Minimalism means appreciating the fundamental parts of a work and finding art in simple things. For many people, minimalism is freedom -freedom from stress, worries, fear. Minimalism means being happy while living with less. You enjoy the things you have, even if they are few. We define minimalism as owning stuff that only matters for your life. Minimalism refers basically to music and visual arts (architecture, painting, sculpture, design, video, photography, and so on). Regarding the reproduction of an image, minimalist photography is an art that expresses the simplicity of this world.

minimalist photography
Shooting minimalist art

“Simplicity, clarity, singleness: These are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy as they are also the marks of great art.”

Richard Holloway

But how do you create minimalist art? It is easy to capture simple elements, but it is hard to give them meaning. That’s what minimalist art is about. To take the insignificant objects and put them in the spotlight. As in other arts, you need a vision, and you have to see what others cannot see – the beauty of the petty things. So, let’s focus on simplicity and see how you can practice minimalist photography.

Table of contents
1. What is minimalist photography?
2. What things should I consider as a minimalist photographer?
3. What are the elements that refine minimalist photography?
4. How can I tell a story by practicing minimalist photography?
5. What techniques should I use?
6. What’s next?
7. Key takeaways

What is minimalist photography?

minimalist photography
Palms leaves on white wood background

Minimalist photography tells the most emotional stories found in the simplest and most impactful things. This genre of art has become very popular nowadays, and many photographers try to discover the secrets of this movement in painting. If you want to practice minimalist photography, you have to combine strategies with techniques but still keep it simple. The concept that has a saying in defining minimalist photography is based on the principle “less is more”. So, take your camera and focus your eyes on fundamental stuff. Concentrate on simple compositions and let your creativity go wild.

What things should I consider as a minimalist photographer?

If you decide to find out the mysteries of minimalism, you should start doing a little research and get inspiration from other photographers. With the help of social media, we have more access than ever to see different perspectives and get in touch with other photographers. It is not wrong to look for information and details and improve your photography skills.

Simplicity is the key

minimalist photography
Minimalist black background and coffee beans – minimalist composition

Simplicity and minimalism are two things that complement each other. As a photographer, one of the best things you can do is let your creativity come out. Taking minimalist pictures means to focus on the simple things. You have to keep it simple and concentrate on the few elements that will create the maximum effect on your photos. Any photographer wants to capture impressive perspectives and play with backgrounds, subjects, composition, and have the proper exposure. Well, when it comes to minimalist photography, less is better. Often, simple stuff can tell a stronger story than complex elements.

Look for symmetry

minimalist photography
Old wooden pier on sunset – symmetry in minimalism

One of the important things in minimalist photography is composition. Even if you have a few elements, you need to know to frame them properly. Your subject needs to be in perfect symmetry and catch a meaning. If you want to take breathtaking minimalist photographs, I advise you to use the rule of thirds. Mastering this technique will give you visually appealing pictures and will place the subject in the foreground even if it will be the smallest thing in your image.

Isolate your subject

minimalist photography
Coconut isolated on white background – minimalist photograph

As you can see, minimalist photography is about finding an element and isolating it. Having a clear background will help your camera focus only on your subject. You just have to place it in such a way that it gives meaning to the image. You can put your subject in the middle, on the right, on the left, maybe at the bottom of the photograph. Try different angles and detach the subject from crowded elements.

Negative space

minimalist photography
A landscape shot of a lake with a small green floating house

Simply put, negative space is the area around the subject in a picture. Negative space can contain small details or elements, but most photographers choose to shoot empty spaces like the sky, lake, hill, and so on. Minimalism is about simplifying the background to bring your subject in the foreground. To achieve the perfect negative space, you have to make sure that there is a balance between your subject and the impact of the empty area.

What are the elements that refine minimalist photography?

Mastering the art of minimalist photography needs patience and practice. You have to try different angles, perspectives, subjects, colors, textures, and so on. You may not be an expert at first, but continuing to learn and try different compositions, I assure you that you will become a professional. Even professional photographers still have a lot to learn. Don’t give up and get creative with details.

Complementary colors

minimalist photography
Complementary white, red and green buildings – minimalist perspective

I highly recommend black and white pictures in terms of minimalist photographs, but most of the time, it is much more interesting to play with colors and get contrasting hues. If you experiment with angles and techniques, you will see that even contrasting shapes or patterns will get you the most amazing minimalist images. Also, bright colors will always play a significant role in photography. Don’t be afraid experiment with shades and pay attention to the colors that complement each other.


minimalist photography
Old wooden door in vintage style on the red wall with green palm bush – minimalist textures

As the colors complement each other, so do the textures. But do you know what would make minimalist photography more artistic? To mix colors and textures in one picture. Minimalist compositions emphasize simplicity, and you should see the colors and textures that match. A simple pop up of color or texture will take your skills to another level.

The photographer has almost as much control over his subject matter as a painter. He can control light and shade, form and space, pattern and texture, motion and mood, everything except composition.

– Andreas Feininger

But still, from the composition that delights his eyes, he can create something majestic.

Lines and shapes

minimalist photography
Close up view of the observation tower – minimalist picture

Moving on, another element that goes hand in hand with this genre of photography is minimalist architecture. Observing lines, shapes, and geometric patterns can give you attractive backdrops for your minimalist shooting. Walls, windows, stairs are all sublime for minimalist photography. There are fantastic perspectives, you just have to see them. Also, repetition is an important element of minimalism as geometry, shapes, lines, and so on. If you want to give your pictures a sense of abstract, get creative with these elements, and practice until you get something out of the ordinary.

How can I tell a story by practicing minimalist photography?

minimalist photography
Human trace on a silky black beach texture – minimalistic black background

As difficult as it may seem, having skills in minimalist photography and seeing the details that glamorize your pictures will create the most meaningful stories. Take your minimalist photography skills to another level and tell a story with your pictures. You can practice this genre of photography anywhere. You can take photos in the city and mix your street photography skills with minimalist photography, or you can walk through nature and see the most divine worldly goods. If you want to get a perfect story, you have to integrate your elements and unite them in harmony. Practice all the tips mentioned in this article, and you will see improvements coming in time.

What techniques should I use?

minimalist photography
bokeh effect

When shooting minimalist photography, most photographers use a DSLR camera. These cameras will help you create a perfect depth of field and get creative with the bokeh effect. However, you can also shoot with a smartphone because it isn’t necessary to use the bokeh effect. Speaking of minimalist photography, you have to get perfect and clear lines. If you already have a digital camera and buying a DSLR would be too much, take out your smartphone and let your eyes frame minimalist art. Nowadays, smartphones have become quite advanced and professional. You can take the pictures you want by taking advantage of these devices. So, what do you say? Are you ready to compose some minimalist photographs?

What’s next?

minimalist photography
Create your online portfolio

Once you have followed these tips and practiced this type of photography, you can create an online portfolio. Why? Well, I’m sure that you are a master of photography and managed to get great perspectives. People need to see your vision, and you have to show them what you are capable of. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have a community that appreciates your work and that you can exchange ideas with your people. If you don’t already have a website, you can build one with WordPress. This website builder is the perfect match for your photography business. Besides the fact that it has a lot of features, you can take advantage of the best portfolio plugins for photographers and creatives. Here’s a tip! Go with Modula. Or you can go with the flow. Whatever your choice is, I’m sure it will be right for you.

Key takeaways

minimalist photography
Key takeaways
  • Minimalism means finding art in simple things.
  • Less is more.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Repetition is an important element of minimalism.
  • Focus on simplicity.
  • Get inspiration from other photographers.
  • Pose the elements in perfect symmetry.
  • Use the rule of thirds.
  • Isolate your subject.
  • Use negative space.
  • Be patient and practice a lot.
  • Find colors that complement each other.
  • Use contrast colors, hues, shapes in your pictures.
  • Get creative with textures.
  • Mingle colors and textures.
  • Concentrate on lines, shapes, and geometry.
  • Use a DSLR camera to create a perfect depth of field or the effect of bokeh.
  • Take pictures with your smartphone.
  • Create an online portfolio.
  • Find a tool to help you customize your portfolio.
  • Create speechless stories.

Final thoughts

Minimalism photography is a subjective genre that is open to interpretation. You only have to go out there and get creative with fundamental elements. Enjoy the shapes, textures, lines, and let your imagination go wild. So do you. Explore as many places as possible and find stuff that can improve your style of taking pictures. It’s a big world out there waiting to be admired.

Once you start this journey, you will be able to practice other types of photography much easier. Reaching the step where you will be able to see the importance of simple things, you will be able to have fun with perspectives, angles, and other factors more straightforward. Do your best and show people what you’re capable of.