I get this a lot. Brian Black & White… but your photos are in color. That’s the running joke among some of my clients as well as friends. It’s a huge misnomer on my Instagram handle but wow, does it make for some sexy branding. Like my horrible grammar, my choice in name was somewhat a mistake during a night of drinking in Fort Collins, Colorado. I’ll get into that in a minute – but let’s focus on the positives, right? Black & White? It’s classy, right? It also happens to be my wedding colors (with a splash of red) – shout out to my wife! So there is some significance to it.
It’s October 14th, 2015 and I had been on the ‘gram (that’s what the kids call it) since it’s inception. I had just got my first DSLR about a year prior and I was starting to ramp up my photo game. Lemme tell you – that filter game was STRONG and I happened to love the black and white filters. There was something about the subtlety of black and white photos, a la Ansel Adams and his amazing landscape photos. I was out to eat with a good friend of mine, Joe Czerwonka, drinking margaritas at the time.
We had just come up with his wife’s Instagram handle – as Joe is what I would call a comedic genius. He has a knack for coming up with brilliant names for things and I know he’s named at least 2 operating restaurants. He’s that guy who’s smarter than he looks – we all have that friend. I digress. Joe was looking at my works of art and somehow we got onto my black and white photos. Joe shouts out, “You should just be Brian Black & White,” and the rest was history.
I kept up with the black & white thing for a while and once I started gaining more clients transitioned back to providing full-color photos. Black & White photos have to have a certain look to them. Strong highlights, deep shadows, almost a moody detail. Not every photo can be black & white – it takes a special photo to earn that status in my eyes. Y0u lose the color personality in the photo and you’re focused on the pure emotion of the photo. It becomes a representation of authenticity and speaks to you differently. You’re forced to look at the subject and what they are feeling.
Thanks for reading that last paragraph. Now that most of my photos are in color, the Brian Black & White name has stuck around. My branding is still black & white and if you notice, I use the ampersand every time the words “black” & “white” are used next to each other. The ampersand holds a special place in my heart too – as my wife, Laura Beth, and I use it in our house to represent us. My photography is personal and is representative of what I would want to see decorated in my home. I bring those personal touches to you, my clients and audience because they mean something to me. Black & White goes beyond a photo style – it actually does mean something to me.
Oh at that feature photo? That’s Joe, the night we came up with one of the greatest Instagram names you’ll ever see. I said the kid was gold and here is proof. His wife, Nicole, is a gastroenterologist. If your not exactly sure what that is, it’s someone who works on the GI tract. Her Instagram name? nicolonoscopies. If you don’t get it, I’m sorry, but it has to be his greatest name ever.
Until next time.