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Blog: Inspiration Between the Lines

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Photographing in Black and White

Black and white photography is classic and crowd-pleasing, but it’s not always the best option for all occasions. Here are a few questions to ask yourself that will help you decide when it’s the right choice.

1. What’s Your Focus?

If you shoot street photography, the black and white trend is an overwhelmingly popular road to take. It can simplify your subjects and put the focus where you want it to be. There’s a lot going on when you snap a shot on the street. If you’re trying to focus on a person’s face, black and white can be a great option. If you choose color, you can run the risk of the photo highlighting their clothing or the background instead of their story.

Black and white New York City

2. How is the Lighting?

If you’re working with great natural light, especially outdoors, it can be a bit of a waste not to take advantage of it and let the colors shine. You can always create black and white versions after the fact and utilize digital editing techniques, but it’s much more difficult to do the reverse.

Black and white tree on a lake

3. What Time Period Are You Attempting to Capture?

If you’re snapping photos of older objects and settings, it can make sense to give your photos a more vintage feel by snapping them in black and white. If you’re trying to capture the now, color may be the way to go. However, black and white can still have a modern yet timeless feel depending on your subjects and the balance you’re able to maintain.

Black and white cat

As with any photo shoot, the adaptability factor is huge. You or your client may have an original plan of going strictly color or black and white, but if the setting lends itself to one over the other, be open to switching things up. Whichever you decide upon, be sure to give your best photos the attention to detail they deserve with quality photography printing services.

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