Black and White Wedding Photography

Shoot a wedding in black and white? – you must be mad! I mean the happy couple have spent a fortune on flowers, shoes and fake tan. The mother-in-law-to-be has spent her bingo winnings on that salmon pink two-piece with the green hat (What was she thinking?). None of this would show up if the happy day was photographed without colour in the pictures.

You are right of course. I am not suggesting you shoot the whole event without using colour, certainly not your first one in any case. There are certain shots that lend themselves to it. In fact there is a style of wedding photography based around shooting the whole thing in black and white. It is called “Reportage” and it is gaining in popularity. It is a style that has much in common with the documentary. It is literally a report in photographs of the day. It is characterised by lots of candids, close-ups and the capture of strong emotions.

There are several advantages in photography to shooting with no colour, here are a few that are most applicable to weddings:

As the medium is purer and simpler emotions can be captured much more easily. Colour can be distracting. Without it the viewer is drawn to the persons eyes and face pushing the emotion to the fore.

It is more timeless than colour. The colour and style of an outfit can really date a photo. As this is removed in a black and white photo it becomes timeless, perfectly freezing the moment for years to come.
If you are now considering photographing a wedding this way then follow this piece of advice. Shoot in colour then convert to black and white when editing. This does create extra work, but you will find it invaluable, especially when starting out to have the option of both. The more you photograph weddings the quicker you will know what works in this style and what doesn’t. It will also give the bride and groom a choice. This is no bad thing as they are the paying clients.

If you are still having doubts, why not try it, you never know it may prove to be something you enjoy. With digital you have nothing to lose.