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Minimalist Photography

Lesson 17 of 27

Location Session - Sled Dog Portrait

Curtis Jones

Minimalist Photography

Curtis Jones

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Lesson Info

17. Location Session - Sled Dog Portrait
In this lesson Curtis takes you along to photograph one of his favorite Arctic subjects, the Inuit Sled Dog.

Lesson Info

Location Session - Sled Dog Portrait

Yeah. Mm. Yeah. Mm. Mhm mm mm mm mm. Yeah. Yeah. Mm mm. Yeah. Yeah. What a better place to start a conversation about minimalism than out on the frozen snowy bay, just outside of a Halloween nunavut's baffin island up in Canada here in the arctic. And I've been waiting a few days actually for these conditions. These are perfect conditions and a great time to talk about. Uh one of my my favorite ways to shoot minimalistic image is simple images with lots of clean space and that is just to embrace um atmosphere. So what we have up here today is a lot of snow. It's pretty overcast, white on white. So that's really gonna make anything that we want to draw. The viewer's eye to the subject really pop. And it does a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to reducing clutter and noise and distractions and an image producing almost like straight out of camera point your camera anywhere kind of minimalist photos that said, creating a very strong image in these conditions can be tricky and more d...

ifficult because everything kind of looks like a simple photo. Ah you know, when it gets this minimal on this strip down, it can borderline become boring or un engaging. So we're going to try to take some images here today in a minimalist style embracing the atmosphere, which I feel like is one of the biggest ways or best ways I should say, to kick start your minimalist photo career. Go find fog, Go find overcast days, go find snowy days. Blue sky days can work too. But if you really want to keep it simple at first and get like those easy winds, find snow, find fog, find overcast days and embrace them and try to create some strong uh simple minimalist photos. Fix my little laugh, my cure fix my hat. Got to get the hat right? Yeah. Hey guys, so we've got atmosphere, we've got the environment that's going to help us out here with this simple photo, This minimalist photo now, we just need an interesting subject to really pop in the scene and one of my favorite things to shoot up here, and one of the main reasons I keep coming back uh is the sled dog. The sled dog, Canadian sled dog goes by a couple different names, but these guys are gorgeous, gorgeous animals. They're super, super nice to shoot, they make great subjects up here against these northern snowy conditions. Uh this is literally their backyard and so we're gonna try and see if we can capture a few portraits, maybe a couple more environmental styled dog portraits, for lack of a better word, we did get just a fresh, fresh snowfall. Um these guys are excited. We did just get a fresh snowfall. So the dog yard sometimes can be a little cluttered, a little messy. Uh This is gonna help um and help reduce any kind of clean up we do and post as well. Might get lucky, we might get some Ravens coming in on the action which also is is great for just adding a little more attention or or interest in our in our scene. Uh So let's get to work, let's see what we can do with the sled dogs on this gorgeous snowy day. Mhm. Yeah. Mhm mm. Yeah.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers. 


  • Understand and apply the fundamentals of creating strong minimalist compositions.
  • Use negative space with intention. Establish mood, control balance in your frame, and elevate your subject from the visual clutter.
  • Avoid common traps that can lead to flat or boring minimalist images.
  • Explore how much information to keep and how much to take away from the image before it loses impact.
  • Understand common gear and technique choices that complement the minimalist style.


Do you ever wonder why certain photographs linger with the viewer long after they see them? Why sometimes the smallest point of interest makes the biggest impression? How so much “nothing” can feel so compelling in a scene? Minimalism photography techniques can add a powerful storytelling element to any genre, they can evoke emotion, and bring balance to your frame. Using Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic as his backdrop, this class will outline Curtis’s approach to creating stronger images with a minimalist mindset.

Learn to use the creative techniques of minimalism to intentionally account for every inch of your frame. Discover how to minimize clutter, work with negative space, and master visual balance to boost the overall impact of your compositions. Working in a clean visual style students will learn to look for strong anchors, shapes, and lines while eliminating visual distractions. Curtis will share his experiences and images from some of the world’s most remote destinations to help kick-start your journey toward simplified, cleaner photographs that capture the essence of our world.


  • Beginner and intermediate photographers interested in outdoor and landscape photography.
  • Photographers who want to understand and create with elements of minimalism to help capture the strength and essence of your subject.
  • Photographers looking to create cleaner, simplified images that leave an impact on the viewer.


Adobe Lightroom Classic (8.4.1)
Adobe Photoshop CC (20.0.8)

Ratings and Reviews

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This is a brilliant course which I can highly recommend. I have done some Minimalist photography but still found the lessons very interesting. I enjoyed the discussion on colour vs. B&W. My favourite part was to learn how long it takes to plan a shoot, wait for the right conditions, even change the subject if the initial idea doesn't work and see the other images taken during the shoot before (or after) the final image. The presentation is excellent - love the cat :-).

Bradley Wari

Great Job! Great course! loved the bloopers, had a few laughs. I really enjoyed how he showed a little of how he worked the scene of a few of his images. showing multiple images and how he got to THE shot.

Deb Williams

Great class, good length and easy to follow along. A fantastic way to challenge yourself to look at composition differently and a course full of useful tips to try out.