27 Beautiful Black and White Portraits - Digital Photography School

27 Beautiful Black and White Portraits

Following are 27 beautiful black and white portraits to inspire you to take some portraits this week – enjoy!

Click on images to learn more about it and the photographer behind it on their Flickr page.

UPDATE: Learn more about how to take great Black and White Landscapes and Portraits with our new Guide to Black and White Photography.

Still Moment B&W

Paris under the snow
This little piggy (EXPLORED)
Shopaholic.
Portrait de rue - Tattoo, percing, etc.
162858835_f75ac1a5c8_o
Portrait de rue - Zeghdoud
Serie "Life is" #1 (unfair)
It's Just a Number
78394354_afb1ba5070_b
Rockstar Teri
81/365, l'ombra del vento

Portraits_468x190px.jpeg

288/365 - Dotty
the tatoo man
12041544_cbfe0fb2ce_o
63404919_642ef84675_o
471837691_e9cba39f48_b
58691285_6f1288b2ff_b
Fun Contrast and Light
512837045_ec80cb05fa_b
516024390_44121efea7_o
Construction Worker
161728213_bd4b0d6447_o

Laissé pour compte
241843728_4216155e68_b

UPDATE: Discover how to improve your Black and White Photography with our Essential Guide to Black and White Photography.

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • Angelo

    very inspiring here is my friend
    http://500px.com/photo/18732417

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/msranjith/ Ranjith

    awesome portraits..very inspiring..

    My best portrait, i cant get anything better than my kids’
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/msranjith/8296630424/in/photostream

  • Ralph Wahlstrom

    Many of these literally took my breath away. Just stunning.

  • Graeme Boughton

    These are the images that inspire you to get out there and persevere with portraiture. Brilliant.

  • http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/1967729/viewall SilverGraphite

    There’s a lot of beautiful shots in that set – My faves, are the 1st, and the 18th (the macro of the eye) just for the tone alone. Although the second last one is right up there.

    I think this one is about my favorite shot that I’ve taken in a very long while (although it is digital and not film, with a bit of Lightroom thrown in).
    http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/1967729/viewall#/31275179

  • http://chrisvbphotos.blogspot.com/ Chrisvb

    I accidentally posted to an earlier article this evening. Reposting for this week’s contest.
    My pensive pal in B&W
    http://chrisvbphotos.blogspot.com/2013/01/for-oft-when-on-my-couch-i-lie-in.html

  • http://www.piotrekziolkowski.com Piotrek Ziolkowski

    Some very good shots here, I like the medium format film portraits- quite a few of them here. Film is amazing for portraits. I don’t know if anyone noticed nut there is a well known portrait by Steve McCurry in one of those photos. My portrait collection of strangers and friends http://www.piotrekziolkowski.com/portraits

  • http://www.digitalcamfan.com Amy

    Beautiful B&W photos!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/petercamyre Peter Camyre

  • Surendra Vikram Singh

    Thanks for sharing…all photos are awesome!

    Here are some B&W taken by me

    Black and White

  • Henry K

    They just took my breath away. Stunning stuff!

  • http://PHOTOGRAPHYBYRIPLEY.COM Gordon Ripley

    I enjoyed the photographs. My only, “hopefully constructive”, comment is that I feel that the photo of the woman holding the curtain aside would have had more impact if she was looking OUT the window and not at the photographer. By doing so it would have led the viewer to wonder just what she saw out that window, This is simply my opinion – yours may differ.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/streetghost/ Mario M

    Great stuff

    Here is one BW portrait taken on the street

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/streetghost/3258519541/

  • Alexander
  • http://www.uppblandmolnen.devote.se erika

    Beautiful indeed!

  • Abbey
  • Henry K

    I agree with you Gordon on your “hopefully constructive” view. It would have been quite dramatic if that woman was looking out and one(viewer) would’ve found a story there. It is indeed a stunning picture – lighting and composition, brilliant but just a ‘pose’ portrait, which makes it ‘ordinary’. Also, my opinion.

  • http://www.pdf34.wordpress.com Badflea
  • http://dewandemmer.com Dewan Demmer

    I like these, some of the images look very familiar, are they not from an earlier post ? Still like them.
    I like black and white and while it can forgive you in some areas in others it can be just as unforgiving.
    I was trying to remember by favourite B/W, and one that popped into my head is in this post : http://www.dewandemmer.com/bridal-wedding-photoshoot-%E2%80%93-palazzo-hotel-%E2%80%93-monte-casino-%E2%80%93-johannesburg-%E2%80%93-part-ii/

    I am really starting to appreciate that the beauty of an image is in the eye of the beholder, what I consider bland and uninspired you may see the exact opposite. Perspective.

  • http://Flickr Noemi Gonzalez

    HERE Is my work//// ;-) was a Boy…

  • http://www.tcw.nl Geoff Naylor

    In reply to Dewan Demmer… I thought your photo of the bride on the stairs is something special, Dewan. It’s not black and white – therefore I’m getting off message rather – but you must have made the new couple very happy. The woman lying on the couch isn’t bad either… Nice work!

  • http://www.chondonphotography.com Patrick Chondon

    Those are done great examples. I love black and white photography and shoot it almost all the time other then paid wedding and portrait sessions.

    This image was taken with my Fuji xe-1 and 50mm 1.4 lens.

    http://flic.kr/p/dPcCz4

  • http://www.chondonphotography.com Patrick Chondon

    Those are done great examples. I love black and white photography and shoot it almost all the time other then paid wedding and portrait sessions.

    http://flic.kr/p/dPcCz4

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/91646460@N05/8847123518/ Enid

    a recent b & w

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/91646460@N05/8847123518/ Enid
  • http://dreamosity.com/ Dreamosity

    Wonderful, beautiful, captivating.

  • Manu

    Nice work. Here is one of mine…
    A Bhutanese boy

  • merro abd
  • Kathleen Mekailek

    It is not up close, but the walk says it all in this photograph. It was practice, she had made a great play, and knew it! Just oozes confidence!

  • kimsky

    My first portrait taken with my first DSLR a few months ago.
    Outdoors on a bright September afternoon.

  • icst
  • cora cheung

    This is beautiful! I would like to have a set of black and white portraits to be taken, where can i find a photographer to work with?

  • Edwin Vincent

    ‘Symphony’
    flickr.com/photos/edwinvincent

  • Edwin Vincent

    ‘Symphony’ – Edwin Vincent
    flickr.com/photos/edwinvincent

  • Carla

    My Black and white portrait.

  • Stephanie Loomis
  • Guido Pozzi
  • Raw War

    its fun to work with monochrome or B&W

  • Arkman

    This would be mine. A taxi driver in Bahrain at tree of life. https://flic.kr/p/hxhwiW

  • Ton Ko

    One of my favourite BW photographs I took this year!

Some older comments

  • Enid

    May 29, 2013 10:59 am

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/91646460@N05/8847123518/

  • Enid

    May 29, 2013 10:57 am

    a recent b & w

  • Patrick Chondon

    January 28, 2013 01:14 pm

    Those are done great examples. I love black and white photography and shoot it almost all the time other then paid wedding and portrait sessions.

    http://flic.kr/p/dPcCz4

  • Patrick Chondon

    January 28, 2013 01:13 pm

    Those are done great examples. I love black and white photography and shoot it almost all the time other then paid wedding and portrait sessions.

    This image was taken with my Fuji xe-1 and 50mm 1.4 lens.

    http://flic.kr/p/dPcCz4

  • Geoff Naylor

    January 27, 2013 11:36 pm

    In reply to Dewan Demmer... I thought your photo of the bride on the stairs is something special, Dewan. It's not black and white - therefore I'm getting off message rather - but you must have made the new couple very happy. The woman lying on the couch isn't bad either... Nice work!

  • Noemi Gonzalez

    January 27, 2013 01:15 pm

    HERE Is my work//// ;-) was a Boy...

  • Dewan Demmer

    January 27, 2013 03:49 am

    I like these, some of the images look very familiar, are they not from an earlier post ? Still like them.
    I like black and white and while it can forgive you in some areas in others it can be just as unforgiving.
    I was trying to remember by favourite B/W, and one that popped into my head is in this post : http://www.dewandemmer.com/bridal-wedding-photoshoot-%E2%80%93-palazzo-hotel-%E2%80%93-monte-casino-%E2%80%93-johannesburg-%E2%80%93-part-ii/

    I am really starting to appreciate that the beauty of an image is in the eye of the beholder, what I consider bland and uninspired you may see the exact opposite. Perspective.

  • Badflea

    January 27, 2013 03:08 am

    Here my exercise in B&W:

    http://pdf34.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/weekly-photo-challenge-black-and-white-portraits/

  • Henry K

    January 26, 2013 12:15 pm

    I agree with you Gordon on your "hopefully constructive" view. It would have been quite dramatic if that woman was looking out and one(viewer) would've found a story there. It is indeed a stunning picture - lighting and composition, brilliant but just a 'pose' portrait, which makes it 'ordinary'. Also, my opinion.

  • Abbey

    January 26, 2013 07:53 am

    Here is my first B&W Portrait

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/89943027@N03/8398073281/

  • erika

    January 26, 2013 04:53 am

    Beautiful indeed!

  • Alexander

    January 26, 2013 01:20 am

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/endiwirawan/6946352175/in/photostream

  • Mario M

    January 26, 2013 12:01 am

    Great stuff

    Here is one BW portrait taken on the street

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/streetghost/3258519541/

  • Gordon Ripley

    January 25, 2013 11:13 pm

    I enjoyed the photographs. My only, "hopefully constructive", comment is that I feel that the photo of the woman holding the curtain aside would have had more impact if she was looking OUT the window and not at the photographer. By doing so it would have led the viewer to wonder just what she saw out that window, This is simply my opinion - yours may differ.

  • Henry K

    January 25, 2013 08:16 pm

    They just took my breath away. Stunning stuff!

  • Surendra Vikram Singh

    January 25, 2013 06:27 pm

    Thanks for sharing...all photos are awesome!

    Here are some B&W taken by me

    Black and White

  • Peter Camyre

    January 25, 2013 02:58 pm

  • Amy

    January 25, 2013 02:42 pm

    Beautiful B&W photos!

  • Piotrek Ziolkowski

    January 25, 2013 01:10 pm

    Some very good shots here, I like the medium format film portraits- quite a few of them here. Film is amazing for portraits. I don't know if anyone noticed nut there is a well known portrait by Steve McCurry in one of those photos. My portrait collection of strangers and friends http://www.piotrekziolkowski.com/portraits

  • Chrisvb

    January 25, 2013 11:56 am

    I accidentally posted to an earlier article this evening. Reposting for this week's contest.
    My pensive pal in B&W
    http://chrisvbphotos.blogspot.com/2013/01/for-oft-when-on-my-couch-i-lie-in.html

  • SilverGraphite

    January 25, 2013 11:05 am

    There's a lot of beautiful shots in that set - My faves, are the 1st, and the 18th (the macro of the eye) just for the tone alone. Although the second last one is right up there.

    I think this one is about my favorite shot that I've taken in a very long while (although it is digital and not film, with a bit of Lightroom thrown in).
    http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/1967729/viewall#/31275179

  • Graeme Boughton

    January 25, 2013 10:51 am

    These are the images that inspire you to get out there and persevere with portraiture. Brilliant.

  • Ralph Wahlstrom

    January 25, 2013 10:33 am

    Many of these literally took my breath away. Just stunning.

  • Ranjith

    January 25, 2013 10:07 am

    awesome portraits..very inspiring..

    My best portrait, i cant get anything better than my kids'
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/msranjith/8296630424/in/photostream

  • Angelo

    January 25, 2013 09:48 am

    very inspiring here is my friend
    http://500px.com/photo/18732417

  • John

    January 25, 2013 09:42 am

    Inspiring and stunning.

    Here's one of my personal favorite black and white portraits - http://www.phogropathy.com/alex/

  • Vipul

    January 25, 2013 09:39 am

    Inspiring shots. One of my b/w images of a saint :
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/vipulvaibhav/6865165261/in/photostream

    would love to hear comments and critiques :)

  • Jay

    January 25, 2013 07:40 am

    Thanks Darren. Very inspiring, especially the lighting.
    Best
    Jay

  • myrtle

    September 19, 2012 06:42 pm

    Awesome photos. I so love it.=D

  • LA Ross

    August 21, 2012 02:55 pm

    Absolutely stunning photos. Black and white makes you appreciate the content so much more than color...and I love color.

  • Henry K

    April 9, 2012 11:27 am

    Powerful and stunning stuff!

  • Daniela Brincat

    March 29, 2012 11:21 am

    just wonderfull images. i love them all and really love the way they put the b&w. amazing. thanks for the tips

  • Aðalheiður

    March 28, 2012 07:45 pm

    Thank you for these examples. My contribution:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kon-a-n/6852912081/

  • Paul

    March 25, 2012 06:11 am

    Lovely photos, reminds me how much I love B&W :)

  • Chandra

    March 25, 2012 02:54 am

    I'm new to photography and my 2 clicks are here... feed back are most welcome......

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/3gchandscv_phot_2012/7011174175/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/3gchandscv_phot_2012/7011174167/

  • brianP

    March 25, 2012 01:27 am

    I love B&W and these are just spectacular! The subjects in may of them were perfect for this medium.

  • Amir Paz

    March 24, 2012 08:24 pm

    use light to make the portrait stand out:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/amirpaz/4685549988/in/set-72157617668383580

    :)

    Amir

  • Yung Rawisara

    March 24, 2012 06:58 pm

    Hi Darren,

    Do you know a book that talks about all lenses and light??? I'm new and trying to understand lenses that are using in photography. Thanks a lot

  • RayC

    March 24, 2012 07:06 am

    My two cents of B/W...

  • Geoff Naylor

    March 23, 2012 09:46 pm

    I think I can recognise a bad photo, to my own satisfaction anyway, but what is an ugly photo?

  • Jay Fitz

    March 23, 2012 10:31 am

    Great and inspiring B&W images. Here is my contribution.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/timshel2010/6983479707/in/photostream

  • Phast Phreddy

    March 23, 2012 09:12 am

    What beautifully captured emotion in those photos!! They are truly inspiring.

  • Mary Phipps-Seward

    March 23, 2012 04:41 am

    LOL....Elmer Fudd chimed in with the final statement.

  • Mary Phipps-Seward

    March 23, 2012 04:40 am

    Simply delicious....food for the soul, candy for the eyes!
    Black & white....YES!
    Inswpiring work!

  • Barbara Maynard

    March 23, 2012 04:30 am

    These are beautiful - I particularly like the angle the last photo has been taken from. Very effective

  • Linda Holmes

    March 23, 2012 04:27 am

    The thing I love most about photography is that amazing photos do not have to be beautiful. None of these photographs are ugly - they have character, meaning, curiosity, wonder, movement and life. That is what photography/art is all about. Love these photos you bring us to look at and learn from.

  • John catling

    March 23, 2012 03:09 am

    Just goes to show you don't always need colour, fab photos.

  • ccting

    March 23, 2012 02:37 am

    High contrast photos.. i wander the Adobe1998 color space is more suitable than SRGB???? But Adobe1998 is poor in shadow detail??

  • Juriena

    March 23, 2012 02:35 am

    My little model...

  • Andres morrison

    March 23, 2012 02:23 am

    Snow in BW wicked, here is my attempt http://m.flickr.com/#/photos/andresmorrison/6964247859/

  • TonyH

    March 23, 2012 02:21 am

    Jeff, its only when one wears ugly goggles, that you then see ugly photos, the photos are snapshots of reality; photography is not about ugly/beautiful.

  • Geoff Naylor

    March 23, 2012 02:05 am

    Wonderful examples here.
    My personal favourite is the man on the park bench; I don't really know why.

  • Joseph Lam

    March 21, 2012 12:59 pm

    Yeah I love B & W, I also like BW darkroom work. I've not done for over 20 yrs.

  • Mark F

    March 21, 2012 05:20 am

    Here is one from a wedding I shot last August...The grooms father makes his own cigars!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/outtafocusphoto/6854515354/sizes/l/in/photostream/

  • Elveti

    March 20, 2012 02:45 pm

    I usually don't take portrait photos, but I took this one of a friend of mine and I liked the (lucky) result:
    Baba B/W

  • Allan J.

    March 20, 2012 01:47 am

    I love B&W! Heres my share of Maria..

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/allanj/6801261869/in/set-72157623035567713

  • T Moore

    March 19, 2012 11:21 am

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/silvermoonapps/6848588334/in/photostream

  • Wendy from Suburban Misfit

    March 19, 2012 03:58 am

    Very inspiring! I'm working on my black & white photo for the weekly challenge. It's nice to see a range of portraits and how each photographer uses light differently. Thanks for compiling these for your post!

  • Sam

    March 18, 2012 10:21 pm

    Black and white is awesome! There were a few beauty's there.

    I made some B&W Candid Portraits, using selective lighting:

    http://samvanvlerken.500px.com/#/1

  • L Onfrichuk

    March 18, 2012 08:42 am

    My Mom-in-Law enjoying an afternoon in the sun with a dragonfly!

  • jeff

    March 17, 2012 08:39 pm

    ( im talking about jmoodyjr and Jason St. Petersburg Photographer in comments )

  • jeff

    March 17, 2012 08:38 pm

    THE 2 LAST ARE VERY UGLY

  • Patrick K.

    March 17, 2012 06:18 pm

    Wow, incredible shots. I love it!

    I made some B/W portraits as well, feel free to comment and help me improve:
    http://500px.com/PatriksKirs/photos

  • Jason St. Petersburg Photographer

    March 17, 2012 12:22 pm

    Very diverse collection of black & white images and I especially like the final image, shot from above with all the items around, totally unique perspective. I feel like I saw that shot before as the classic 12" Powerbook in the shot stuck out then and now as well.

    A pole dancer I photographed and converted to black & white in Silver Efex Pro 3:

    http://jasoncollinphotography.com/blog/2010/3/25/pole-dancer-model-portrait-session-at-raw-vibes.html

  • jmoodyjr

    March 17, 2012 10:35 am

    I have always preferred B&W photography. I once heard, and it is true, "Color photographs show the color of their clothes, Black and White shows their soul."

  • Scottc

    March 17, 2012 09:36 am

    WOW! These are incredible, the range of light in these photos is amazing. Great post!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lendog64/4557804773/

  • jeff

    March 17, 2012 07:57 am

    what do you think about this one ?
    https://secure.flickr.com/photos/azety/6916071729/in/photostream

  • Victoria - Washington Boudoir Photographer

    March 17, 2012 07:52 am

    The shot of the couple walking in the snow is just beautiful!

  • Harry Page

    March 17, 2012 05:05 am

    I love Black & WHite ..lovely photographs.

  • Alexx

    March 17, 2012 03:34 am

    Can't wait.

    Check out my black and white here:
    http://Disney-Photography-Blog.blogspot.com.

  • Erin @ Pixel Tips

    March 17, 2012 02:54 am

    If I could photograph people 100% in black and white, I would. Raw and beautiful.

  • hubblefromthesun

    March 17, 2012 02:53 am

    The snow looks so wonderful in black and white!

  • Erik Kerstenbeck

    March 17, 2012 02:41 am

    Classic B&W shot

    http://kerstenbeckphotoart.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/the-uss-midway/

  • Steve

    March 17, 2012 02:06 am

    As we have had travel Italy here is a black and white from Italy - gives it a vintage feel:

    http://wildlifeencounters.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/Scenes-from-Italy-and-the-Alps/G0000ID.UepOSY4U/I0000joLEKRIPwgU

  • Peter Alberti

    March 17, 2012 01:24 am

    Some really beautiful black and white images!

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