The one word you need to remember with minimalism is…simplicity. You want to keep your image as simple as possible. Find a place with a minimum of distraction and set up your portrait photoshoot. Use the following tips to help:
Tip One: Create a Composition
Once you’ve eliminated the distractions, you can start adding back in composition rules to create a memorable image. You’ll most definitely want to incorporate the rule of thirds, as well as leaving space for your child to look into.
Using a shallow depth of field is a good way to eliminate distractions in the background, putting the focus on your lovely child. Ensure that you have clear focus on the eyes (or your chosen focal point).
As a bonus, a shallow depth of field (with a larger aperture) lets you use a faster shutter speed, so you can let your kids move around a bit for some more candid images.
Tip Two: Use Color
When you’re eliminating everything “interesting” about a photo to create a minimalist portrait, you might need to add back in some interest. One method commonly used is to add a splash of color – with clothing, a hat, a scarf, etc. An alternative when your child is against a colorful background is to embrace white or a lack of color.
Tip Three: Incorporate More Composition Tricks
The simpler the image, the more tricks you’ll have to pull out of your bag to ensure that you create something memorable. You can use leading lines, natural framing, get in close, camera tilt, contrast, and the golden rule to try to create a dynamic combination of compositional tips for an unforgettable final product.
Tip Four: Create a Story
Have fun working with your child to create a story or narrative about their life – you could even go as far as to create a whole new narrative (or story), you just need some inspiration. You might not see the story until you’re halfway through your photoshoot, but it’s something to think about.
It can be really hard to embrace minimalist photography, particularly when it comes to children’s portraits, but once you do you’ll have a unique opportunity to “see” various compositional elements as you add them to your image.