In my initial communication with models I note that I am especially looking to shoot B&W along with color. I find that nearly every model I talk to says she LOVES B&W. When I give her the previews I typically convert a few to B&W so she can see how they would look.
Yet, nearly every model chooses color for their final retouched images (typically 4-5 per pre-agreement). Go figure!
Thanks for your feedback everybody. It's become a personal challenge to convince them to put at least one black and white image on to their profile. It may take time ... but I'm determined to get those blinkers off. Game on! :-)
Here's the thing- if you're not strikingly beautiful with exotic coloring, color can do you a disservice, as people just skim over it. I've had the same image posted in color and then in B&W, and invariably the B&W gets rave reviews while the color gets ignored. Same shot, mind you. Same skin, same hair, same pose, same everything- but in color it's just another naked chick, and in B&W it becomes art.
I think color tells a lot of the story. I personally prefer color to B&W, though some pictures are very flattering without color... It just has to be a certain kind of shot. I feel like anyone can make a black and white photo look good, but it takes talent to really make color take your breath away. I usually choose the color over the B&W, but it's just a preference.
It truly does depend on the photo. Obviously, some photos are taken for the grand, contrasting colours, or perhaps the model has wonderfully bright hair, or exotic skin, or who knows - just something that speaks more in colour.
Or perhaps the model has strong, violent features, that are better accentuated - this said, just going in after the shoot and editing a photo to be black and white is not enough in my opinion. I personally believe that black and white photos are taken in the studio, even if not technically. The right lighting is necessary, because without the intense shadows, what's the point? Sometimes they can make a photo seem more soft, which is great, but the truly fantastic black and whites are the ones that make every wrinkle, pore, and aspect that makes us uniquely human stand out.
Personally, for a lightly edited photo, I much prefer sepia-toned photos to black and white. But that's just me.
Summary of the thread: everyone's opinions are highly subjective when interpreting imagery and art by their own views.
with that said... here is something to consider whether images are black and white or color. Are they done WELL? ie. composition, lighting, does the image resonate with what it is meant to say..etc. I think for example that the biggest mistake that people make with color imagery is not knowing how to properly mix color pallets. A lot of professionals even make this mistake. This can be the benefit of black and white which is about tones vs. blending of pallets that are interpreted as visual language. When thinking about color also, each color has a subconsious psychological association with it that is subjective to the audience that is viewing it. For example, the color red can mean love, lust, death, danger..etc. A lot of people don't think about this sort of thing before shooting.
but in my personal opinion, give me some true black and white film any day.
Menai Media wrote: I worked with a model recently who said they didn't like black and white images...
Was the model a client? if so then you would be wise to meet or exceed their expectations... If this was a test collaborative then concept imagery, story board and narrative needs to be agreed upon before the session... all involved should have input of merit...
If the talent received monetary recompense unless you had contractual obligation with them their thoughts on aesthetics shouldn't play into the mix here...
beauty is in the eyes of the checkbook holder, in my humble estimation...
Menai Media wrote: Thanks for your feedback everybody. It's become a personal challenge to convince them to put at least one black and white image on to their profile. It may take time ... but I'm determined to get those blinkers off. Game on! :-)
Why do you care about what they put on their profile. What goes on their profile should not concern you. Shoot what you want for yours and let them use whatever they want for theirs.
Bravo Magic Images wrote: They know that black and whites bring out their true spirit and they dont want you to see them in their true self.
You're taking the piss right?
Black and white was a technical limitation, it seems some people like to throw overly romanticised notions onto that fact.
I have a sneaky suspicion most current black and white work is just that purely because it would look crap in colour...
If I had to venture a guess, I would say they do not like black and white because they want to be seen in color, or some aspect to be seen in color. It might be their eye or hair color, or the color of the dress they are wearing, etc.
It could also be because some photographers do advise models that color images are better for their portfolio because it shows what they "really look like" given that it shows skin tone, hair color, etc.
It may also be that for some models, especially younger ones, black and white seems old-fashioned and they want to be very trend-savvy and very modern, etc.
I like black and white photos of myself usually, particularly art nudes. But I make sure I have some color photos in my port too. There have been times when I had to make myself choose a color version because I just had so much black and white already. I tend to lean towards black and white if I see both versions for some reason.
Menai Media wrote: I worked with a model recently who said they didn't like black and white images. Each to their own I know, but I wondered how many other models out there don't like them and why that is?
I actually had a photography teacher once who said she shoots all black and white unless color would add something to the shot. Kind of an interesting thing to think about when editing photos. Now I find myself asking that question for every photo. Does color add something to this shot?