Color vs Black And White Wedding Photographs

You put so much thought and attention into every single aspect of your dream wedding and want every last detail captured to perfection in the wedding photographs. You want a skilled photographer with an artistic eye to record every moment, feature and emotion, producing beautiful photographs that capture the essence of your wedding day vision. While most couples choose to have a shot list of photographs to be done in color, there is an increasing trend towards black and white photographs or a combination of both options.

Color film only came into play into the 1930s and couples that appreciate a classic and timeless look may well be drawn to the artistry of black and white prints. Black and white photographs can appear more romantic and create sharp and crisp images that really focus on human emotions. If people are the central narrative of the picture then a black and white photograph can draw the focus onto them rather than the background. There is no vying for attention as the focus is concentrated on the person without any distractions.

When deciding if to go with color or black and white photographs one should realize that color photographs can be converted to black and white but black and white cannot be converted to color. If your photographer shoots all the images in color you can opt for some to be reproduced in black and white. Color photographs best capture the overall look of the day when you want photographs of the table settings, floral arrangements and bridesmaid’s dresses.

A popular choice is to have the pre-wedding ceremony photographs in black and white before switching to color for shots of the ceremony and reception. Black and white works well with reportage style wedding photographs which capture the moment without specific posing. Black and white creates an excellent record of true emotions such as the tears of happiness in a bride’s eyes or the tenderness of the moment as the ring is slipped onto the wedding finger.

A single color can be introduced to a crisp black and white photograph to stunning effect. Imagine the image of a single shot of the bride in a white gown with the only color coming from her bouquet, a shot of the flower girl when the only splash of color is the ribbon in her hair, or an evocative shot of the bride and groom beneath a colored umbrella.


A combination of both black and white and color photographs is a great way to satisfy a taste for both styles. The inclusion of black and white photographs can be considered a hopeful sign of marriage longevity as unlike color photographs they will not begin to fade over time. You will retain an unblemished record of this most special of days that will stand the test of time and be appreciated by future generations.

The Wedding Shot List

The importance of knowing the style of wedding photographs you want is the key to receiving images that fulfill your vision. As you go through the process of selecting a professional wedding photographer, communication is all important as the photographer can only create your vision if you are clear in your desire. If the photographer is excited about your vision and has an inspired portfolio that sparks your interest you could be onto a winner.

*Photo 1

Bridal magazines put great emphasis on the wedding shot list, but unless you want specific shots do not feel pressurized into following these guidelines. At the end of the day you may prefer to have candid spontaneous shots that capture the joy of the day rather than detailed photographic images of the wedding invitations or the groom’s boutonniere.

*Photo 2

If you are having a very traditional wedding with a photographer in attendance before the ceremony you may well wish to document getting ready. You can discuss a general shot list without compiling a list that includes every detail. Unless the wedding favors and table settings are of sentimental importance you may prefer to have candid people shots and more photographs of the bride and groom together rather than endless pictures of wine glasses and napkins.

*Photo 3

Many couples opt for reportage style photography and limit their shot list to some group photos after the ceremony. It is advisable to have a family member on hand to round up the guests you want in each shot and ensure they don’t wander off and mess up your timeline. A good photographer will know the importance of capturing the first kiss and the first dance without following a written shot list but will need to know who it is important you share a special moment with on film.

*Photo 4

There are instances of couples being disappointed with the finished results when they receive their photographs. A bride that complains there was no misty shot of her and the groom posed romantically in a field most probably neglected to mention it in advance and probably even forgot the venue lacked said field. The bride that is upset that the photographer failed to photograph her with her best friend may not have stressed the importance of this on her shot list. This demonstrates the importance of communication and at least including some must have images on a limited shot list.

It is a personal decision if you outline 200 must-have shots or leave it to the experience of your photographer. Go with what feels right for you and what you feel will be the style of image you most cherish as you look back on your wedding day.

For more information on taking quality photographs, please click here.

*Photo 1 is After Six Bridesmaid Dresses provided by 
*Photo 2 is Sophia Tolli Wedding Dress provided by
*Photo 3 is Allure Bridals Wedding Dress provided by
*Photo 4 is Dessy Bridesmaid Dresses provided by 


Trash the Dress Sessions

By Larry Brunt

You have spent hours and hours searching for the perfect dress. You have hidden it from your fiancé for months. It may very well be the most expensive article of clothing you have ever bought in your life. So when you hear any sentence with “trash the dress” in it, it could cause heart palpitations. But give the idea a listen.

What happens to the wedding gown after the wedding? Usually, it’s hermetically sealed into a big, plastic bag, where it is kept, forever and ever. It’s moved from house to house, takes up plenty of closet or attic space, and never sees the light of day. 

Some brides hope their daughters will one day wear the dress. But it rarely happens. Styles change. People come in different shapes and sizes. People have different tastes. (Did you wear your mom’s dress? Would you even have considered it?)

So instead of just sealing the dress away, more and more brides and grooms are doing a portrait session that is, a bit brutally, called “Trash the Dress.” (The groom doesn’t have to trash the rental tux–he can just wear black pants and a white button shirt).

Truth be told, the dress doesn’t have to be trashed. It just means the photo shoot is done someplace where the dress will get dirty–like in a forest, or by a lake. Maybe even in a lake. Or at a beach. Or in an abandoned house. In a field. In a crosswalk downtown. It could be anywhere.

The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. And what do you get? Instead of just having conventional wedding portraits, you can get creative portraits in a dramatic or spectacular setting–artistic photographs that you will love for the rest of your life. Many brides think it’s better than a bagged dress any day.