- Black and white studio photography
- Why we love black and white family portraits
- Framing your black and White family portraits
- Black and White Photography Quotes
Black and white studio photography
Visit our Croydon studio for a portrait of your family and you’ll soon realise that we love our black and white Family portraits.
Whilst our images aren’t exclusively monochrome it is always an element we like to offer to everyone that visits us.
Black and white photography has an interesting history in portrait photography.
The very first portrait studios that opened in London and here in Croydon in the 1860s were forced to produce monochromatic images due to the technology of the time.
Today black and white photography might be considered by some as “artistic” whereas 150 years ago it was actually a boundary towards creating images that emulated art of the time.
Almost every portrait studio employed an artist to hand colour black and white photographic prints (for an additional cost).
It’s an interesting side note that those artists hired by the photography studios were the very same miniature painters the photography studios had put out of business.
With the introduction of colour photography and later digital photography, black and white imagery slipped in and out fashion.
When I started my photography career and education over twenty years ago I shot almost exclusively on black and white film. All my images were hand printed in the darkroom and my passion for the versatility of black and white photography began. That passion now carries on the the family portraits I photograph.
Why we love black and white family portraits
We’ve put together a few reasons why we love black and white photography so much and why you should consider displaying black and white photos of your family in your home.
The Versatility of Black and White Photography
Black and white photography is such a versatile genre that it can be used effectively in not only portraiture but everything else from landscapes to wildlife.
In the studio, contemporary maternity portraits look amazing in high contrast black and white just as babies look adorable in softly lit monochrome.
For our family portraits there are always shots we light specifically for black and white which are some of our most popular images.
Black and white Removes Distractions
Sometimes the choice of clothes in family photos can be distracting when viewing the final image. That’s not to say that everyone should be wearing matching outfits for family photos but sometimes certain colours and patterns do clash.
Producing a black and white image in this situation always makes the finished image look better.
Subtlety of tones in black and white photography
A simple black and white image is really nothing more than a monochromatic tonal map of an image.
The beauty of having full control of this tonal map is that it reveals every subtle tone captured.
If edited with care the tones of a black and white photo can showcase the finest details.
The variety in black and white editing
Editing black and white images is my favourite type of editing. You might start with a simply lit image but you potentially have a finished photo full of impact and contract or one that reveal subtle soft tones.
Sometimes it’s the subject that dictates which direction you choose to edit, sometimes it’s just down to personal taste and style. Either way there a multitude of possibilities when it comes to black and white editing.
Timeless Family Portraits
I’ll be honest I’m a little bit on the fence when it comes to this term, especially when referring to black and white images. Technically speaking photography began with and has spent almost half its life being black and white but it’s pretty easy to date almost any portrait (hairstyles are a big givaway).
Perhaps I prefer the term classic but that might also be a rather misused term.
That said, put a well produced black and white image on your wall will age better than any other type of photo you might choose. If that how one interprets the term “timeless” then so be it.
I’m going to completely contradict the notion that black and white photography is timeless and classic and just say that it can be extremely contemporary.
Lighting style, image quality and editing dramatically change over the years.
What we produce in our Croydon studio today is just about as contemporary as what we might produce tomorrow.
If you want something with real impact to go on your wall then I wholeheartedly hope you choose one of our black and white photos.
Framing your black and White images
When you return to view and order your images you can not only see some samples of your wall art in The Photo Cafe and showroom but our software can give you a live preview of how your photos will look like framed.
Black and white imagery is all about contrast and impact so your framing choice needs to fit.
It almost goes without saying that unless you are going for a rather out there concept for your wall art then the choice of frame needs to be either black or white.
The most popular choice would be a simple black frame with a quality print in an off white or textured mount. The classic combination is usually the best option but here’s a couple of other ideas.
All black or all white
We absolutely love how these frames look with the right image. If you have a low key or dark background image then choose a black mount and black frame combination.
The opposite works for a high key or white background.
This is a really simple yet contemporary way to create something amazing for your home. This is why we have added these to our signature frame collection.
It doesn’t matter if you prefer a Matt or HD Gloss finish to your acrylic wall art, these look absolutely amazing with black and white images.
We finish these acrylics off with a simple black or white frame which adds another dimension to your wall art.
Black and White Photography Quotes
“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!”
“Color is everything, black and white is more.” Dominic Rouse
“Black and white is abstract; color is not. Looking at a black and white photograph, you are already looking at a strange world.”
“One very important difference between color and monochromatic photography is this: in black and white you suggest; in color you state. Much can be implied by suggestion, but statement demands certainty… absolute certainty.”
“I’ve been forty years discovering that the queen of all colors is black.”
“I work in color sometimes, but I guess the images I most connect to, historically speaking, are in black and white. I see more in black and white – I like the abstraction of it.”
Mary Ellen Mark
“In the history of photography, we have many masterpieces in terms of black and white books. You have Bresson’s ‘Decisive Moment,’ Frank’s ‘The Americans’… many masterpieces. But there is nothing to this caliber in color. Well, I think I’ll waltz with my muse and hope that I might be able to produce something on this order in color.”
“Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships.”
“One sees differently with color photography than black-and-white… in short, visualization must be modified by the specific nature of the equipment and materials being used.”
“In the ’70s, in Britain, if you were going to do serious photography, you were obliged to work in black-and-white. Color was the palette of commercial photography and snapshot photography.”
“To see in color is a delight for the eye but to see in black and white is a delight for the soul”