Beautiful black and white wedding photography and why I love it.
I have always loved black and white photography, I think it lends itself so well to wedding photography and I always ensure that I deliver a good proportion of high quality black and white images to my clients.
My love of black and white photography stems from my time working at one of the greatest black and white labs in the country during the late 80s and 90s. JohnOs Darkroom was a groundbreaking darkroom and it was here that I printed for some of the biggest names in fashion and advertising photography of the time such as Nick Knight, Craig McDean, Corinne Day, David Sims, Elaine Constantine and many more.
There are some key images that I shoot at all my weddings that I always feel look gorgeous in black and white and I would like to highlight these in this post.
Bride and Groom Portraits.
There is nothing more gorgeous than beautifully lit portraits using available daylight. I take my inspiration from the great Jane Bown who specialised in black and white portraits using nothing more than natural light. I love to find the “sweet spot” that allows just the right amount of light to fall onto my subject, this ensures a beautiful quality image with a full tonal range. It is not always possible to find this at every location as it is dependant on a range of criteria, but if I can find it, I will use it and create beautiful portraits such as these images produced at Stubton Hall.
Silhouettes always look beautiful in black and white and I prefer a really contrasty, punchy feel to these photographs, it’s a great technique to utilise and will always result in creative and original images.
My favourite silhouettes will have a clean background around the subject and bold, strong graphics. It is not always possible to achieve the perfect shot as again, this really does depend on many criteria such as light source, quality of light and location. Large windows will always give me something to work with and so do doorways and entrances.
The ceremony, particularly in churches always look great in black and white to me. It gives it that gritty, reportgage feel that I aim to achieve with my work. My inspiration here comes from the greatest pioneers of photography such as W Eugene Smith and Bresson. I want to authentically capture and record the emotion of the ceremony whilst remaining as inconspicuous as possible. I want to look for that decisive moment where the emotion and the magnitude of the occasion can be perfectly captured and the moment preserved with perfect composition. Black and white photography is the perfect medium for this.
The first dance is another image that to me just has to be presented in black and white. It is a moment that happens at every wedding and whether it is just an “awkward shuffle” or a full on choreographed routine, these images always seem to work so well in monochrome for me. The image below from Sophie and Toms wedding at Stubton Hall is a wonderful image which is beautifully lit and I just love that it tells of the moment that friends and family have just joined them on the dancefloor to celebrate with them. The following image, again from Stubton Hall (why are so many of my favorite images from Stubton?) shows a wonderful moment captured from Adam and Kates wedding in August.
Cigar and Champagne Shot.
As a wedding photographer it is essential to have something unique to offer, something that is instantly recognisable and something that is hard to plagiarize. I like to think of these two images, if not entirely unique to me, (other photographers do shoot groomsmen with cigars and bride and groom popping the champagne corks), but that the lighting technique and the feel and mood of these images is a style of my own. It is a fairly complex lighting set up that I need to use to achieve this look and would it work as well in colour? In my opinion not at all.
These images really sum up my style of wedding photography and I just love to create images of this quality at all my weddings. If you would like any more information about photography for your wedding then please do get in touch with me, I can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or just give me a call on 07770 630 364.