I love for my photographs to be full of color and vivid personality, but every once in a while, a classic black and white portrait says it all. There are some animals that can tell a story with their eyes, and in those portraits, I need to dial down the animation and let their expression speak for itself. Lucia and Mars, two of my favorite Boston Terriers, have some of the most expressive faces I’ve ever seen. Colorful photographs are great, but these black and white portraits are timeless and showcase the beautiful markings that make Bostons one of the most photogenic breeds I’ve ever seen!
Often times, eliminating color can help other elements of your subject stand out. For example, in the photograph of Mars above, the background was distracting with several color casts from the wall and bed comforter. In this situation, changing the image to black and white allows us to focus on the star of the show, and his animated smile!
Shadow and light play such a key role in the effect of black and white photography. Another effect is framing your subject by using an architectural arch, tree branch, or the simple rule of thirds. In the photograph below, I left plenty of space at the top, which will draw your eye to the subject while making the photo more interesting to the eye. You’ll see this approach in many of my photos, which is just a personal preference of mine. Either way, black and white photography is beautiful, and when executed correctly, can transform a portrait into a timeless work of art.