Community member Paul Henry Collins' (PaulHenryStudios) passion is black and white photography. Collins masters the technique of lightning and shadows and his photos have a dark simplicity, almost a pulling effect on the viewer.  According to Collins, the secret behind a great B&W photo is a mix of light and great post-processing skills. The team at Viewbug wanted to know more about Collins photography and his technique behind it, so we contacted him and asked if he could share his 7 best portraiture tips.

1. Shoot in RAW.
Whenever possible, shoot in RAW with color and processes the image in B&W. This one is most important to me, as I like complete control over my mid-tones in my images and have the ability to slide my gray scale with HSL in Lightroom.

2. Don't overexpose. 
Be sure not to over expose your whites, if your whites are too hot you lose detail and it is difficult to pull back down.

3. Don't underexpose.
As with overexposure you do not want to underexpose too much either as you will lose details in your blacks. You can recover some of this in Lightroom by lightening your shadows but this will add noise to your image.

4. Use a backlight.
When shooting with a dark or black background be sure to use backlighting to create separation or your blacks will blend into each other.

5. Control your shadows and tones. 
Like the darker backgrounds mentioned above when shooting light on white or white on white be sure to create separation with shadows and tones in order not to lose your model in the background.

7. Be a post-processing MUA.
Though I feel I am still learning this on the fly, I use dodge and burn for contour and highlights on my subjects face to shape it as a make-up artist (MUA) would. Dodging works well for highlighting and pulling detail out on hair as well.

7. Nohthing else than #ffffff
Lastly, I see this all the time with my own work included. Be sure your whites are true white and not too flat or gray, you do not want your images, especially skin tones looking dark