Colour or Black and white photos?
A grEy area!
Most wedding photography albums will contain some black and white photos along with the colour ones. Which we prefer can come down to individual taste. I feel that a mixture of both are best. Some pictures look better colour and some black and white. But when I look at my work I think that some of my most arresting images are my black and white ones. As I prowl around a wedding taking photos, I'm always on the look out for a good black and white shot. But what makes a good black and white image? Here are a few things I think look good in black and white:
Light has a massive impact on pretty much any image. The light in the venue from the window, the artifical light in the venue, the sunlight or lack of it, the light from any flashes I have brought. If there is strong light, this can lend itself to creating shapes and patterns that might otherwise be lost if the photography is in colour. If there is strong backlighting you can get some great images. If there are sploges of sunlight, this can look great too. When colour is removed the eye can focus more on the light within the pictures.
Shapes and Textures
Black and white is great for showing off shapes, patterns and textures. I find this is especailly exciting when it comes to the details on dresses and shoes. Pop a wedding dress infront of a window and watch the details in the lace really come to life! I find this can help veils can look amazing too. I love the folds in the edge of the veil in this picture on the left. The way the hemming falls creates zig zags and triangles against the dark curtain. And the dark pelment provides a great back drop the details around the top of the dress.
I feel like black and white photos have a more timeless quaility to them than colour. Perhaps colour photographs are suseptable to current trends and fashionable tropes. Modern colour photos today look very different to colour photos from 20 years ago. Colour photos from the 70s and 80s look dated in the 2020s. However, black and white photos from the 1940s still look relivant today. If I can capture a classic moment in black and white, I know that the photograph will still be powerful in 20 years time. When you are showing your grand children the pictures.
For myself, I find the medium of black and white a way to expore the deeper themes of a wedding. For much of the day I'm trying to capture the fun, the love and the light hearted moments. I work mostly in colour to capture things like outfits, candid shots of guests laughing, details and so on. Because the day is all about a celebration. To me, colour is a great way to capture the mood of celebration. But there is more to a wedding day too. It's about commitment, love, a pause to come together and recognise our relationships with each other and to think about the years ahead and the years gone by. To celebrate our pasts and futures together and to remember people who cant be with us. For me, it's black and white that allows me to take pictures which illustrate these feelings. A way for me to explore more serious moments and a chance to create powerful images that will truely last a lifetime.
Many photos shot in conjunction with Paul Walker Photography