I thought I'd write a wee post about using black and white in wedding and portrait photography. I'm a huge fan of black and white photography. In fact it was my chosen media for most of my personal work during the days of film. I would shoot on Ilford and Fufi film and print in my darkroom at home.
When I started out my inspiration came from great photographers such as Ansel Adams, Don McCullin, David Bailey, Bill Brandt and Irving Penn.
So Why Black and White
There are no colour distractions. I can look at the subject and think about the relationship with the background and surrounding area. I can consider the composition and lighting without having to look at colour composition too. That's not to say I'll look at a scene having decided it's going to be monochrome. If I feel it should be colour I'll shoot and compose for colour.
I can look at the lighting differently than when taking in colour. I can consider how the light affects the shape and how it falls on the subject without the distractions of colour. There is a great tonal range between the blackest areas and the whitest areas.
The viewer may connect more emotionally with an image without colour, with the subject being the main point of focus.
I can highlight the shape of a wedding dress against the backdrop and emphasise patterns and skin tones using the great tonal range.
I enjoy using colour but there are good reasons to take advantage of black and white.