I adore black and white wedding photos, so it’s probably not surprising that a lot of my couples love them too. There’s just something about the mood and the drama that makes black and white images so special. Whenever I’m looking back through a wedding I’ve edited it’s always the black and whites that tug at my emotions, so what is it about them that makes them speak to you?
Monochrome images are all about the shadows and the light, there’s no escaping it. If an image is poorly lit, it’s going to look a million times worst in black and white. I love photography is built on light but that REALLY comes into play here.
The grit, the mood, the realness, black and white seems to enhance all of that in the best way. I think they work brilliantly in photojournalistic situations where you want to convey an honest story. I love how you can create much more impact and drama, than you can with a colour image.
I think this is the deal breaker for me, taking away the layers of colour, actually simplifies what you’re looking at. You’re totally focused on the story and the moment. It’s a bit like stripping back an image to it’s bare bones, just showing the things that really matter.
All photography started in monochrome, so to me, that gives black and white wedding photos a really timeless quality that doesn’t feel linked to fashions or crazes that can sometimes feel dated in the future. I love how you can create an image that could feel like it’s from any era, that’s something that I think is much harder to re-create in colour.
The over-riding reason for my love of black and white, and why I think it works especially well in wedding photos, is that it conveys emotion so well. Hands-down my favourite images of my family are always the black and whites. I literally think that just comes down to a combination of all the above factors. When all those things come together it can make your wedding images feel so much more emotional and give them a lot more depth.
I’ve got no plans to go fully black and white on your wedding photos, I think colour has it’s own important role to play, especially at weddings, but you’ll certainly find plenty of monochromes in your galleries and I love it when my couples are as excited about that as me!