in defense of black and white

I know that color photography is in – I know that funky, desaturated colors that give the image a vintage feel are in.  Or color that pops and makes you think of rainbows and butterflies and happy sunny summer days.  I get it,  and YES, I do offer color to my clients.  I am ok with color, I have enjoyed color more lately and I think it has its time and place – but the truth is – my heart will always be with black and white.  Why?  Well look at this image and you will know why.

This is a timeless image.  Beautiful, straight black and white that reminds me of my days in film *gasp – sometimes I wish we could just go back so I could say – no these can ONLY be black and white.  When the color fads are long gone, I will be glad to have my beautiful black and white prints that capture time without dating it.

Again, I am not saying that there is not a place for color (and yes I know grandma does NOT want a black and white photo cause that is all they had when they grew up!) – but do NOT kid yourselves.  Color .WILL. date. itself.  Crazy funky clothes WILL.MOST. themselves.  Pull out your baby pictures and take a look at them.  Notice the lovely brown tones?  Notice how hideous the clothes are?  What were our parents thinking? ..  Our kids will be saying this someday!

Black and White neutralizes, brings focus into the subject and truly captures emotion.   Black and White is enduring art that you WILL cherish for years to come.  My dad was an amateur photographer and I have loads of black and white photography (that we developed ourselves in our tiny bathroom) I am SO glad those pictures are relevant and beautiful and timeless today.   I do not miss the color.  I need to scan some of them and prove it to you!

When you are choosing a photographer do think about what you want out of your images.  It is fine to have color in your life, and funky outfits that make you laugh.   Custom photography IS an investment and I know that there are plenty of choices out there, especially now that there is a huge boom in photography.  Everybody has access to a digital camera but not everybody can achieve the same results with it,  or create images that will stand the test of time.  If you want to invest in art  that captures your children’s childhoods,  I urge you to consider black and white once again,  and if you are thinking art worthy black and white then you should be giving ME a call.  I know that years down the road you will be so glad you did.

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  1. Oh Ruth, thank you for sharing this. You are so right. This image does not need color, and looking at it reminds me that the only images I want to create are the ones that need no color. And yes, this does look like film. Gorgeous depth of tones. Grace is the most gorgeous little girl ever!

  2. You are right on regarding black and white photos, Ruth! That’s why I always go back to you for my kids’ photos. I know twenty years from now I will still look at these photos, remembering how my kids’ features have changed when they get older, and cherish every single memory. They are truly timeless!

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