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The role of black & white photography in Indian weddings

A sea of pink turbans merrily dancing to the beats of the dhol. A collection of glitzy runway-worthy anarkalis chattering away. Welcome to an Indian wedding. It’s cheerful, it’s colourful, and it’s chaotic. One may only naturally wonder: what role black & white photography plays in such a place?

But the answer lies within the question. Amongst the chaos, black & white photography gives us the power to zoom in and capture raw moments. There’s a certain stillness about them that’s classy, timeless, and beautiful. When you add colours to these photos, they can end up being distracting.

Before you raise eyebrows, bear in mind that ideally only a select few of the whole album should be in black & white. However, it's not the case of randomly stripping them of colour. Each shot should be analysed to see whether it would have a better effect with or without colour. For instance, group pictures rarely ever look good in black & white.

Our advice is to have an open mind and leave this decision to the photographer. At KKSTUDIO, we break up our team so that we usually have one designated person in charge of the candid and detailed shots. While we can advise on black & white photos, we do accommodate for every need.

This is one of the times where the saying ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’ is applicable. So, let's go through the following ten images to see the power of black & white in action.

A bride in the making

This image showcases the transformation of the bride. You notice her hair- in rollers with a few flyaways. With colour, it wouldn’t look as classy because you’d see that the makeup process is incomplete and the flaws it’s trying to conceal. Generally, getting ready shots look good in black & white.

Bride’s gorgeous smile

When you look at this image, the bride’s gorgeous smile immediately jumps out at you. You’re not distracted by her shining jewellery or bright makeup. That’s because sometimes colours can disturb the emotions. For closeup images that require focus on one element, black & white shots are a good bet.

Intricacies of mehndi designs

With Indian bridal mehndi having such tiny and intricate details, this picture allows you zoom in and pay attention to them. As a result, the beautiful pattern stands out here. What’s more, you can almost visualise the steady hand in action. Why do you need colour when there’s motion?

Candid on the dancefloor

Despite the chaos of the dancefloor, our eyes are glued to the couple in the middle. It’s candid, it’s in the moment, and it’s least expected. The same picture in colour would not have this dreamy effect. You’d instead focus on everyone’s elaborate outfits and makeup.

Modern art meets wedding photography

These black & white images look like they’re straight out of a modern art exhibition. It’s nice to have a few outfit focused pictures like these in your wedding collection- after all, you spend so much on them. The candid champagne glass shot, take in the middle of an event, likewise screams artsy.

Admiring the reflection

This is double exposure photography- it’s a photographic technique where the structure of one thing is projected onto another. It’s possible to achieve this through natural angles or by editing. These two particular images, being colourless and incorporating reflections, exude a calm and tranquil feeling.

Timeless silhouette

This silhouette feels mysterious and timeless. The shape of their bodies stand out, you notice that they’re holding hands, and the background fades away into the distance. If it were in colour, you’d see it for what it is: a couple in the middle of a party. Perhaps you’d pay more attention to the man at the far end.

A couple’s little bubble

One can’t help but feel enthralled by this couple’s presence. They’re sharing a moment and are truly in their own little world. Due to the black & white effects, you don’t get a feeling that this picture is posed or cliched.

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Suphanida Thakral

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Suphanida Thakral

Suphanida Thakral is a freelance content writer. When not banging away at her keyboard, she can be found travelling and immersing in different cultures. Follow her at @simmmy96 on Twitter & Instagram!

She can be reached at

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