What makes a great black and white photograph?

There are many factors that come into play when deciding if a picture will be a strong black and white image. Photos with strong contrast - the difference in brightness between the darkest darks and lightest whites and all the shades in between - can make compelling black and white pictures. Also converting an image with shadows or texture to black and white can add dramatic and moody effect. Also taking away the colour from a photograph can sometimes help to simply the image and minimize distractions (I've used this trick many times when my house is a bit of mess!).

But it's not always so black and white. Sometimes a photograph looks amazing in both colour and black and white, so it can be hard to decide which one is best. And "best" is often subjective anyways. The good news is that with all my photography sessions you don't have to decide. I provide my clients both the colour and a black and white versions of each image. I love the diversity that this provides. My photography style is generally bright and airy but by converting to black and white, I'm able to give a totally different feel to the exact same photo. Often a black and white photo conveys more of a moody, emotional and raw feel to the photograph.

Here are some favourites from an in-home newborn portait session in the east end of Toronto. So you can decide which do you prefer: Colour or black & white?