FAQ | How do you decide which photos will be black & white?

April 21, 2021

Have you spent hours deliberating the exact shade of cream for your table linens? Hunted high and low for bridesmaids’ dresses that coordinate with the Groom’s military trews? Found a cake maker who can whip up buttercream frosting that’s not toooo yellow?

That calls for colour photos.

Because it’s part of the story.

But sometimes colour steals the story.

(I get why Audrey*, the church verger, wants to wear a lovely outfit. But bright orange? Because she’s going to hold the church door open for the big arrival. Which means she’ll be in the photos. Photos where the couple should have all the attention … but in which an orange outfit will scream “OVER HERE, OVER HERE!” louder than an Oompa Loompa wearing a reflective jacket.)

Which is where black and white photos come in.

Because taking colour away removes distraction, simplifies the scene, and tells your eye where to look.

Which means the moment or feeling of the photo will be the star.

(Just as well, Audrey. Just as well.)

But it’s not just about disguising distracting colours.

I also use black and white to:

  • Highlight texture and contrast. We see the world in colour. But if you take colour away, you see texture and tones. So black and white photos are great to show off things like the character of old wood or the stark difference between bright light and dark shadows.
  • Disguise bad lighting conditions. I’ll always try to work with good quality light. But sometimes there’s no choice. Maybe you’re getting ready in a hotel room with tiny windows that don’t let in much daylight. Perhaps you’re getting married in the winter and the church has heaters that cast a red glow and make everyone look sunburnt … If that’s the case, I’ll still take the pictures – but use black & white to improve the appearance of the bad light.
  • Diminish cluttered backgrounds. I’ll do everything I can to find good angles and capture clean photos. But it isn’t always possible to avoid clutter. Maybe you’re signing the register in a dark corner of the church with a stack of chairs to your left, a fire extinguisher to your right, and a pinboard on the wall behind you. Or perhaps you’ve created a makeshift hair salon at the kitchen table next to bacon-butty remains and bouquet-making paraphernalia. In those situations, black and white brings simplicity.

So whilst colour is often part of the story, there’s a place for black and white too.

Turning a photo into black and white is a creative decision, with one aim – to make sure your photos clearly communicate what I’ve intended to capture.

And if any of your photos would benefit from the simplicity of black and white, I’ll convert them during the post-production process and you’ll automatically receive them that way.

Which means your photos will bring back the memories and feelings of your day more strongly.

Even if Audrey the church verger dazzles in orange.

Got strong feelings about this?

Hate colour? Loathe black and white? You don’t have to have anything you don’t want. I’ve delivered complete black and white weddings – and full-colour knickerbocker glory weddings. Just tell me what you have in mind and we’ll do what works best for you and your wedding.

Want to know more about what’ll happen to your photos?

Clickety-click here to find out about the journey your photos will go on before you see them.