Back in 2012 when I was a fresh-behind-the-ears photographer, the image below solidified my decision to include a black and white copy of all the images I presented to my clients in their gallery. It was one of my first in-home newborn sessions and this little one was not a huge fan of being wrapped up tight and I was too nervous about safely capturing him to even begin to thinking about doing composites. So I asked dad to lay down on a black blanket and placed baby on his back. When I loaded the images on my computer to edit them, I remember feeling very disappointed in the full color version, but I loved the composition of the image so I decided it was keeper.
I am so glad I did. Because once I converted it to black and white. I was in love. Hands down it is still one of my favorite newborn images I have shot to date, even though my style has changed some. I have had the great privilege to have photographed this little guy at one year old and at 3 years old and I have to say, I am a still drawn to his black and white images!
Browsing though past images had me thinking about why I am captivated by black and white photos and why they are always included as part of my Intuition Experience. They have a timeless quality that puts the focus on the emotion of an image vs. the aesthetics. While both of these options are necessary in creating a fabulous image, they are not mutually exclusive. Plus, I have an affinity for colored walls in my house and having images in black & white creates a really cool artistic contrast.
But the number one reason why you'll find black and whites in your gallery reveal is because:
EMOTION IS SUBJECTIVE
- "An emotion is a complex psychological state that involves three distinct components: a subjective experience, a physiological response, and a behavioral or expressive response."
(Hockenbury & Hockenbury, Discovering Psychology 2007)
What I mean is, I can't determine why a client (you) is drawn to one image in color vs. one in black and white. But I know because viewing images of yourself or loved ones is very closely connected to how you feel about them and color or black and white in turn can pinpoint and highlight what you love about them most and giving the image more impact.
So back to the color image of the newborn above. Why it didn't thrill me in full color. It moved me so much it has a special place in my body of work as a black and white and made me realize that I don't want you to miss out on falling completely in love with an image just because its not in black and white.