Expert maternity, boudoir & dog photographer in NYC

Black and white children’s photography

Posted by on May 22, 2013 |

Black and white children’s photography

Black and white children’s photography is a classic, timeless option that few people make the effort to commission.

I suspect one of the reasons that many consumers don’t like modern, digital black and white prints is because of the print quality. It is really hard to get a beautiful, true black and white commercial print. Most of them have a green or magenta cast with washed out details, especially in the dark areas.

Classic black and white studio portrait of a child

While it’s certainly not for everyone, black and white photography compliments any home in any style. Its lack of color forces the viewer to look at composition, at texture, at printing style.

Classic black and white studio portrait of a child

Style elements include contrast, grain and toning. While these are typically characteristics of darkroom prints, there are digital image techniques that give similar visual experiences as the darkroom effects. While the commercial prints (the digital C-prints) don’t have much character, modern ink-jet prints can be stunning.

Many different paper types are available to lend print character; some papers are super thick and nubby, others are smooth and precise. Some allow the ink droplets to spread just a little while others keep them in military alignment.

For example, a watercolor paper would be perfectly appropriate for a landscape shot filled with pastels and soft focus. A smooth, fine paper would be appropriate for a portrait of aged hands with lots of fine lines and detail.

Classic black and white studio portrait of a child

Platinum Prints – the best of the best

The best possible black and white print that is still available in our modern, digital world is a platinum print. Platinum prints were invented in the 1870’s. It is an analog, wet process that is still practiced today by just a few artisans. The prints are difficult and complicated to make, and they cost a fortune.

What is your experience with black and white in the digital age? Do you have a favorite lab that produces good black and white prints? I’d love to hear your thoughts!