Renowned Canadian photojournalist Ted Grant once said, “When you photograph people in colour, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls.”
There is something undeniably captivating about black and white photo and film. In one way, it is a return to simplicity; to the basic roots of photography itself. And yet, at the same time, it is a contemporary means of communicating a complex message in the clearest and most concise possible form, without any undue visual noise.
Black and white imagery evokes a feeling of solidity, of trustworthiness, of assurance
Increasingly, professional firms are turning to black and white film to communicate their message to clients. This trend is particularly evident in the field of finance and investing. Black and white imagery evokes a feeling of solidity, of trustworthiness, of assurance. All characteristics that financial firms strive to embody.
The medium has been successfully used by Purpose Investments, Newlook Capital and many more. The simplicity of the black and white film used by these firms reflects the simple duality of an otherwise complex industry- you’re either profitable or you’re not; you’re making money or you’re losing it.
It’s not just the area of finance that can benefit by using the medium of black and white film. There can be a temptation in any industry to over communicate an intended message. At times, shooting in colour is doing the same thing. By throwing too much stimulus at an audience, be it audio or visual, a message can become lost.
It doesn’t have to be complicated to be beautiful or impactful
As communication experts, our goal should constantly be to turn our audience’s attention to the key elements of our client’s message. It doesn’t have to be complicated to be beautiful or impactful. Indeed, as seen continually through the lens of black and white film, sometimes simple is best.
Post production: Eric Yu
Stylist: Hilary Janset
Camera assist: Seyar Hail
Content director and contributor: Jennie Hoekstra