Colour or Black and White Business Headshots?

July 7, 2022

Colour or black and white business headshots? More often than the the answer to this question is colour. I would choose colour over black and white almost every time, although there are exceptions when a black and white portrait is just right.

I approached this question a long time ago (six whole years) in this blog post, specifically talking about commercial photography and I think some of the same arguments apply to business or corporate headshots.

Ultimately I will let the client make the final decision and if asked to shoot in black and white I have always been really pleased with the way that it turns out. However, I still choose colour for this type of photography because it is so much more descriptive.

Your headshot needs to make a good first impression. Anybody viewing your decision makes a decision about you within around seven tenths of a second which means your picture has to work really hard. The benefit of colour is that it delivers more detail. It’s this detail that makes a positive impression on the subconscious mind of the viewer.

If there is a specific reason or specific stylistic decision to choose black and white then go for it, you’ll still end up with some great shots. If your reason for choosing black and white is because you think it’s more elegant, artsy or some other spurious reason then don’t bother. Trying to to look more sophisticated by having a black and white photograph is about as effective as wearing glasses to make you look smarter. You might think it works but it doesn’t.

Written by Paul Tschornow

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