Black & White Photos vs Color Photography | A Comparison

black and white photos

Mariah Treiber

May 6, 2022

When you think of couples portraits, you might envision dreamy lifestyle images or bold, colorful images. But I hope you you’ll also consider a few black and white photos as well. There something to be said for the art of black and white photography—if done well. It’s captivating, timeless, and oh, so appealing. A well-photographed black and white photo has the power to inspire a mood or make a statement. 

Nicolette and Alex are such a power couple. She is the salon owner of both Deka Lash Greentree in Pittsburgh and Deka Lash Youngstown in Ohio. Meanwhile, Alex is a successful wine maker and restaurant owner of Yosteria in Youngstown. They’ve made a wonderful, thriving life here in Youngstown, but both share deep Italian roots as well. 

Their families are from the same area of Italy, a region called Campania if you’re familiar with it. In fact, for one of the most romantic engagement stories ever, Alex proposed in Nicolette’s hometown of Salerno, Sant’Arsenio, Italy, which is where her grandparents were married! It was just the two of them, and of course she said yes. To commemorate the occasion, they booked a romantic engagement session. 

Now, they’re looking forward to their big, beautiful, and traditional Italian wedding, where they envision rustic glamour and old-school Italian vibes. I wanted to capture a little bit of that in their engagement photos, and I was especially blown away by the black and white versions of their portraits. I thought their session would serve as the perfect example of why I love to provide at least a few black and white photos from your session. After seeing these, I think you’ll agree. If you’re looking for a creative wow factor, this is it!

Above is a photo of Nicolette’s grandparents who were married in Salerno, Sant’Arsenio, Italy (the place where Nicolette and Alex got engaged!).

5 Reasons to Fall in Love with Black & White Photography

Evoke intimacy

Viewing these black and white images kind of makes it feel like you’re in on a little secret, doesn’t it? The image seems so intimate—a romantic moment frozen in time forever. These intimate black and white portraits are so beautiful displayed in heirloom albums and large canvases. You could also create a gorgeous black and white gallery wall for a modern, artsy display. 

Enhance emotions

Can’t you just feel so much from these striking photos? Black and white photos are a great way to showcase the connection and chemistry between a couple. Nicolette’s smile is radiant, and it’s easier to read their facial expressions. Each look they exchange is amplified. 

Create bold, striking portraits

Some couples simply prefer a bolder photography style. I can capture that in both color and black and white. B&W has starker contrast, so the overall look is often a bit bolder than images in color. 

Add definition to the composition

Even under the same lighting, you can get a mix of bold and soft results with both color and black and white photos—B&W allows you to mix it up and add variety into your photo collection. Black and white is a great way to add some extra contrast, line, and definition to wide or distance shots.

Nicolette’s black dress really makes these black and white images pop even more. The contrast is phenomenal! Striking portraits for a striking lady. Their session includes a few more B&W photos than most because the setting and their attire played into the look. I wanted to give them both options.

Emphasize to the focal point

Black & white photography is also a great way to minimize distractions within the composition. For example, this was a beautiful city street for color photography. However, in the B&W photographs, distractions like signs, lights, wires, and other “extras” are less noticeable. Everything else fades into the background.

In contrast (pardon the pun), your eyes are really drawn to the couple’s faces in the black and white photos. It’s nice to have both options depending on your style preferences and how you plan to use the photos. I think a B&W city shot would look gorgeous displayed as wall art!

Black & White Photography for Engagement Sessions | Youngstown, OH Photographer

Black and white photos are not for everyone. If you live life in color and want your engagement photos to reflect that, let’s go for it! But for those considering something different, maybe a bolder, ultra-sophisticated look, you might think about adding in extra black and white photos. If you have specific design plans for your photos, let me know so we can make sure you have everything you need. 

Ciao for now, Nicolette and Alex! Counting down the days to your dreamy Italian wedding!

Love Nicolette and Alex’s engagement session? Let’s get you on the books! I can’t wait to hear what you have in mind.

Book with Mariah here.

View more engagement sessions and weddings on Instagram @mariahtreiberphotography.


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