When I am editing the pictures from a photoshoot, I like to provide a mix of color and black-and-white photographs in the families final gallery. Choosing which pictures are converted to black-and-white is a personal choice, but it is never done randomly or just because. Various factors come into play when making the decision to convert to black-and-white.
I find black-and-white images draw your eye more to the subject, especially when it comes to portraits. Sometimes, there is an object in the picture that is a distraction in a color photograph. I came across this problem in many of my photographs at the beach recently. There was a lot of construction being done around the walkway along the beach, and there were orange cones scattered everywhere. Converting the pictures to black-and-white immediately eliminated the distraction and kept the focus on the subject.
Sometimes an image just lends itself to black-and-white. The contrast between areas of light and shadow in the picture creates a pleasant visual balance that makes it inherently suited to the simplicity of black-and-white.
Black-and-white photographs are well suited to pictures that invoke a more solemn, contemplative or tender mood. The emotion of the picture is enhanced and magnified, and the viewer is caught up in the feeling of the moment.
Family portraits provide a memory of the life of a family at a particular stage along their journey. These stages are fleeting and pass before we realize. Black-and-white photography adds emotion, simplicity, and clarity to the unique characters that make up any given family. Including black-and-white images to a family's portrait gallery can only enhance the memory of these moments.
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