Is black and white photography dead in the indie world?

By Brittni • Updated on 07/07/2021

Guest post by photographer,  Laura Evans.

When I first started taking photography seriously it was using an Olympus Om-1n, I developed and printed all my own work. And I loved it – the art, the process, the feel that comes with black and white images. Over time I graduated to shooting color and printing color and I grew to love that more. Occasionally, I would produce a black and white image that I loved but generally everything was in color.

In recent months though I have discovered a new found passion for black and white, it has that timeless feel, beautiful, clean and pure. This new found passion led to my decision a couple of months back to separate my black and white photography from my color work on Etsy. Other photographers warned that this could be problematic, black and white photography doesnt sell well on Etsy. Why is this? When did it stop being fashionable?

(above) Smile by Elle Moss

Plume by Grainne Photography

Pears by Honey Tree

My friend has a black and white wall in the entree way to her home … frames of all different shapes and sizes encasing a wide variety of gorgeous black and white prints. It looks amazing and makes a great impact the moment you walk through the door. I see black and white interiors all over design blogs, and in magazines, in fashion its updated every season to create a new modern and edgy look. And in the world of Etsy there are countless items appearing on the front page from jewelry to prints to housewares but rarely b + w photography.

Wonderland by JK Photography

Ocean by Laura Evans (that’s me)

I have never understood this. I can spend hours looking at the works of greats such as Ansel Adams, Richard Avedon and Josef Hoflehner. And there are countless books & magazines dedicated to the art form, but does it get the attention it deserves in the indie world? 

Join the conversation and answer this question in the comments below…

Does black and white photography get the attention it deserves in the indie world?

This post was written by Laura Evans is a stay at home mum, military wife & taker of pretty pictures. Currently residing in Germany, she has a pretty shiny issue & a passion for photography. You can visit her work at and

6 comments | Click here to reply

Is black and white photography dead in the indie world? | papernstitch (via Instapaper)

(@MeetJNewell) (@MeetJNewell)

Black and White is an art. It is not flashy but it harder to do well than color. With photoshop and phone apps, you can make any photo look great now. ( I do use those tools and they have their place) But as a 20 year photographer black and white is where the roots are. I belong to a Center for Contemporary photography called Gallery44 and you will see most of their fine art shows are still black and white handmade the darkroom. Etsy is for the most part a non expert buyer who doesn’t mind buying open ended editions and wants trends and a pretty image for the wall. It is a great way to introduce ppl to the world of photography and hopefully their interest will grow to be more serious and knowledgeable.


Thank you for using my image, Laura!
I agree with everything said by Tracie above. People on Etsy are looking for trendy and often kitsch and while there is a place for tradition and classic, it does take a backseat unfortunately.


my guest blog on papernstitch questioning whether b&w photography is dead in the indie world … what do you think?

Laura Evans (@levansphoto)

Tracie … i loved your response, you said it so perfectly. Thank you.

laura Evans

No, it doesn’t. Specifically addressing etsy…etsy tends to be a place where trends are made and found, in my opinion. Black and white photography is the quintessential opposite. It’s not trendy, but formal. Black and white photography is pure, not boastful, strictly addressing lights and darks, without hue. I’m a huge fan of black and white photography, and your work is amazing. I’m also a huge color “freakazoid”, so black and white photography is always a breath of “formal” fresh air 🙂


Tracie Hise
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