The Magic of Shooting in Black and White Photography

Those of you who know me, know I LOVE shooting  black and white lifestyle photography! The conversion to black and white brings out the textures and emotion while giving the image a timeless feel.  I might not have my camera set to black and white while shooting, however I often times shoot with black and white in mind, knowing I’ll later convert it in post processing. Read on to learn what to look for while shooting a session or everyday moments of my family as well as tips to help capture those gorgeous emotive black and white lifestyle images!

Often times when I’m shooting indoors there is a lot going on with various colors and objects that can be distracting, the black and white helps to isolate my subject by enhancing the light and shadows, adding to the mood of the photo.

timeless, emotive, shooting black and white lifestyle photography, Missy Knight Photography, Westminster Family Lifestyle Photography, Colorado Family Photography, converting to black and white
Black and white conversions help to isolate the subject and add to the mood of the photo.

Anytime there is rim light present, I know I’ll try a conversion in post process to see what it looks like. The highlight of the rim light looks gorgeous against a dark backdrop such as a shadowy room, grass, tree line, dark wall, etc.

timeless, emotive, shooting black and white lifestyle photography, Missy Knight Photography, Westminster Family Lifestyle Photography, Colorado Family Photography, converting to black and white
Lighter subjects against a dark backdrop.

The opposite is true as well. When the background is light and your subject appears darker giving a lot of contrast between the light and shadows is also a great opportunity to convert.

timeless, emotive, shooting black and white lifestyle photography, Missy Knight Photography, Westminster Family Lifestyle Photography, Colorado Family Photography, converting to black and white
Darker subject against lighter backdrop.

When a scene has a lot of texture or emotion present, it’s the perfect opportunity to try converting to black and white. The conversion enhances the textures and isolates the subject highlighting the emotions captured.

timeless, emotive, shooting black and white lifestyle photography, Missy Knight Photography, Westminster Family Lifestyle Photography, Colorado Family Photography, converting to black and white
Enhanced texture of water droplets and skin.

One tip for shooting with black and white photography in mind is to use the histogram in live view to avoid clipping of blacks or blowing highlights. This allows me to find the right balance of highlights and shadow. Sometimes I’ll have to make  decisions about what I’m okay with clipping or blowing in the portions of the photo that are less important than others.

timeless, emotive, shooting black and white lifestyle photography, Missy Knight Photography, Westminster Family Lifestyle Photography, Colorado Family Photography, converting to black and white
Live view histogram was used to make sure I wasn’t blowing the highlights in the cape.

Next time you pick up your camera consider these tips to determine if you can identify which photos you might want to convert to black and white while you are shooting. Seek out those opportunities and check back soon for a follow-up to this to learn how I edit my black and white photos! Questions or just want to chat about photography? Send me a message!

 

4 Replies to “The Magic of Shooting in Black and White Photography”

  1. Fabulous post on black and white photography. This is perfect for shooting lifestyle, or to just help Mama’s get better photos of their children. Love these emotional documentary captures!

  2. Love theses sugggestions and tips! Your black and white conversions are always so stunning and it was so fun to get some ideas of what to look for when taking pictures and when editing. I really love the halo one.

  3. Missy!!! I love this blog so much! This is great information and I will keep this in mind when I’m shooting and editing. You are the best at black and white lifestyle photography and I’m so excited you wrote this. So much helpful information!

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