A lot of people ask me for hints, tips and techniques about my job! It's great that a lot of people are interested in such a glamourous field.
The black and white era is definitely making a come back. The vintage look is back aswell as a classic. One of the most popular trends that has never gone out of fashion is Black and White imagery. It makes such a strong statement and still can capture some of the best features.
The Key to Black and White Makeup
When you apply makeup for a shoot. It's up to you what the overall image is going to be like. I have sometimes done a shoot where the images will be seen in full colour or black and white. That doesn't mean that I do one look in black and white then one in colour. I can use the same image and turn it into a greyscale image.
The importance of this kind of photography is not the colour that is used but the shade of the colour that you use.
A greyscale image consists of light, medium and dark shades so what you need to do is break your colours up into light, medium and dark colours. This will allow you to have the same effect in full colour and black and white.
If you are only doing a black and white shoot then there is no need to add any colour to the face. This is firstly a waste of time but won't allow you to get the full potential of the image. All professional makeup artists will know that multi-images take time and effort to get the maximum impact in black and white and greyscale.
I know a lot of photographers that still love to work with a film roll. They will decide if the film will be black and white or colour in this case images cannot be changed. With a digital camera, anything is possible.
Here are a few examples of how colour can be adapted into Black and White images.....
If you are contracted for a shoot you must remember that it has to look amazing in black and white aswell as colour, otherwise its pointless. The whole point of this skill is that you will achieve two fabulous shots. You never know, if they like both images they might use both.
If you feel uncomfortable with the knowledge of what shades or colours look good, my best advice is practise. You will quickly realise that you will automatically know what colours and shades look good for both images. DO NOT leave it till last minute. Sometimes on set you will need to work quick or change something to get a different shot/angle. It is not always according to brief. Create the 'look', step back, imagine it in black and white. Use your third eye and makesure you have a mixture of lights and darks.
These images are true reflections of how much it doesn't matter what colours you use it's the shade that matters. I chose extreme colour blocking shots for impact and hopefully to open your imagination and creativity on achieving strong images without doing 2 shoots.
I hope this has been helpful. If you have any questions feel free to ask. I'd be happy to help!