Despite wielding a camera for more than 20 years, I still learn something each time I compose a photo or sit down to edit one. I'm not exaggerating. The constant learning is something I love about photography. If I want to try a new editing technique, I just start Googling to find a few free tutorials on the subject. It's so much easier now than it used to be to find useful photography information.
In the spirit of sharing photo tips, I planned to write a full-on tutorial about creating quality black and white images, but then I got started and thought, "Oh my gosh. I don't have time to write this right now!" (Contrary to what some people think, you typically have to do more than hit a "black and white button" in your editing software to create a pretty black and white photo.)
Instead I'll point you to Google or Pinterest for more in-depth tutorials, and you can just enjoy these photos and few pointers to supplement your own findings.
I like to take baby portraits in my bedroom, which gets a ton of indirect sunlight from South-facing windows. Good lighting lays the bones for a quality image, whether black and white or color.
In these photos, I lightened each image by increasing the exposure but reducing the brightness/highlights, so I wouldn’t bleach out Nora’s skin and lose the detail of those little folds and creases. I also wanted to maintain some of the detail of the beautiful blanket she is lying on, which my aunt made for us as a wedding gift. (Thank you, Ann!) To accentuate Nora's dark eyes, I increased the black/shadows and lightened the gray tones.