5 Step Guide to Minimalist Photography

The photography trends space is quite dynamic. It keeps changing and new trends keep cropping up. Last year was the year of the selfies, and the year before was dominated by black and white pictures. And likewise, this year is the year of ‘Minimalism’. As the word denotes, it means, keeping it minimal. Sometimes, in photography, ‘Less is more’. Tonnes of colours, patters and objects in a photograph is sometimes overwhelming to the viewer. In such cases, it is important to focus solely on one object rather than covering them all in one picture. This is where minimalist photography comes in. Contrary to how it may seem, minimalist photography is not so simple and it involves lot more than just clicking randomly at objects. The elements put into the picture have to be kept minimal and the ones that are in the picture must be significant and symbolic.

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Meanwhile, here is your 5 step guide to minimalist photography.


    Minimalism originated in the 20th century in art and slowly spread to music and then later to photography. It is the concept of using minimum objects, colours and shapes in the picture. It is a very abstract concept as it leaves the interpretation to its viewers. Art always attracts debate, likewise, minimalist photography has been debated for quite some time now. The reason is because, it is very subjective. Isn’t art very subjective by itself? The answer is yes. Art is subjective, very. And so is minimalist photography. But the debate here is, minimalist photography, though it gives so much room for creative experimentation, is quite restrictive when it comes to what constitutes ‘minimalism’. Another important concept to be understood in minimalism is ‘simplicity’. Simple is not boring, simple is beautiful, simple is enchanting. It is important to choose a very striking and interesting object, which has great perspective. The key point in minimalist photography is always the ‘subject’. It can even be a small pebble, but it must be powerful. Perfect examples of simple yet powerful subjects is:

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    Setting the right frame is important for any type of photography but is paramount to Minimalist photography. The reason being, here, it is about the ‘subject’, and has to be complimented by the framing. If the composition is not right, then it spoils the entire concept. It is very important to leave out as much than what you put in. The right way to go about it is to ponder what the photograph must look like, decide its structure, framing and composition. Also, the focus is as important as the framing, as minimalism is all about simplicity, be sure to focus on the subject and try adding some depth to it to make it stand out. The key is to remember that, minimalism is about emphasizing a lone object, so you can try using negative space around the subject and add some depth to it. Negative space in photography is the space around the subject, it emphasizes the subject and gives it a strong perspective. Zooming in is important in minimalism, but having just the subject in the photo will make it look too cluttered. Examples of getting the right negative space in minimalism is:

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    Colors make photographs so lovely. The use of colors in minimalist photography is extremely useful because a simple shot can become a stunning shot with the right colors. Just imagine this, a red post box on a yellow wall. It is a simple shot, but using the right color combination makes it so stunning. Colors are a minimalist photographer’s savior, if the photograph lacks a strong subject, it can make up for it by using stunning colors. Just remember, the brighter, the better. The technique to getting that stunning color-rich minimalist shot is to increase the saturation. Don’t choose subtle colors for this genre. The point is to ‘standout’. The viewers should be able to feel what they are seeing. Such should be the impact. Another tip is to pick complimentary colors. Examples of complimentary colors are red and green, white and yellow.

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    Minimalist photography is an art by itself. Once you understand the concept and start experimenting, you will begin to really appreciate the art. What minimalist photography does to you is, you will start appreciating the minimalism that surrounds you every day. The key to becoming a great minimalist photographer is to appreciate the beauty of individual things. You will really understand that every day we see individual things that are unique but form one colorful creation. You will learn to see beauty in small things. Keep your eyes open and keep looking for interesting objects that stand alone yet together. Look up, down, and around, keep searching and you will find inspiration for your photograph. Inspiration comes from even a small pebble; use an artistic viewpoint to create compelling images that would make the viewers ponder.

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    A Picture speaks a thousand words. A minimalist photo has to be stunning and unique and must stand apart. Every photograph tells a story, and it’s a photographer’s job to capture an image that has a story to say. No picture is a collection of objects, they all convey something. Likewise in a minimalist photograph, you must learn to convey a scene or an event using reduced subject matter and minimal shapes and colors. To achieve this, you will have to get the right light and the right eye for small events or things that convey greater things. And the key point is to be creative. This is the most important tip to keep in mind in Minimalist photography, as you have minimal objects, be creative. As already mentioned, minimalist photography is very subjective, what you find interesting, the others may not, but that shouldn’t stop you. Get out there and click what you think is interesting; by the end of the day art is very subjective.

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5 great suggestions to get you started on Minimalist photography:

  1. Look for patterns on the floor and snap it.
  2. Wet footprints on the floor.
  3. A ladder against a wall ( a black and white image)
  4. A flower in perspective standing out from others
  5. A door.

Minimalist photography is an art by itself. You are creating something so simple yet so stunning. It must be compelling and make the viewers stare at it in awe. But remember, minimalism is not a genre that you can learn in a day. But with practice this under explored form of photography is easy to master. With our guide we hope you get a fair idea of minimalism in photography. And if you are interested in minimalist photography and have more such tips feel free to share it with us in the comments section.

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