The Classic Look

 
The backlighting and simplistic composition give this image its charm. Photograph/Ranjan Zingade

The backlighting and simplistic composition give this image its charm. Photograph/Ranjan Zingade

There is always a timeless joy with good black and white photographs that is especially suited for wedding photography. Here’s how you can use it to your advantage.

Weddings are colourful occasions, especially in India. Black and white photography gives the usual, often distracting, colours a miss, and draws the viewer’s attention to only the subject.

Thinking in Black and White
B&W photography is not merely about shooting in colour and digitally converting to B&W. Usually, images that look great in colour will look dull and boring in B&W.

The viewer’s attention is drawn by the subjects in the frame. So, keep backgrounds uncluttered. Photograph/Nehal Deliwala

The viewer’s attention is drawn by the subjects in the frame. So, keep backgrounds uncluttered. Photograph/Nehal Deliwala

On the other hand, simplified scenes, where the subject is the main focus of attention, devoid of any other distracting factors, make great B&W compositions. Shapes, forms, and lines stand out in the frame.The grammar of B&W photography needs to be differently from that of colour.

The Classic and Romantic Essence
B&W photography is all about creating a sense of nostalgia. Remember that these photographs will be viewed again by the couple’s children and grandchildren. B&W pictures enhance the feeling of the days gone by in a very romantic, eternal sense. Unless you, as the photographer, can ‘see’ the romance in the frame, you may not get the best possible shots.

B&W photographs immediately draw the viewer’s attention to the story in the frame and the faces of its actors. Photograph/William Chang

B&W photographs immediately draw the viewer’s attention to the story in the frame and the faces of its actors. Photograph/William Chang

Emphasise with Form and Texture
By eliminating colour, other elements like textures, shapes and lines are enhanced. At weddings, there are many interesting forms you can concentrate on wedding decorations, floral arrangements, confetti on the carpets, the bride’s wedding dress, patterns created by the arrangement of chairs, hands waving in the air… they all make fascinating subjects for artistic B&W photography. This will also make your wedding portfolio distinctly different from other photographers.

A repetition of faces, hands or objects in the frame can make a good B&W shot. Photograph/Nehal Deliwala

A repetition of faces, hands or objects in the frame can make a good B&W shot. Photograph/Nehal Deliwala

Watch the Play of Light
Some photographs look good when they are soft, dreamy and in low contrast. This usually occurs when light levels are soft and even. This sort of lighting is excellent for high-key photographs where the whites are predominant.

High contrast lighting, usually found at wedding receptions, are more conducive to some dramatic, contrasty images, which have very little middle tones of gray.

Low-key photography is possible in almost all kinds of lighting. However, it is for you, as the photographer, to decide exactly what sort of look you wish to achieve in the final print, and then set the exposure on your camera accordingly.

Low-key B&W images can be quite moody and convey a sense of seriousness. Photograph/Anbujawahar R

Low-key B&W images can be quite moody and convey a sense of seriousness. Photograph/Anbujawahar R

Present your B&Ws to Create Impact
If you intend to gift prints or make a wedding album, they must be extremely well presented. This holds especially true for B&W images.

Use B&W images in your photobook albums judiciously. B&W photographs rarely mingle well with colour prints, unless the photobook is particularly well designed. Similarly, a B&W print can look very beautiful within a good photo frame. The medium of B&W photography lends itself wonderfully to making an impression for yourself.

High-key B&W photographs can look airy, bright and can make a scene appear light-hearted. Photograph/C Laldin Puia

High-key B&W photographs can look airy, bright and can make a scene appear light-hearted. Photograph/C Laldin Puia

Wedding Photography is a sublime art and photographers are the center of it. Participate in India’s biggest wedding photography awards, Better Photography Photographer of the Year Awards 2014-2015 and win the recognition you deserve. Plus, you stand a chance to win prizes worth Rs. 8 lakhs!

Tags: BnW, Wedding Photography, Black and White photography, Tips for Black and White Photography, black and white portraits, Wedding Photographer of the Year 2014-15, bnw wedding photography