Black & White headshots have been universally popular since the beginning of photography. Black and white photography is generally regarded as timeless, artistic, and journalistic – think of the giants of photography such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Richard Alvedon, and Diane Arbus, just to name a few. Once seen as the de facto standard for journalistic portraits and actor headshots, it is also gaining popularity for corporate headshots thanks to its versatility for graphic designers and website designers.
So why are black & white headshots so versatile?
By removing the colour information, graphic designers no longer need to fret as much about colour casts (e.g. white balance issues) and different lighting issues between the different headshots that are submitted by staff members for their online profiles. In a large company, imagine receiving 50 or more different headshots photographed in different lighting situations. How to create consistency across these different headshots? – convert them to black and white, and you now have a set of business headshots that conform to a similar photographic style.
Black and white conversion for headshots can sometimes be tricky business. The overall contrast of the photo, along with specific skin tone highlights and shadow, can have a big effect on the look of black and white portraits. It isn’t a matter of just pressing a “convert to black and white” button, but a careful process of working with tonal values to produce the right black and white photo conversion.
If you need business headshots for advertising or for your web profile on a company website or LinkedIn, consider producing a set of black & white headshots along with your set of digital colour headshots. When booking a headshot session with my studio, you get the option to easily add a black & white version of your selected headshots to your booking. For more information, feel free to get in touch!