Black & White Challenge

Colorado Springs photography tutorI’ve noticed a lot of my photographer friends stepping up to the “black and white photo challenge” on Facebook recently, and it got me thinking. When I started as a professional photographer back in 2001, black and white was extremely popular. It was rare for me to do a portrait session where the client didn’t want at least some of their images in black and white. Frequently, we printed all the images from a session in black and white.

Somewhere along the line — I’m not sure exactly when it happened — I noticed I wasn’t really doing any black and whites anymore. No one was asking for black and white. So honestly, my work from the past few years include very little black and white. I had to dig through the archives a bit to come up with this collection.

My favorite aspect of black and white photography is that stripping out the distraction of color simplifies an image and enables the emotion to shine through. I also love how black and white does such a good job of showcasing beautiful lighting.

I decided to go back through some of my older images and pull out some of my favorite black and white images and share them here. I’ve included a few sepia images as well since I feel they belong in the same category.

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Author: Mary Lynne

Mary Lynne Ashley has been a professional photographer since 2001. She spends her time teaching photography, photographing dogs (primarily as a volunteer for a rescue organization), and operating her amazing photo booth inside a cute red 1971 VW bus -- the Photo Love Bus. The best way to get in touch is through email at

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