the wedding begins, your couple spends their time getting ready so they can look their best. Start by choosing the best moments for your black and white photos, such as when the groom is relaxing before leaving for the ceremony. Capture him as he reflects on the day and waits to see his new bride. Look for other moments which would be enhanced by black and white; such as the groomsmen all together, candid shots between the bride and the groom, and unexpected moments from the wedding guests.

black and white couple outdoor portraits

Image by ShootDotEdit Wedding Pro, France Photographers

5. Understand the Lighting

Because you cannot control where the location of the wedding shoot is, you may have to work in conditions which are unfavorable. Converting your photos to black and white can become useful when these moments occur, especially when your lighting techniques cannot enhance the scene.

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When it is too cloudy outside for you to capture a stunning background, look for dark and light tones to see how your photos will look as black and white. During an indoor shoot, if the lighting is less than ideal or too distracting, convert those photos to black and white to create dynamic images for your couple.

6. Identify the Right Photos

When you shoot the wedding day, you should be able to identify which photos would look better in black and white and which photos should stay in color. If you are shooting the bridal party in front of a gorgeous sunset, this is a photo you would want to highlight the beautiful colors. Also, a black and white photo of the wedding cake or centerpieces may take away from the vendor’s attention to detail and the choices your couple made. Learn what photos would be best in black and white, so you can more easily capture them and convert them after the event is over.

When you know exactly what photos would look perfect from the wedding day, you can easily change them to black and white. Most of the work you will do on your images may occur in Lightroom, especially if you desire a speedy workflow. Creating a black and white preset of your choice in Lightroom assists you in quickly adding your Signature Style to your photos. Discover how you can easily apply Lightroom presets to your color corrected photos with The Wedding Photographer’s Guide to Using Presets!

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