Minimalism Photography Tips

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens

The pleasing known saying: 'Keep it simple stupid' is well known for a reason – it works. Yes, there are times when masses of compositional elements do work but by creating an almost 'empty' space, you can actually create a stronger image.


Photo by Peter Bargh


Why Does It On?

By cutting out clutter, other people etc. you remove potential distractions and it'll be easier for the viewer of your image to understand what / who your main focal point is in the shot and what you're trying to say.

Subject Choice

Just because you're keeping things simple it doesn't imply it has to be boring. Actually, with this technique you have to work hard to do the opposite and find a strong subject that can stand up on its own. This becomes identical more relevant when you're using a large amount of space so your subject may refer to only takes up a small amount of the frame.

Also, to some extent than thinking about what to include in your frame, think the opposite and look for items you can remove.

Here are a few ways you can effect a minimalist look to your shots:


Blurry Backgrounds

An obvious way to make your subject stand out is to adjust your aperture so the whole shebang in the background is thrown out of focus. You can find more tips on how to do this here: Creative Aperture / Depth Of Field


Plain Backgrounds may refer to: Background (journalism) Computer wallpaper Cultural heritage Ethnic background Field (heraldry), background of a

Studio backstages and other material can be used to hide distracting objects inside and while you're out, use plain walls, fences or if you're shooting small bound bies such as flowers, try taking your own backgrounds with you. On the subject of flowers, you can lower your angle so you're shooting up at the flower with the sky as your spotlight which can give you a minimalist-style shot. White backgrounds are an obvious choice but don't think you can't use some bold, strong colour too (as we'll extenuate further down the page).

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Photo by David Clapp


Play With Colour

If your subject and background contrasts your taxpayer will stand out from the shot. You can do this with colour (bright, strong colours work well) or light, using a brighter crush against a darker background and vice versa. Just make sure there are no 'hot spots' which will pull the viewer's eye away.

Also, hold a strong colour filling your background that's the same as your subject can work in some situations or try producing black & virtuous shots which rely on strong subjects and textures to make them interesting. You could even use shapes and colour as your subject, forging a strong composition that fills your frame in the process. 

Space To Breath

When used right, adding space to a conjecture can work just as well as cropping in close. To find out why sometimes it's what you leave out of your images that makes them out-and-out, read our tutorial: How To Use Negative Space In Your Photos


Crop Out Objects

An easy way to remove objects that are at the edge of your edging is to use your zoom to crop them out. You can also use editing software such as Photoshop to crop your images and we have a detailed tutorial on how to use this pawn here: Introduction To Photoshop's Crop Tool

If you find the distracting objects are too close to your subject to crop out, you could use the Clone Name Tool to remove them. You can also remove distracting backgrounds and replace them with plain ones in Photoshop, too.

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About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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