As every beginner photographer I went through the vivid-color phase first. I loved it, I still do. But as conservative as I am with things I like, I like to change my game every now and then. I started thinking of black and whites. They are so much powerful than everything else. This is why I have decided to learn and make stunning B&Ws in 2012, and yes, in order to be more disciplined I included it in the 2012 Resolutions list.
I found out I love black and whites for family portraits. It makes it easier to see the resemblance between the parents and the child. I like the fact that black and white will always be in fashion, and it also puts the emphasis on the emotion, rather than on the setting and attire. Furthermore, if you have a background that is not as pretty as you'd wished, it simply doesn't matter when you make the conversion. And sometimes, it could emphasize things in the background even more, if desired. It's all up to you and your idea. Here's a couple of brand new B&Ws with a certain amount of haze on. I like the tenderness it adds to the contrast ;)
Nikon D700, 50mm.