If any of you have followed me on Facebook for a while, then you will know that I have a love for Black and White photography. Some day I would like to photograph an entire wedding in Black and White.
There's a myth within the photography industry that says a bad photograph can be saved by making it black and white. There is some truth in that...to some extent. If the lighting is bad and the colours are just not quite right, converting the picture to black and white can make the difference between a photo making the mantel piece, or sitting in a folder on a hard drive, but it's never going to make a bad photo look great!
My favourite pictures always have a back story to them which triggers an emotion or memory, either for the people in the picture or someone looking at it. In my opinion, converting it b+w can give the picture the timelessness (is that a word?) that it deserves. There's an air of class around black and white pictures but it has to have the proper feel. Simply running the "desaturation" filter from Photoshop over the picture isn't going to tell the story it deserves and that is why I have spent hours upon hours editing and re-editing to get the perfect b+w edit.
Over the years I have tried and tested lots of different ways to edit B+W pictures. I have tried countless pre-made photoshop actions and also my own methods that just haven't quite cut it. Over the last year, I have found a method that I absolutely love and it has fueled my love for b+w photography even more.
Here are 7 of my favourite Black and White pictures and the story behind them. This could easily have been 107 of my favourite Black and White pictures.
1. It's no secret that Kirsty and Chris's wedding was one of my favourite weddings to date so it should be no surprise that the first picture in this list is from their wedding day.
This shows Kirsty and her father sharing a joke while she helps him with his button hole. I love this picture because a fathers job is to love and look after his children. A job he has done very well as you can clearly see the close bond they share but what I think makes this picture extra special, is that there's a kind of role reversal here where Kirsty is actually looking after her father by helping him with his buttonhole. This is the day a father gives his daughter away to start a new life and I feel this picture shows she's ready for the new chapter in her life.
2. There's an insane story behind Karen and Rick's entire wedding and I absolutely love this picture even more because of it.
I remember going to meet Karen and Rick at their beautiful home and sitting down with them and chatting away. Karen had mentioned that they had both been previously married and were never interested in getting married. Karen had already legally changed her last name to Rick's surname as they knew they wanted to have everything a marriage gives you, just not the wedding. This begs the question....so, why are you getting married.....
"I was told I had Terminal Cancer" was the answer to my question. For a second I wanted to the floor to open up and swallow me. "...but I don't"...Thank goodness. Karen had gone through a horrible time after being told, mistakenly, that she had terminal cancer. Straight away Karen and Rick made a bucket list and at the top of that list? "Get Married". After learning of the mistake, they decided to carry on with the plans and complete the bucket list.
I love the expression on Rick's face in this picture. I think, at this moment, Karen and Rick felt like they were the only people in the room and there's a feeling of calm and true comfort when they are around each other.
3. I'm definitely a bit cheesy and love it when couples create their own private moments in the most un-private of situations.
This picture is of my friends Kayleigh and Joe. Keyleigh wore a gorgeous dress with a pretty spectacular veil and put it to good use during their first dance. On a dance floor surrounded by their nearest and dearest, she placed the veil over both of their heads creating a round of applause from guests, an awesome photo opportunity for me and a beautiful private moment for the happy couple.
When editing this picture I knew it HAD to be in black and white. I darkened the picture to place more of a spot light on them to highlight the story behind the image and making the intimacy of their moment more prominent.
4. I think we sometimes forget that weddings are not just about two people, its about so much more than that. It's a special day for so many other people. Mother and Fathers, Brothers and Sister, Sons and Daughters, Friends and Workmates and more. It's a day full of so many emotions and it's not rare to see a tear or two. I've even found myself a little choked up at times.
Here we have another image from Karen and Rick's wedding. This is Rick's daughter looking over at her father and wiping away a tear. I love that she has a slight smile on her face as she was smiling the whole day and even smiling whilst tearing up. These are my favourite moments to catch.
5. This is what wedding are all about...Happiness. In my short career as a wedding photographer, I have been very lucky to attract a certain type of couple. My couples are always really relaxed and I have never met a stressed bride. My couples understand the importance of their wedding day but make sure they enjoy the day and take in all the excitement. Sometimes things don't go exactly to plan on the day but It rarely matters as if you have all your friends and family there, everything is ok.
This image is from my friends Chris and Anne-Marie's big day. There were A LOT of smiles throughout the day and it was one of the hottest days of the year. I snapped this image just before the cars left to head to the Chapel. Anne-Marie was having one last check in the mirror to make sure everything was perfect, her family and bridesmaids were behind me and it all went quiet as the reality set in. Anne-Marie turned to look at everyone and I think this smiles sums up how she was feeling, so happy. I absolutely loved this wedding.
6. When people ask me what my favourite part of a wedding day is, it's a hard question to answer because every part of the day has something I love about it but I have to say that the morning bridal prep is where I feel i get the most natural images that really capture the feel of the day.
When I walk in to meet everyone there's a buzz in the air and it's a very happy time of the day. As you can see from the image above from Evelyn and Mike's wedding, their happiness and excitement and I find this at every wedding I photograph. It's such a good environment to be in and i'm always really happy with the images I get.
I particularly love this image above as the girls were ready in plenty of time and took the chance to have a group hug and chat to each other about how excited they were and couldn't wait to head to the ceremony.
It's another reminder of how much your friends and family are part of your wedding day and it means as much to them as it does to you to have them at your wedding.
7. Introducing...Emma and Stuart! I absolutely love this image! These guys were an absolute joy to photograph. So much fun and they were really relaxed and happy the whole day.
This was taken as they were introduced, for the first time, as Mr and Mrs MacKenzie. Emma wore a gorgeous vintage style dress by Dragonfly Dress Design and it was cool to see Stuart wearing a Morning Suit as 99% of the time, us guys wear Kilts. I think this photograph captures how amazing these guys were on their wedding day. So happy and enjoying every minute. God, I love this job! Writing this blog with a smile on my face :)