I think this is so true sometimes! I can take a photo, and in color it’s pretty good. But then, I’ll convert it to black and white and it goes from “pretty good” to “Oh my, I LOVE it!” There is just something so timeless and strong about a black and white image, especially when it comes to portraits. When an image is black and white, all you are left with is tone and contrast. I think sometimes, converting an image to black and white can really make the subject stand out so much better. Converting can take away all the distractions that color can sometimes have and leave just the image that you meant to take all along.
I had one of my instructors ask me last semester how I determined if I liked an image better in black and white or color. I told him that sometimes, the color makes the image great, and sometimes, it distracts from the center of emphasis. So as a rule of thumb (for me), I usually always convert my images to black and white just so I can see.
Case in point: this is an image of one of my littles. While I love this photo especially because it’s of my child, I find the color image to be just okay (to me). Due to his hair being almost the same color as the background, there was not enough separation for my liking. So I converted it to black and white and I LOVE it. You can tell where the background ends and the subject (my little) begins. And in this image especially, it just feels more powerful in black and white.