low-key black and white dog (and cat) photos

Today, on the most low-key of days, I bring you the new Cowbelly low-key black and whites.

Back before I was doing pet photography professionally, and then for the first year or so of my business I worked almost exclusively in black and white; greatly preferring it to color. (Obviously that has changed over time, ha!). Based on these shots below, I may just have to return to the colorless world on occasion.

Cowbelly’s version of low-key black and white photography. Ohhhhh yeahhhh. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below! Anyone can do it- no need to be registered anywhere or even have a website. ๐Ÿ™‚

FYI: low-key black and white images are those that are mostly very dark (and black) tones, with a much smaller amount of light (and white) tones to define shapes and contrast. True low-key images have very little midtones and are really defined by the striking contrast between the opposite tones. It took me awhile to get these but I think I have succeeded. BTW: I was inspired to do this by low-key photos I saw recently of a motorcycle (or was it a car) in a large studio- they were gorgeous. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ah yes, a fave of mine as well below.

I do realize that these last ones are not low-key b/w’s because there is as much light as dark, but I had to throw in some of Teddy since his brother Breyer’s images pepper this post. Teddy is sort of a high-key/low-key medley.

Most expressive eyebrows on a dog ever.



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24 thoughts on “low-key black and white dog (and cat) photos

  1. WOW! I would love to know how you did this too! And I would love to see some if you B&W film! Do you process the film yourself?

  2. These are so fabulous Jamie! I just found your site tonight and I am so impressed. Your personal work is so beautiful. Everyone keeps saying these look like film and I too agree. I love your post processing on these B&W photos. I would give my right arm also to know what you did…Can I email you too? I just want to reach through the camera and give this dog a big smooch!

  3. While I love your super-saturated color style I have to say that I think the pair of shepherd-puppy shots (second set in the sequence) are probably my absolute favorites of yours that I’ve seen to date. The texture on the nose is simply exquisite.

  4. Wow! I would looove to see a large print of the tight crop of the eyes. That looks amazing! Both those labs have such great expressions, love the lip configurations ha ha. (Were you making strange noises?) Great, now I’m wanting to go play around with b&w at 2 am.
    Very cool ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Wow Miss Jamie…these blow me away. I love them! The black and white really gives an added dimension to the dog’s personality. I love color photography…but sometimes there’s nothing quite like a great black and white. Nice work!

  6. @ Jessica: thank you! I can definitely see if I have any shots of Zoe and Peanut that will work well for this process. It definitely takes a very specific type of shot. Wait till you see the ones of Zoe and her new purple ‘toy’- they are off the hook!

  7. LOVE IT! If possible we’d like to see a few of our photos via this method if that’s part of the editing process (since we are now post pic day). AB-SO-LUTE-LY WONDERFUL!

  8. jamie, these are gorgeous — they make me miss film as well…you should definitely do an archives post!! beautiful work, as always. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. thanks gals! jill B- that’s funny you should say that because before I started by biz, I USED film- and only film. I reluctantly made the transition to digital only out of a need for efficiency for my new biz. Perhaps I am wanting to return to my roots? I should do a ‘from the archives’ post with some of my black and white film dog shots.

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