Black and White Wedding Photography


Nichole and Scott 1026


One would think black and white photography would be easy, simple even, because you don’t have so many distracting colors. Just black and white, nothing more. To quote Maureen O’Hara, “In the beginning it was all black and white.” Or to quote her on screen lover, John Wayne, “If it isn’t black and white, I say, ‘Why the hell not?”

Well, Ms. O’Hara was right, photography-wise anyway, in the beginning it was all black and white. In the beginning, back with daguerreotypes, there was no color, so if you were a photographer, you shot in black and white, because that’s all there was.


Vicky and Matt 0254a


Then in the middle Thirties, photographers got Kodachrome if they wanted it and a lot of ‘em did. And in a couple decades everybody was shooting in color. And with the advent of color, one would think that would’ve been the death knell for black and white photography.

But it wasn’t.

Because art is the very soul of photography. And black and white photography is art. Therefore, if you’re a believer, black and white is photography. And I’m a believer.


April and Paul 0333 BW Square


Does that mean I don’t shoot in color or I’m not a fan of color. Of course not. I love color photography and Vesta and I shoot in color all day long. Most days, because there are times when I set my LCD to black and white and go hunting for the perfect image. I haven’t found it yet, but it’s out there.

And doing that has made me a better photographer, even when I’m shooting in color, because I’m always looking at the light, imagining how the photograph will look in black and white. And I’ve found that the secret sauce that makes a good black and white image usually translates into a gorgeous color image.


Dionne, by Ken Douglas


However, I don’t always live in a black and white world, but I oftentimes do. And when I’m in that world, contrasts and highlights and shadows are swirling all around, because it’s a world devoid of color. A world of blacks and whites and a bazillion shades of gray. Okay, maybe not a bazillion, but a lot.

In black and white photography, I see patterns and shapes and emotion, especially in a wedding photograph, I see emotion and when I see that emotion, I think back to the Duke’s quote in my first paragraph and think, “Why the hell not black and white.” And so I process a lotta my wedding photographs in black and white. However, we give our brides the color photographs too.


Amanda, by Ken Douglas

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Ashley, by Ken Douglas

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Patricia and Dad, by Ken Douglas

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Melina and Ricardo, by Ken Douglas

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Vicky, by Ken Douglas

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Wedding Shots Wedding Photography, Reno, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco and Sacramento. Please email weddingshots@speedpost.net or call 775 393-9529.