Minimalist Photography: How To Create Minimalist Art (2021)

Minimalist photography is an art that expresses the simplicity of this world. It is a means of 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 things that only matter for your life.

But how do you combine minimalism and art to create minimalist photography?

Keeping everything simple, this article will teach you:

  • how to practice minimalist photography;
  • the necessary techniques you have to follow for this genre of photography;
  • the most powerful elements that will help you take stunning minimalist photos;
  • more details you need to know as a minimalist photographer.
Minimalist studio
Minimalist photography

“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

Table of contents

What is minimalist photography?

Minimalist photography tells the most emotional stories found in the simplest and most impactful things. This genre of art has become very popular in recent times, as many photographers try to discover the secrets of this movement.

The concept that best defines minimalist photography is based on the principle “less is more”.

Take your camera and focus your eyes on the fundamental stuff. Concentrate on simple compositions and let your creativity go wild.

Minimalist photography
Minimalist concept

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. But to be successful, you need to tell a story with simple objects.

As in other arts, you need a vision, and you have to see what others cannot see. So, let’s focus on simplicity and see how you can practice minimalist photography.

Things to consider as a minimalist photographer

First, 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 in order to improve your photography skills.

Search for minimalist photographers and get inspired by their work.

Simplicity is the key

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 photos 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.

Minimalist photography
Minimalist composition

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

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 to catch a meaning.

Minimalist photography
Symmetry in minimalism

If you want to learn a quick way to improve your composition, I advise you to learn the rule of thirds. Mastering this technique will give you visually appealing pictures, no matter what you’re photographing.

Isolate your subject

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.

Minimalist photography
Isolate your subject

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

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.

Minimalist photography
Negative space

Minimalism is about simplifying the background to bring your subject into the foreground.

To achieve the perfect negative space, you have to make sure that there is 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 by 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

I highly recommend black and white pictures in terms of minimalist photographs, but sometimes, it is much more interesting to play with colors and get contrasting hues.

Minimalist photography
Complementary colors

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 to experiment with shades and pay attention to the colors that complement each other.


Just like the colors complement each other, so do the textures. But do you know what would make minimalist photography more artistic? Mixing 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.

Minimalist photography
Minimalist textures

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

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.

Minimalist photography
Lines and shapes

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 abstraction, 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?

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.

Minimalist photography
Minimalist concept

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 scenarios.

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?

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.

Minimalist photography

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 photos?

What’s next?

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 will manage to get great perspectives.

People need to see your vision, and you have to show them what you are capable of.

Create an image gallery
Minimalist photography

It doesn’t hurt to have a community that appreciates your work and that you can exchange ideas with. 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

  • 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.

Final thoughts

Minimalist 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.

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.

Andreea Popa

Andreea is a blog manager at WPChill who spends most of her days writing and "polishing" articles. When she isn't writing, she's in the heart of the mountains, looking for peace and inspiration.

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