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Power Portraits: Colour vs. Black & White

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Which portrait is more powerful? Black & white? Which portrait is more striking? The vibrant colourful version?

There’s often a debate in the photography world as to which portrait style packs the most punch. Some photographers even go so far as to offer black and white as the only option.  We have our thoughts about colour portraits vs. black & white and why the answer isn’t as ultimate at you might think. The best photographers will know how and when to use both.

We would love to hear your opinion! Which version of the examples below makes a stronger impact on you? Tell us your favourites in the comments.

Get in contact with our team today to book your own personal photoshoot

Baby-Photographer-SW London
Both versions here are beautiful, but does the deep blue in the sky add something you don’t get in the black and white?


Here, converting this fun engagement portrait to a black and white actually helped give it an extra punch.


Hopefully the answer is clear with these two in comparison. The colourful 50’s diner in the top version is essential to the story and feeling of the portrait. Going monotone just doesn’t do it justice.


While the blue tones are beautiful in the colour version of this London family portrait, the black and white conversion is equally as beautiful. Sometimes it just boils down to preference!


Does the colour in the image tell part of the story? Will taking the colour out help the viewer focus on the abstract hair? What do you think?


Portrait-Photographer-SW London
In this back to school portrait, while the black and white is nice, it is missing important visual impact. The power of this portrait is partly portrayed through the bright red apple and the girl’s hair bow contrasting with the rest of the image.


We help guide our clients in choosing the option that’s right for them and their needs. More often than not they opt for the colourful choice.

Here are Julia’s thoughts:
“Asking if black and white or colour photography is better is like asking if apples or oranges are better. There is no better; there is only different and personal preference. I love both of them and we luckily live in a digital world where we can decide after an image is taken, whether it would work better with or without colour. We create our share of black and white imagery but we work with colour a lot in our studio because people come to us for bright, vibrant images that capture the happiness of their family and look great in their homes.” ~ Julia Boggio

So is the answer as black and white as you originally thought?  Get in touch for your studio portrait session and decide for yourself.

Get in contact with our team today to book your own personal photoshoot