Black and White Portraits with Haley / by Joshua Cook

I truly enjoy black and white portrait photography, especially when I have the opportunity to work with someone who appreciates the character it brings out in them. Haley's absolutely one of those people. She's been modeling in Japan, but was back in Austin, Texas recently to visit family so we got together for a fun photo shoot in South Austin this past week.

As I would set up for the next shot, it was a real treat to chat about Tokyo and a few of my old haunts. I lived in western Tokyo for a year back when my hair was short (as my father would say) and still remember it like it was yesterday. There's even a great Mexican restaurant where a lot of the expats would gather for big events called Mike's Mexican. I'm afraid Haley couldn't confirm if it is still there though. Guess I'll have to go back and find out for myself. In the meantime, each new lighting set up revealed great new opportunities to see Haley in entirely different ways.

I love the duality of black and white photography. On one hand, you really simplify an image by taking away the color, but that same simplicity also adds so much more depth on an entirely different level than you get with color. When done correctly, every detail comes to life. You start to feel every subtle change in texture and shadows evoke a whole new level of emotion. 

Color photography isn't without its merits, though. We captured this final color photograph before the end of the shoot and it still hangs with me. Best of luck to Haley back in Japan!