Blacks Crossing Photography and Writing | black and white, color, and in between

black and white, color, and in between

June 04, 2018  •  3 Comments

Nothing like a three+ hour meeting with a photographer and a couple to be photographed to get the creative juices flowing.  That is what happened Saturday with photography friend Steve Immel, and a truly lovely couple who will be getting married in August.  Since I have the privilege of being another photographer at the wedding, it was great to meet the very organized and brilliant couple, and discuss many things.  The range of topics was broad and wonderful, pretty much all over the map.  And since the purpose was to exchange ideas about their wedding photography, much of it applied to that subject. Each couple has different ideas and concepts for their wedding images, and this was no exception.  We tried to cover it all.

One question I always ask a couple when preparing to photograph their wedding is whether they would prefer black and white or color photographs.  Some people don't think in terms of black and white photography, and wouldn't even ponder it until you ask.  Others realize the beauty and importance of it, which was the case at our brunch meeting, wherein we discussed the merits of both black and white (endurance, gravitas, and history), and color (popularity and brightness), and came to the conclusion that a combination of both would be the best option.

Given that, I have divided images in this blog into three categories:  black and white, bright color, and muted color/monochrome.  As many know, there is nothing like a dramatic black and white photograph, regardless of the subject matter, and in this case, weddings.  The photographs below were in outdoor settings.  The first was taken during a half hour window in the mountains of southern Colorado when it wasn't raining.

Robin and Dominic - The KissRobin and Dominic - The Kiss

The image below was on a very bright autumn afternoon but in the shade of the lovely trees at El Monte Sagrado in Taos.

Carter-Machino wedding at El Monte SagradoCarter-Machino wedding at El Monte Sagrado

Early evening, sea level light in August on a golf course in the Los Angeles area provided a nice balance of light and shadow, perfect for black and white photography.

Christie and Joel after the weddingChristie and Joel after the wedding

The next category is bright color.  Sometimes, situations or things seem to demand color, such as the photograph of a spring wedding in the Arizona mountains.   High altitude, intense light was perfect for color.

Cathy and Javier mountain weddingCathy and Javier mountain wedding

The choice and color of flowers enhanced the autumn colors in this mock wedding done for tourism in New Mexico, in which both Steve and I served as photographers.  Morning light on the Rio Grande also rendered bright color.

Rio Grande mock wedding raft and coupleRio Grande mock wedding raft and couple

Muted color or near-monochrome can also be wonderfully effective in wedding photography, as shown below.

hands togetherhands together

Except for the purple in the flowers, the image is carried by light and dark ivories.

wedding still lifewedding still life

So what do you think?  Black and white or color or both for weddings?  If you have a moment, let me know your thoughts.

until next Monday,


a passion for the image@


elida hanson-finelli(non-registered)
Beautiful work and great observations on the subject ! Thank you....
Steve Immel(non-registered)
You are so clever, posting the image of the groom with his white cuffs and silver links alongside the bride's off-white gown. Seems to me that the white and cream work beautifully together. And nothing is better than a crisp white shirt for contrast and elegance. While I'm squarely in the black and white camp, the subtlety of champagne in the bottom image deserves color.

Then again, don't the black blacks and white whites in the top photograph just jump off the page? That's one super image.

I couldn't have a better partner for our upcoming wedding shoot.
Dianne James(non-registered)
All are exquisite, Daryl. I view black and white photographs as more formal and more artistic. The viewer might not notice the subtle blending of the values in black and white. They're almost reminiscent of historical photos, cementing the feeling of a place in time that was important. Of course color lends other nuances, such as hair, setting, flower, and fabric color, which is just as important to some, historically. Color has a sense of whimsy, compared to black and white, I think. I enjoy seeing your wonderful work. Thank you for sharing. I know you made my daughter's wedding special. Very special. (for the curious, my daughter and son-in-law are the first picture - photo was taken in the mountains near South Fork along a creek.) We will always cherish these photographs.
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