Our lives have become so complicated, so full of chaos, with so many demands placed upon us. Is it any wonder minimalism has become a full blown movement? There are tiny houses for minimalist living, capsule wardrobes for minimalist style, and today I’d like to throw in my own two cents and share with you my thoughts on minimalist photography.
What is a minimalist photograph? I think we can all agree that minimalism is simplistic and clean. Whether you’re talking about a painting, sculpture, architecture or the mid century modern furniture trend that swept the 1950’s. So, if we apply that to photography, it may look something like this:
These images are a direct reflection of my children’s personalities. The clean backgrounds send your eye to the subject without the use of conventional composition rules. So, if you’re a rule breaker, trying your hand at minimalist photographs may be up your alley!
Minimalist photographs don’t equate to black and white photographs. (although I just happen to love black and white!) You can see here that even with bright, vibrant colors, the cute couple above is still clearly the focal point of the image. Conversely, the negative space and neutral tones in the second image is actually somewhat calming. Given that the image was shot as part of a maternity session, a calming effect is exactly what I was going for.
Why I Love Minimalist Photography
To me, emotion is by far one of the things I most love about capturing minimalistic photographs and a classic portrait is a great way to do that. In fact, many of us produce minimalistic portraits without even meaning to. Minimalism lends itself very well to portraiture. With simple, plain backgrounds and a tighter crop, nothing distracts from the subject.
A minimalistic approach to photography is easier than you think. No matter where you are, look for plain backgrounds to shoot against. Sometimes, all you need to do is adjust your angle. Like all aspects of the minimalist movement, less is more. This includes wardrobe and props. Stripping away items that can be stripped away (like extra clothing layers) goes a long way in “decluttering” the shot. The end result will be a timeless photograph you’ll be proud to share.
Do you have any questions or comments for me about minimalist photography? Leave us a comment below - we would love to hear from you! And please share our tutorial using the social sharing buttons (we really appreciate it)!