What is it about black-and-white photography that gives photos such depth and a whole different mood? When you want your professional photographs to create an elegant, timeless look, black-and-white photography is the way to go.
If you’re a fan of black-and-white photography and want to use it to create your own stories, here are a few tips that will definitely help you in your attempt to end up with professional photos that you’ll treasure for a lifetime.
We all have a story to tell, whether we realize it or not. Planning your story means looking at your life and finding the underlying themes you want to highlight. The story you want to tell through photography might be about your years as a parent, your dedication to family, or it could be detailing your adventures as you’ve trotted around the globe. It’s your story – you get to decide what to show and what to leave out. But that all starts with detailed planning.
Getting organized doesn’t mean you need to plan your story down to the very last detail. It just means you have developed a good idea of the kind of story you want to tell and the types of shots you would need to do so. To get started, you can create a computer file or use an old-fashioned notebook to begin jotting down notes and ideas.
Is there anything you would need to add to your shots that would help tell your story? If so, make sure that you know where to find them.
If you will be using props, it’s highly recommended that you keep them to a minimum, or you will end up detracting from the photo’s main subject. But a well-placed prop, such as a stethoscope if you’re telling the story of your career as a nurse, will add important details and help contribute to the overall vibe of your photos. If you’re telling the story of your life as a parent, you may have specific settings that should be included in your photos, such as your baby’s nursery or your favorite rocking chair where you rocked your babies to sleep each night.
The better your lighting, the better your photos will turn out. When you are shooting photos for a black-and-white project, you want to make sure that you aren’t shooting in overly bright light, or this could end up blowing out important parts of the photo and changing the entire look and feel. With this being said, if you are looking to create a different effect, using bright lights can help tell your story.
Since lighting can be such a tricky element that can either make or break your photos, it might be a good idea to seek out the help of a trained professional. Using a professional family photographer for your photos will allow you to concentrate on the storytelling element of what you’re trying to accomplish while leaving the technical aspects of photography to someone who is trained to handle it.
It can be helpful to have someone at your side who can walk you through some of the points you may not have considered yet. During a professional photo session, your photographer will be able to take some of the guesswork out of the process, including what props to use and poses that will enhance your story.
Before taking photos, carefully analyze your frame to ensure there aren’t any small objects or details that could alter the story you’re trying to tell. You may even find that you pick up new ways to frame the shot. Make sure to shoot far more photos than you typically would from a variety of angles. You might be surprised at how much difference a new perspective can make when you’re shooting photography.
Once you’re happy with your shots, you can apply your black-and-white filter and prepare your photos to be printed.
After your photos are printed, your job isn’t over. It’s a good idea to carefully consider a variety of frames to find ones that will best enhance your photography and add to the story you’re trying to tell.
If the story you’re trying to tell, for instance, is your dedication to and appreciation for nature and conservation, your story would be better served by choosing an eco-friendly and sustainable wood frame.
Once you have your pictures framed, you can decide which room of your home to showcase them in. You should experiment with the layout of the photos to find the best way to group them together or space them out to tell your story effectively.