The Aesthetic of Minimalism within Portraiture

Photo Set featuring Tony O'neil 

In collaboration with @Endeavour_Clothing 

Shot in the Blue Mountains National Park, New South Wales, Australia

Emotion within portraiture, evoking emotion within portraiture and landscape photography is fundamental within the practice and essentially what all artists aspire to covey within their work. For me portraiture should always aim to build a relationship between the subject and the environment. Wether this relationship is direct or subtle doesn't necessarily matter, it is how the image will be perceived and interpreted though subjectivity that is central within it's meaning. I find this relationship incredibly interesting to work with, especially when focusing on two central factor's; the environment and the individual. 

Drama vs Neutrality, in the examples bellow one can see the way in which a dramatic aesthetic can be mixed with that of a very basic approach to portraiture. Following the simple rules of thirds and a central subject one can create some quite intense images of scale, especially when working with a dramatic natural landscape scene. All you have to do is experiment a little and play with the sense of scale within the scene. The easiest way to do this is to shift the way we see scale through changing the presentation of the central subject. One of the best methods to do so is to shoot an image in correlation to your post production work. Using the examples bellow one can see these methods placed into practice through the use of cropping, eliminating the immediate foreground in the image to create a sense of mystery within the stance of the central figure. You will be astonished at the effects that this simple process can have within your work, challenging subjective responses in terms of scale. In relation to this process my biggest tip is to always maintain a sense of space within the upper levels of the image. Be sure to avoid a clustered environment in this area of space, this can have dramatic effects upon the aesthetic/style you are trying to achieve, it is crucial to keep it simple. Simplicity is your biggest asset within this style. It is important for me when shooting in this style to formulate an idea of the image you want to create through post production before or whilst you are shooting. This will help a lot within making your vision a reality. I often shoot as close as possible to the crop which I am ultimately aiming to achieve but making sure to leave extra room for error and space for post production.

 Examples of prime backdrops often include clear sky's, dramatic cloud formations, the ocean and barren landscapes. These are just some of the most obvious environments one could use, however I do stress the importance of experimenting with these locations and making the images your own, challenge the normal. 

Within my images bellow I found the dramatic Hazard Reduction scene in valley prime to experiment with this style. I found it extremely compelling when exploring emotions surrounding the young male figure, I hope subjective responses dive deep into the emotions of this subject through senses of rebellion, heart break, aggression, doubt and a feeling of overwhelmingness.

I feel it is important for me to acknowledge my influences and inspirations within this aesthetic of photography. @KnivesandTheives is an incredible photographer largely practicing in this style of aesthetic, especially through portraiture and wedding photography. I definitely urge you to explore his portfolio when searching for influence in this area. 

Hope you enjoy the Photo Set bellow.