a collage of three black and white wedding photographs

Black and white photography still stands out and holds a unique charm in current times as well. This kind of photography is a timeless technique loved by both professional photographers and amateurs from all categories of photography. When it comes to wedding photography, black and white adds that vintage touch to the picture, which is a great option to mix things up in your shot list, and especially if your clients love this style! Whether you want to add some variety to the shot list or want to showcase deep emotions through a photo - black and white photography ideas can help with both and more. And to help you hone this technique, in this blog, we’ve listed a few tips and ideas for black and white portrait photography ideas

Top 5 Black And White Photography Ideas To Get Inspired

Every time you are creating a shot list for a wedding or engagement session, we’d suggest you add some black and white portrait ideas to the list. You could think of certain emotionally intense moments and try to capture them in black and white in camera or apply that effect during post-production. Legendary photographers like Ansel Adams, Platon, and Diane Arbus are known for shooting in black and white and emphasizing on other visual elements, thus making their pictures very compelling. Below are some black and white photography tips for beginners that even longtime pros can utilize to capture moments in monochrome.

1. Emphasize the contrast in your black and white shots 

a black and white image of a wedding couple kissing inside the bridal veilImage Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @dianenicolephoto

As already suggested by the name, black and white photography is all about playing with highlights and shadows - where highlights are the brighter part of the photo and shadows are the darker part. While shooting, emphasize the contrast in your photos to add more depth and feel to the pictures. When you take a picture, try to imagine how it will look in black and white. Instead of focusing on color, focus on tonality, light, and shadow within your compositions.

Outdoor photography is a great option to click some interesting  black and white photos. If you are surrounded by breathtaking landscape or cityscapes, you won't need any special backdrops to capture beautiful black and white photos. You can even try different lighting techniques to play around with the contrast in your images. 

Suggested Read: Top 15 Lightroom Tips For Wedding Photographers

2. Use Monochrome To Focus On The Moment and Emotion 

a black and white image of the bride twirling while the groom lovingly looks at herImage Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer

Taking beautifully composed portraits that bring out your couple and their loved ones’ emotions are one of your key responsibilities as the wedding photographer. By capturing couples portraits as black and white photos, you could help your clients see themselves in a way that they haven't seen before. As black and white photos are timeless classics, this style offers the same quality to your couple’s relationship and photo. Whether it’s a photo from your couple’s first dance or a candid taken during their vows - capturing special moments from the wedding day in black and white helps to add a timeless quality to those moments as well.  

Suggested Read: Why Do Black And White Wedding Photos Appear Timeless?

3. Unplanned Moments 

a little girl looking at a hanging wedding bridal dressImage Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @robbmccormickphotography

While colorful pictures have their own charm and aesthetic, using black and white to capture unplanned moments can make them even more memorable. Black and white photography stirs up emotions within the viewers and never goes out of style for its striking balance between the two colors. As a picture is worth a thousand words (like the above image by ShootDotEdit customer Robb McCormick Photography), beautiful black and white photos seamlessly showcase sentimental statements and the candidness of the moment.

4. Use Different Perspectives 

a black and white image through a gap of a groom waiting for the bride at the altarImage Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer

Taking pictures from unique perspectives can sometimes result in striking shots, which can set you apart from other wedding photographers and wow your clients. Keeping basic rules of composition in mind, you can create stellar photographs that leave viewers awestruck. Using different perspectives to photograph wedding day moments in black and white is also a great way to challenge yourself. Once you are done taking all the classic wedding day or engagement photos, experiment with perspectives to see the masterpieces you can create.

Suggested Read: 6 Simple Ways To Select The Best Black and White Images

5. Black and White Photography Can Also Be Fun 

a top down shot of a wedding couple in their wedding attire posing as superheroesImage Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @jorgesantiagophoto

Who says black and white photos are only ideal to convey emotional scenes? Though colors add vibrancy to pictures, black and white photos add a different depth, making it fun and exciting. Great black and white photos remove any kind of distraction of color and help viewers focus on the main subject/s of the picture. Leaving behind the cliched poses, let your clients be their fun selves and enjoy the photo session to capture some incredible black and white portraits that stand out from the rest! Black and white photography creates a strange dreamscape that color never can. 

The age-old photography technique of black and white photographs has proved its timeless demand. They are not just useful to create beautiful photographs, but they also help you capture the true emotions of a scene so flawlessly. Whether it’s a first look with the father of the bride or a tender moment between the newlyweds during their first dance - you can use these black and white photography ideas to capture several candid and posed moments throughout the day. Even though we recommend that you shoot black and white in camera, if you find yourself short on time and can’t always keep going back and forth between color and black and white, then use a photo editing software to help you create the magic during post-production. 

Further Read: Storytelling In Wedding Photography: 5 Ways To Get It Right

At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about helping you grow your wedding photography business! And we help you do that by lessening your post-production workload with our professional photo editing and color correction services. To learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business, check out our pricing plans.

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