Both types of imagery speak volumes. Some photographers shoot exclusively one versus the other. But the majority try to incorporate both into their style pending on what outcome best suits the session or an image from that session.
Is there interesting contrast?
When you remove color from the photographic equation, you are left with only differences in tone; lights and darks. These differences are what truly make good black and white images, and the differences in light and shadow bring contrast to the photograph. So, when you see that a given scene or subject presents the opportunity to exploit stark contrasts and unique lighting or shadow, it might be a great opportunity to try black and white.
Are there interesting textures?
When we think of texture, we can easily describe it in terms of how things feel physically, when we perceive them through our sense of touch. Texture in photography, however, can be a little more challenging to put into words. Texture in a photograph has to be perceived with our eyes and then we determine if it’s smooth, rough, or coarse. Transforming the tactile tangible into a visually tangible image takes practice and a trained eye, and this is where working in black and white can be the best choice. Examples of textures that work well for black and white photos are wood, metals and stone, even plants and human skin.
Color catches the eye. A bright hue that highlights an image’s subject will draw a viewer in right away. An image’s setting and time is inferred from its colors. Warm colors give context to an autumnal portrait. Cool colors portray winter. Lush greens show the viewer that the photo was taken in the spring. Mood can be communicated based on a photo’s color scheme. For example, a cold tone can elicit a feeling of sadness or loneliness, while a warmer tone might suggest tenderness or joy. Elements of color theory attract a viewer’s eye when used effectively. Opt for color images when color is a key element in the story your photo is telling.
BLACK & WHITE
Images with a wide range of tonal values tend to work well for black and white imagery. Most black and white images are most successful when there are definite blacks and whites–that is, the tones in the photo range all the way from the blackest black to the whitest white with lots of varying gray tones in between. A lack of color in a photograph often accentuates the light and shadows. Backlit subjects and dramatic shadows are brought to the audience’s attention quickly in black and white images.
With every session, I choose images carefully. I don't just batch edit every photo, create a copy and then slap a B&W filter on them and call it a day. Not at all! An image has to be lit properly and composed just right to even portray the proper look that a black & white photograph should have. All of mine hold significance, detail and depth. I also add extra contrast to give all my black & white images that extra POP they deserve to have!
Why didn't I add very many b&w images to your gallery? Maybe I didn't feel many would add extra value to you by being in black & white. Are you curious to see a few more?! Don't be afraid to ask at your reveal session. I'm always happy to convert a client's color image and let them decide which option they prefer!!!
Aside from being a part-time photographer, I am also a wife, mother, business woman, veteran, crafter, gardener, camper, hunter, fisher, avid walker, cyclist, and thrifter!