has B&W exclusively a chance on the market?
/forum/topic/1172506/0

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heikoM
Registered: Jun 09, 2012
Total Posts: 1093
Country: Germany

Hi,

I love black and white. For me it has more "soul" than shooting in color. Yes, it´s a cliché, but I simply enjoy doing it. There is on, maybe two wedding photogs I know who nearly exlcusively shoot b&w. Jeff Ascough and Riccis Valladares. They seem to be successful.

Do you think a business concentrated exclusively on b&w has a chance?


I have posted a wedding coverage in b&w, what do you think? Boring?

http://www.schmidt-weddingphoto.com/destination-wedding-black-and-white/



thank you for your feedback...

heiko



ZachOly
Registered: Feb 15, 2011
Total Posts: 558
Country: Canada

If I had the choice, I'd shoot weddings in only B&W and add some nice film gain. But clients want color.



canerino
Registered: May 28, 2005
Total Posts: 10797
Country: United States

i think specialized wedding photography definitely has a place. look no further than leica as an example. they sell a camera that only shoots in black and white for EIGHTTHOUSANDDOLLARS. keep in mind, leica's brand is very strong and i think in order to be a wedding photographer who only offers BW the brand should be very strong.



RichardLavigne
Registered: Jan 13, 2007
Total Posts: 5353
Country: United States

heikoM wrote:
Hi,

I love black and white. For me it has more "soul" than shooting in color. Yes, it´s a cliché, but I simply enjoy doing it. There is on, maybe two wedding photogs I know who nearly exlcusively shoot b&w. Jeff Ascough and Riccis Valladares. They seem to be successful.


These guys you've mentioned... I'd guess that their success has little or nothing to do with the fact that shoot in b&w.

That being said... i think that the concept could work, with a strong enough brand message. I have an all black and white album that I show to couples... none of them have bitten yet, but I also don't present our brand in that fashion.



jolahern
Registered: Oct 26, 2005
Total Posts: 234
Country: Ireland

I was at a Jeff Ascough workshop this year and he shoots both b&w and color but he decides if a photo is b&w or color and it is never both.



Joshua Gull
Registered: Nov 14, 2010
Total Posts: 348
Country: United States

There is place for it. You can't just hang your value and brand proposition on "I only do B&W" though. The brand has to be rock solid and very clear to the client why it's a benefit to them above and beyond "we both like B&W a lot."



tobicus
Registered: Jan 20, 2012
Total Posts: 1595
Country: United States

^ Yup. And to be honest, if your brand is strong enough, you can get away with anything. That would include showing up with nothing but an iPhone.



jefferies1
Registered: Jul 03, 2008
Total Posts: 2636
Country: United States

Depends on your market. If you live in a large area with a lot of art and people into the arts you could create a market for only B/W. I can see it being very popular.If you live in a traditional blue collar area where few have been exposed to different looks then it would be a hard sell.



RDKirk
Registered: Apr 11, 2004
Total Posts: 8976
Country: United States

It also helps to really know and see in black and white--to know how to find the right light and how to maneuver yourself or the subject to make the best use of it. Black and white is a significantly more difficult medium to do well. Color can get away with being pedestrian--black and white cannot.

If you're in that art-knowledgeable market, you'll have to be good at it.



abadass
Registered: Feb 06, 2012
Total Posts: 212
Country: United States

i would love to only deliver images in b&w. to me it looks classic.



sgtbueno
Registered: Jul 01, 2012
Total Posts: 614
Country: United States

I always tell my wife that I would love to find a market to work at where clients love b&w.
To me, it just look so much artistic and classic.



flash
Registered: Dec 10, 2002
Total Posts: 2259
Country: Australia

I'd love to shoot only in black and white. Especially as a Leica shooter because the CCD sensor produces great looking B&W images. But my client base wouldn't go for it unfortunately.

Gordon



mjoshi
Registered: Apr 17, 2005
Total Posts: 1034
Country: United States

Yes as others pointed out as long as you seek out clients who see value in what you are offering it could work, on the other hand I'd not shoot exclusive B&W if it is Indian wedding. It is too much colorful to overlook those bright and vivid colors.



RDKirk
Registered: Apr 11, 2004
Total Posts: 8976
Country: United States

mjoshi wrote:
Yes as others pointed out as long as you seek out clients who see value in what you are offering it could work, on the other hand I'd not shoot exclusive B&W if it is Indian wedding. It is too much colorful to overlook those bright and vivid colors.


IMO, suitability for the subject should normally rule over the choice of technology. That's why during my film days I used multiple camera formats. I wouldn't shoot with 35mm a subject better rendered by 4x5 and vice versa. In the same vein, I would not shoot in black and white a subject for which color was so important--unless I had a different agenda in mind.

Given that we have such easy availability, there is not even a logistical reason for exclusivity...we don't even have to carry both film types or unload and reload the camera.



Evan Baines
Registered: Jan 15, 2007
Total Posts: 5537
Country: United States

My wife and I hired a photographer who shot exclusively black and white film. We would still probably hire a photographer who specialized in B&W film.



hardlyboring
Registered: Apr 19, 2008
Total Posts: 8418
Country: United States

So I know of 2 people who I respect as wedding photographers who I think should only shoot black and white.
With that said there are so many things that go into making that decision that it is hard for outsiders (all of us) to help make that call for you.
Are your images good... yes but does that mean you should only shoot BW...
Who knows really.

It depends on your market really. If you have enough people who just want BW then perhaps it is worth it but I would say that for 99.5% of wedding photographers it is necessary to shoot color as well.

Also you are asking full time photographers their opinions, many of which are BW specialist themselves. So our opinion is somewhat invalid I think. I think it would be better to ask your client base or people who are actually going to be using your service. We could tell you one thing and they could tell you another. Really does not matter what we say.



D. Diggler
Registered: Dec 27, 2011
Total Posts: 5926
Country: United States

hardlyboring wrote:

for 99.5% of wedding photographers it is necessary to shoot color as well


I've had clients tell me they don't want any black and white. Color only.



tdurnan
Registered: Jul 13, 2008
Total Posts: 1371
Country: Canada

Why not tailor a package to exclusively that?



heikoM
Registered: Jun 09, 2012
Total Posts: 1093
Country: Germany

Thank you all for your much apprechiated input.

The reason why I think that bw may be something that could benefit from beeing seen exclusivly and not just a part of a mix is that I believe bw loses a lot of its power when seen beside color images.

Imagine an art gallerie where bw and color images are shown site by site, color is too overwelming.


The problems I see when asking potential clients what they want I believe many if not all would choose both, like: more is better. But if one is able to communicate the magic of bw it may be different.

If that makes any sence.



RDKirk
Registered: Apr 11, 2004
Total Posts: 8976
Country: United States

The reason why I think that bw may be something that could benefit from beeing seen exclusivly and not just a part of a mix is that I believe bw loses a lot of its power when seen beside color images.

If that happens, it's because the black and white was inappropriate for the subject or inexpertly applied. Good black and white does not lose its power when seen beside color images.

Imagine an art gallerie where bw and color images are shown site by site, color is too overwelming.

I see it all the time.



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