I have been wishing to write this article for quite a time now, as for until today, I have seldom put forward a whole aspect of my photographic work: pictures in black and white. When I started wedding photography in the fine art style, all I wanted was to get a perfect pastel color palette in the treatment of my images. Now with experience, I realized that being a wedding photographer also implies a lot of black and white shots. There are several reasons to this.

First of all, black and white pictures are super artistic. When you take colors away, all that remains are the curves and the shades. Quite interestingly, suppressing colors brings you to paying more attention to the forms. And it works beautifully, as profound darks and bright whites are another way to express emotions, time, movement… Pictures in black and white highlight life in a totally different way than pictures in colors.

Secondly, maybe because black and white pictures are akin to photography as it existed at the beginning, when photography was primarily meant to seize life itself, black and white pictures are particularly adapted to the lifestyle shots of a wedding day. Photographic coverage of a wedding day implies a lot of on-the-flight shots. Having these shots in black and white makes them even more timeless and increases their storytelling power.

You might ask me how I can still give a “fine art” treatment to my pictures while editing in black and white. Well, it does not mean having dark images. Colors and light are intertwined, but they are still two different things. When creating a photo in black and white, I keep paying attention to the light. And it is completely possible to have very bright images while everything is colorless.

To be entirely honest, turning my shots in black and white is also a means to disguise bad shooting conditions. There are two kinds of things that black and white can mitigate: unaesthetic colors and harsh light.

There are some moments in a wedding day when the colors in a scene are just too plentiful, such for example as on a dancefloor. A lot of colors together can be very gaudy. Unless it is carefully thought, too many colors put together are usually unalluring. Turning such a flashy image into black and white can simply save it.

Along with hiding garish colors, turning a picture into black and white also has an effect on a vivid light. Sometimes, one has no choice on a wedding day but to shoot in the middle of the day, and this brings very contrasted shadows and highlights that are too bright. But converting the picture into black and white can temper this.

Finally, one can also add that black and white photos have this unequalled power of making images timeless. Whatever the style of the wedding, black and white have this function of making it enter into History. And this is something that, as a wedding photographer who creates photographs that you will keep all your life long, I am seeking. To create pictures that will never age. Pictures that your children and grand children will look at while exclaiming at your everlasting elegance and beauty.