Black and white is particularly attractive for use in portraits photography. You can use it when your subject is dressed in or surrounded by colours that are not complimentary to them or which are distracting to the eye.

By shooting in black and white, you remove the impact of the clashing colours allowing the subject to become the focus of the image and not their clothes or, worse still, the background.

Bathed in soft light, babies captured in black and white look wonderful and the impact of jaundiced skin or blemishes is reduced.

For subjects that have facial details that can handle harsh light, try capturing your portraits with strong side lighting such as sunlight pouring in through a window. The dramatic contrast between light on one side of the face and shadow on the other can bring a portrait to life.

This type of setup is best used for a subject who has very strong facial features such as older subjects with lots of wrinkles or for subjects who live life hard as it reinforces their personalities and lifestyle.

Children’s and baby’s portraits captured in black and white do away with distracting colours and blemishes and allow you to focus on the child.

Helen Bradley