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How to Make Minimalist Photography Art

Minimalist photography became popular many years ago and has stayed with us for a long time. It is welcomed for a couple of reasons. First, the picture was clean and there were no extra distractions to distract the viewer. While the minimalist elements also simplifies the color on another level, the simple color matching makes the color have more impact in the picture.

minimalist architecture photography by Axel Breutigam

Minimalism is not a new thing, in any art form, including sculpture, painting and so on have the concept of minimalism. Although fewer elements, but this does not mean that minimalism is easy to manufacture. On the contrary, it more need you to use finite element to shape the content of the infinite space, on some level more embodies the art cultivation of a creator.

Since it is called minimalism, "Minimal" means extremely clean, no irrelevant things, elements in the photo should have its practical use. Even though we know it is difficult to achieve in the real world, wherever we look, there will inevitably be interruptions of one kind or another. Unless by post process, otherwise it is difficult to achieve real "minimalism".

So, how do we effectively shoot minimalism? It's probably something that every photographer who wants to shoot this kind of thing has to think about.

Geometrical Elements

minimalist architecture Photo by Kai C. Schwarzer

The pictures of minimalist photography are very simple, and the elements appearing in the pictures are points to attract the audience. When shooting, we can use points, lines and planes to build a minimalist picture.


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Firstly, the picture constructed by geometric elements such as points, lines and planes is very simple. Secondly, geometric elements can guide the audience's eyes and attract them.

Geometric elements such as points, lines, and planes are common in life, such as corners/ outlines of architectural objects, distant horizons, railings, guardrails and so on. These common geometric elements in life can be used as the main body of the picture to build the whole minimalist picture.

Melody by Fan Ho


The Colors here refers to two parts. One is using black and white, the other part is using colors for contrast.

Black and white are widely used in minimalist photography, about 60% of minimalist photography works on the internet are black and white.

Fan Ho, Approaching shadow

Since black and white interfere less with the photo than multicolor, switch a photo to black and white is conciser than it was.

Using different colors to create contrast can also make the picture more concise. If you use the right colors, you can not only make the picture look simple and bright, but also give it a certain mood.

Photo by Alberto Selvestrel

For colors, you should pay attention to two points. One is the number of colors, do not have too many colors in one photo, two or three colors is the most appropriate, beyond that will be messy. The second is color matching. You need to know how different colors work together, whether they create conflict or harmony.


Light and shadow are ultimate used in minimalist photography, they sketch a contrast of light and shade, enhance the perspectivity of picture. Sometimes in order to highlight the light and shadow effect of the picture, you can directly switch the picture to black and white, so that the picture will look more concise.

Jose Luis Barcia's minimalist street photography

Leaving Blank Space

A lot of blank space is the most effective way to take a minimalist photo. There is only the subject in the frame, and the rest is all blank space. If you don't know how to leave blank space, here's how: use the sky. Most of the minimalist photos we see use the sky as a background.

Holger Nimtz, Light and Shadow


So that's what we're going to share with you about minimalist photography. Two things to remember about minimalism: black and white, and the sky.


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