Over the summer, I was feeling very moody—not necessarily emotionally, but definitely as far as my art went, and I wanted to explore more in black and white portraits—I adore work by the iconic Herb Ritts, and I always feel that the best way to learn something is to emulate someone who is masterful at their work. Herb's black and white portraits are world-renowned, even if you think you've never seen his work, you have.
Here's our best attempt at his emotional, and graphic black and whites.
Dress: H&M, Hat: IKEA (yes, seriously)
Photography by: Christopher Cain
I didn't have any of his specific shots in mind, as this wasn't so much about recreating shot for shot what he's done, it was more about capturing the essence of what his work reflects, and making it my own—it's very emotional—as most black and white work tends to be. Since you can't convey emotions with colors, your subject has to be engaging, or captivating in other ways.
Black and white photography is my favorite genre because everything has to be on-point in order to create a memorable image—your lighting, composition, and subject all have to be harmonious, and for me, this is the most easy way to understand how to take engaging photos. If it's striking in black and white, then you know you have a winner.
So, my suggestion, for anyone starting out in photography, or even those in a major creative rut, is to find an artist whose work you love, and study it. When you think you have a grasp on what they have done, try it for yourself.
Who are your favorite photographers, and how can you incorporate their work into your images?