Exceptional Black & White Wedding Photography

Exceptional Black & White Wedding Photography

As Editor in Chief at World’s Best, my love for photography knows no bounds. I fell in love with the art form in 2000 when I took my first class in fine-art school, Black and White 1. Choosing photos from the negatives and developing them in the darkroom was a challenging and totally magical experience. As I learned the craft of black and white photography – the printing, the papers, the chemicals, the exposures, and every aspect from capture to framing became a set of choices that created a unique look and feel. 

Today, most (but not all) photographers use digital cameras and create their looks by using tools like Photoshop and Lightroom. Some have a timeless classic style of photography that harkens back to the work of Ansel Adams and Henri Cartier Bresson who used the zone system to capture the lightest whites and richest blacks without losing detail. Here are some exceptional examples from the photographers we recommend along with our Moment Award Winner for this week from Josh Olson. We love the way he captured the groom and his guests in the middle of a pouring rain storm. 

processional-of-bride-and-father-photo-by-kate-mcelwee-photography
Photographed by Kate McElwee Photography - Boston, Massachusetts photographer
groom-with-grooms-lined-up-on-wall-photo-by-ruan-redelinghuys-photography
Photographed by Ruan Redelinghuys Photography - South Africa photographers
groom-and-party-walking-in-rain-photo-by-j-olson-weddings
Moment Award Winning Photograph by J. Olson Weddings - Minneapolis, Minnesota photographers
grandma-blesses-bride-with-embrace-and-kiss-chrisman-studios
Photographed by Chrisman Studios - Charleston, South Carolina photographers
black-and-white-photo-of-estatic-couple-during-sparkler-exit-at-basin-harbor-vermont-andy-madea-photo
Photographed by Andy Madea Photo - Vermont photographers

Other artists use color balance to tone their work with a sepia effect that warms the black and whites with a golden hue for vintage looks.

seated-bride-reading-in-window-light-galt-house-louisville-kentucky-photo-by-green-apple-photography
Photographed by Green Apple Photography - Louisville, Kentucky photographers
first-look-photo-by-jagstudios
Photographed by JAGStudios - Connecticut photographers
bride-getting-ready-sepia-tone-photo-stephanie-cristalli
Photographed by Stephanie Cristalli Photography - Seattle, Washington photographers

Some others expose for the highlights and let the shadows go black, which adds a lot of drama and intensity to their photos. This work is inspired by the chiaroscuro style which became famous with the art of Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt and at its most extreme is called tenebrism, which was used in the 17th century by the painter Caravaggio and his followers.

black-and-white-photo-of-bride-getting-her-gown-buttoned-by-rino-cordella-puglia-ital
Photographed by Rino Cordella Photography - Italy photographers
juxtaposition-black-and-white-bride-veil-drawn-worlds-best-wedding-photos-victor-lax-spain-wedding-photographers
Photographed by Lax Photography - Spain photographers
romantic-portrait-of-bride-having-her-hair-fixed-julian-kanz-photography
Photographed by Julian Kanz Photography - Italy photographers

On the flip side, by using grainy film and ever-so-slightly overexposing their photos, photographers lighten the shadows for a soft, ethereal feel. 

worlds-best-wedding-photos-antique-porsche-wedding-transportation-jen-huang-los-angeles-wedding-photographer
Photographed by Jen Huang Photography - Santa Barbara, California photographers
backview-of-bride-in-ruffled-gown-jen-huang
Photographed by Jen Huang Photography - Santa Barbara, California photographers

We find that no matter their shooting and processing style, all the best wedding photographers use aperture to create extraordinary takes on the common view. 

boho-engagement-photo-featuring-bride-in-hat-photo-by-viridian-images-photography
Photographed by Viridian Images - Atlanta, Georgia photographers
bridemaids-laugh-in-foreground-while-bride-in-lace-dress-has-her-portrait-taken-christopher-jason-studios
Photographed by Christopher Jason Studios - Washington, DC photographers

And lately, we’ve been seeing long exposures used to make an artistic statement, and this technique is being seen in the wedding section of leading magazines like Vogue and Elle. 

bride-in-motion-in-distressed-wall-setting-photo-by-dawn-thomson-photography
Photographed by Dawn Thomson Photography - New Zealand photographers
couple-in-exit-car-with-intentional-blur-photo-by-john-joseph
Photographed by John and Joseph - Los Angeles, California photographers

Jump into our galleries to favorite the photos and photographers that speak to you. Every artist we recommend has at least 3 years of experience, a distinctive style, and tons of rave reviews. What an easy way to choose the best option for your wedding day with confidence!