The Power Of Black And White Portrait Photography

Striking black and white portrait photography can speak volumes.

Photography in itself is a beautiful thing. It captures reality in all shapes and forms, and it can help focus on a particular subject, showcasing its beauty and uniqueness. With technology these days, we can easily use our mobile phones to snap pretty good shots, but nothing really compares to professional photography.

When photographing someone’s portrait, black and white portrait photography can be incredibly powerful. There are multiple ways to express emotion and creativity through a photograph, but black and white photographs have a much more unique edge. Contrast is important here, and the right photo editing techniques can leave you with a perfected end result.

“Things look better in black and white.”

We’ve all been there – we’ve taken the odd selfie or group shot, messed around with the editing features on our phones and realised that in fact, the photograph does look better in black and white. Some see it as erasing the imperfections of their surroundings or simply giving someone’s skin a flawless look. Aside from all that, it’s actually things like the contrast and mood of a photograph that can make all the difference.

The power of black and white.

There are many different components which all work together to make a black and white photography image so unique. Contrast is a really important one. With a coloured image, the components are usually there for you in terms of colour variety, but with a black and white image, you need to focus on the tones of these two colours to make your image more powerful than before. As the colours are similar in this type of image, you need a clear subject which stands out from the background.

When taking a high-quality photograph of a person in black and white, it should be easy to distinguish the person from the background they are against. A professional photographer will know how to make an image pop, even without a full set of colours. The tones, grain, lines and textures are what set black and white photography apart from every other type and make it one of the most powerful types of image around.


A portrait usually shows the serious side of a person or captures a certain emotion in their eyes and facial expression. Removing the colour from an image makes things more focused on that particular emotion, instead of the colour making things seem ‘busy’.

It’s important to know that the camera alone isn’t always going to give the finished look you want. It’s not necessarily important to have a flawless look before you step in front of a camera either, as a professional photographer can use more editing software to eliminate any imperfections if needed.

Editing software such as Photoshop and Lightroom can help to change the tone and contrast of an image and remove anything that may stop an image from being close to perfect.

Black and white portrait photography – a powerful tool.

A photograph doesn’t need to be colourful to be full of emotion and to stand out from others. Have you ever had experience in a photography studio? Are you a photographer yourself? Share your experiences in the comments below, including your own opinions of black and white portrait photography! This post was in collaboration with Nousha, professional photographers specialising in black and white images and portraits. For more information about their services or to take a look at their image gallery, visit their website:

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