Black And White Senior Photos

Logan Studio Portrait in Black and White in his suit

Black and White photography has been around since the beginning of time. It is one of my favorite effects to use especially with incorporated with dynamic and edgy studio lighting. All black and white photography was not created equal, however, simply moving a slider in Lightroom or adjusting the color in Photoshop does not make a great image. I try to plan the use of black and white images into my senior photo package prior to the shoot ever occurring as part of our free pre-session consultation.

Golf Senior Photo in Black and White holding a golf club
Kyle a high school golf captain poses with his golf driver during his senior portraits in Robert Bowden Photography’s studio.

With the image of Ryan below his mom wanted me to create something that none of his friends would have. For this image, I used two lights to create a deep shadow on the right side of his face. Technically this image would be considered “Rembrandt Lighting, Short lit with a fill”. This is why I study lighting, so you don’t need to worry about anything beyond telling me you want an image with a lot of contrast in black and white.

Ryan shows off his black belt skills during his senior photos
Ryan shows off his black belt skills during his senior photo session with Robert Bowden Photography in Dexter, Michigan.

Dylan is one of the first seniors I used a true split lighting technique with. It is a technique of photography lighting where usually one light is used and only half of the face is light. This lighting style is not for all portraits or subjects. In this case, the lacrosse stick really helped tie the image together. We see a highlight on his lacrosse uniform showing the Nike logo and the intense look in his eyes as he stares down the camera.

Dylan Lacrosse Senior Portrait in Black and White
Dylan poses for his senior photos with his lacrosse uniform and stick in the studio of Robert Bowden Photography, located in Dexter, MI

Selective color is an option that is available at no extra cost. Selective Color is used to highlight an object or specific item in a photo in the example of Hannah below, we used it to bring attention to the basketball. Selective color can be tricky especially with wedding portraits, the most common being the bouquet of flowers that the bride wants in color but everything else in black and white. Done correctly as seen below there is no spill or color from the ball onto her hand or gray areas on the ball. This is accomplished with correctly masking the object in Photoshop a technique the team at Robert Bowden Photography has mastered.

Hannah Basketball Seniori Photos in Black and White holding a basketball in color
Hannah poses with her basketball during her black and white senior studio session at Robert Bowden Photogarphy in Dexter, Michigan.

When you visit our photography studio in Dexter, Michigan you will see this photo of Hannah hanging on our wall printed on glossy metal with a float mount, it gives the effect of floating off the wall with vivid blacks and the pop of color from the basketball. It is printed as a 6×18 panorama. We can’t wait for you to visit and see this image in person. It is one of my all-time favorite athletic senior photos that I have captured.

Studio hours are by appointment only. Schedule a time to visit us at Our studio is located in Downtown Dexter at 7444 Dexter Ann Arbor Rd. Suite B3, Dexter MI 48130