If you look at our photographers portfolio, you may notice a fair few black and white wedding photos.
The truth is we absolutely love black and white wedding photos, so today we thought we’d explain exactly why we’re so head-over-heels for them.
(But don’t worry: we love colour photos too. That’s why we offer every gallery in two sets: one full colour, and one full set of just black and white – so you can have the best of both worlds!)
What makes black and white wedding photos so special?
Their place in wedding documentary photography history
First off, black and white wedding photos are a style born from an era when telling a story with pictures was always done this way. Of course, we love shooting creative, contemporary weddings that buck tradition, but there’s still something undeniably grand about this classic approach, and the real, authentic reportage that it creates. With 20 years as a photojournalist under my belt, this is something which I take a great deal of inspiration from, and love to draw upon when shooting a wedding day.
(Whoa whoa whoa, take a step back! What’s reportage? We hear you cry. We got you. Reportage, sometimes known as wedding documentary photography, is a style of photography where the photos are unposed and candid, telling the events as they happened rather than staging them. Think of the kind of style reporters use, hence the name, vs the kind of formal, highly posed wedding portraits your older relatives may have had hanging up in their house!)
Another reason we love black and white wedding photos is the focus they afford on the emotions, expressions, and details of the moment. The vibrancy they lack in terms of colour doesn’t mean they also lack vibrancy in the feeling you get – in fact, it can mean the opposite. They can make the most momentary shots feel momentous: take, for example, this shot of [groom] spritzing his cologne as he gets ready. In colour, this feels like a nice moment as part of a wider getting ready. In black and white, it sums up the nerves, anticipation, and excitement of the final moments of prep before you go and marry the love of your life. Ooh, we’ve just got shivers!
A timeless style
Black and white wedding photos also have a timeless quality, and will never go out of style (unless you’re posing in a particularly timely way…). You should feel like the lead in your own romantic story on your wedding day – whether that movie is Roman Holiday or The Hangover is up to you – and this medium captures that perfectly.
Heightened drama and emotion
Now, when we say heightened drama, don’t worry: we don’t mean on the day itself, which will ideally remain drama free. Instead, we mean in the images you get back. As shadows and highlights are more pronounced in black and white wedding photos, the atmosphere feels more moody and intimate, adding even more emotion.
Which photos work best in black and white?
Now you know a bit about why we love black and white wedding photos so much, how does it work in practice?
The answer is, the same as any other photo! You focus on enjoying your day and living your best life, and we’ll take care of the rest. Then when it comes to editing and sending your gallery back, we’ll provide you with two sets of images: one full colour gallery, and one full black and white gallery too, because we’re yet to see a photo that doesn’t look epic in it! (We used to send one gallery with a mix in, but then realised – why should we deprive you of even more incredible photos of your day?!)
To get a feel for the kind of photos you’d get, you can check out our wedding photography portfolio here, or some of our featured weddings here. And if you have any questions, or you’d like to make an enquiry, you can get in touch here – we’d love to hear all about what you’ve got planned, and how we can be a part of it!