Updated: Nov 28, 2022
What Is minimalistic Photography?
Minimalist photography is a form of photography that is distinguished by extreme simplicity. It emphasizes spareness and focuses merely on the smallest number of objects in the composition process.
fot. by Anna Janecka
What are the 6 Important elements in minimalist photography?
Minimalist photographs have secret power and magic hidden behind each capture.
Minimalist photography focuses on simplicity and its artistic style can be ideally shown by affirmative "less is more."
Here are six elements of minimalist photography to think about as you create your powerfully simple frames:
Keeping it simple doesn’t mean keeping it boring.
2. Negative space
It's the element that determines how freely the eye moves around the image. Negative space can be smooth, textured and/or coloured. Take a look around you, all around us there is plenty of negative space. eg.: a sky, a calm lake or a field covered by snow.
3. Powerful composition
Composition matters in minimalism photography a lot. Placement of the subject creates how our eyes read the image. Viewers' eyes are going to swirl around, looking for a hero in the image, and do it over and over again until they lose interest. It's crucial to use a proper composition, to avoid it.
The frame contains so little, so it’s important to remember the nature of the subject. The subject can be isolated by a lonely tree in a field or a bird on a wire. Eliminating all unwanted distractions from the scene, let the viewer connect with the subject.
Colour can give the image a real wow effect, once properly used. A simple pop of colour can be an element that draws the eye. It's important to remember that negative space shouldn't compete with, but complement the use of colour.
6. Lines and shapes
Leading lines guide the eyes through an image and can contribute to the viewer’s sense of isolation, separation, distance, and scale.
minimalist food photography
In food photography, minimalist means focusing on the food or drink itself and not supporting props to tell a story.
Minimal images are the best way to exercise food styling and focus on the details of your work. They’re just perfect for pushing your creative storytelling to work with one or only a few objects to create a perfect, strong scene.
Minimalist food photography might not be everyone’s style, but it's definitely worth trying.
What you can practice and explore with minimalist photography.
Understanding the colour theory and the colour wheel is crucial knowledge to bring your food photography to the next level. You can master this skill in minimalist food photography where a lot of the colouring in the image is found in the food, food ingredients or garnishes. You can also experiment with different colour palettes creating a scene with the same subject.
The photos below show how the same chocolate muffin looks different in a bright and dark scene. By changing the colours of your scene, you can tell totally different story and show different aspects of the food you are shooting.
By the texture, you can really achieve a “wow” effect in your image. Minimalist photography can be outstanding and beautiful. As I mentioned before, the hero is the food you capture, so find fresh produce or dish where you can highlight the texture and as a result show absolutely gorgeous capture.
Light is one of the most important factors in photography, not only in food photography. If you master lighting you can make the most minimal scene look interesting and eye-catching.
Don't be afraid to experiment with light. Changing the position of light allows you to observe how your subject looks with each of the light sources and angles of the light.
In the examples below, you can observe how differently look the same drink with the side and back artificial light, but also with natural light sources.
Props in food photography are important, doesn't have to be expensive, and you don't need to have a huge collection, but should be well chosen for each scene.
There aren't “bad” or “good,” props as a general rule. I recently fall in love with colourful props or even little reflective plates. Everything depends on how confident you feel about your skills and the photos you create.
However, when we talk about minimal photography, there is no need to use a lot of props, it's all about the food.
The motion/movement shot looks great in a minimal set-up. If you struggle with this type of photography, now you can practice it more. All the viewers' eyes will focus on an action you want to show.
You can show a beautiful pour or a spectacular splash, but also catch a glamour smoke or sparkle.
Be creative! A minimalist scene it's a beautiful way to show vibrant colours, gorgeous texture, a simple yet eye-catchy composition or a spectacular motion scene.
If you have any questions or struggle with any subject, send me a DM on my Instagram or email me. I will do my best to answer and help.