With almost everything being in color in photography today, the fine art of a great black and white headshot is slipping away. It seems that photographers are usually reserving it for fine art photographs. Whereas I include it in my glamour and boudoir work, black and white also has a place in portraits and headshots. Particularly when it comes to business portraits, black and white offers a sense of traditionalism and as trends come and go, a black and white headshot is sure to remain timeless without looking out of place among the most trendy business web pages. Headshots like this can bring an air of professionalism and may get you to stand out more from the crowd. Using a Booth for Professional Headshots to get you the right pictures for your portfolio, is a smart choice and will set you apart from those who take it themselves.
The tonality of a black and white image adds a special depth to the images that just can’t be done with a traditional color photograph. It is even more important that the photographer control the light with black and white to create those moods. Photographer Olga Topchii (you can see her work at olgatopchii.com), for example, understands the importance of tonality in her photography. She has black and white images that focus on composition to generate the appropriate mood. Not enough photographers focus on in this day and age. Often many photographers try to boost their colors too much.
Color has become a crutch for some photographers, so worried about the perfect red that they overlook the other key elements to photography. Black and white, with the constraints it poses, forces the use of all a photographer’s skills to get a great image.
Digital photographers have it even tougher. A portrait / headshot shot in black and white digitally does not have the same available range as film. Some of the typical techniques to work around this in landscapes such as HDR, do not work practically with a person whose expression and eyes are key and move just the slightest bit between the frames.
There are other techniques that a skilled digital photographer can use to work around this, but it is a skill that takes time to learn.