Simply Beautiful: Minimalist Photography at MIT

Seeing, in the finest broadest sense, means using your senses, your intellect and your emotions. It means looking beyond the labels of things and discovering the remarkable world around you. Freeman Patterson.

We know the mundane can be magical but often fail to capture the essence of the moment. To help you see the essence and create the essential, in this workshop we will adopt the mindset of a minimalist.

This field trip is open to all levels. You can leave your camera on Auto if you want to since we will be focusing on composition and creative seeing to simplify our images.


Simplicity is the secret of creating a minimalist masterpiece. In my book Flow-tography, I introduce Simplicity as one of the 8 UNIVERSAL ARCHETYPES of BEAUTY we respond to as human beings. Each of us, as photographers has a nature type of beauty we are drawn to. If Simplicity is something that you enjoy, this workshop is for you. We will cut out the clutter and create clean, clear, simple shots.

A minimalist is masterful at evoking an emotional response or providing an engagingexperience using a minimum of visual elements. In minimalist photography, less is more. You must be ruthless in your decisions about what to include in the image. You must strip your image down the the bare bones of what makes it what it is. Everything that might distract the viewer must be taken away.

Photo by Instructor Suzanne Merritt Pure color in the light.

Simplicity is not as easy to accomplish as it sounds. Sometimes less is less. I mean the image can just be boring. So how do you create a minimalist image that is engaging? Composition is key. It is the relationships between the elements you chose to include that makes the difference between boring and brilliant.

With a complex structure like this building at MIT, how do you select small details to tell the whole story? Join us to find out how. Even if you are not an enthusiast of minimalism, this workshop will help any sort of photography you do enjoy. It will help you become more observant, notice nuance and detail, and get crystal clear about you composition decisions.

Three skills we will play with:

• Limiting the number of visual elements in an image to no more than three.

• Using geometric shapes to construct our compositions

• Challenging assumptions so we can see with a fresh eye.

• Understand how to create balance and power.  

There will be a series of step by step assignments to help you build your skills. You will also received individual coaching since I keep the class size very small.

Best of all, it is a type of photography that gives us a break from the visual frenzy and chaotic pace of this time of year. WE are bombarded with visual stimulation every moment of the day. So in this class we will really slow down, and just focus on a few simple things. You will take fewer photos during this class but they will be of higher quality.

About your instructor: Suzanne Merritt is a master level instructor with a studio at the Boston Center for the Arts. She has led workshops on beauty, photography, and creativity in Asia, Europe and the United States for the past 20 years. She was the founder of the Polaroid Creativity Lab and in 2016 opened The Curious Soul Photo School in Boston MA. She is the organizer of the Take Better Pictures Meetup group and has led over 200 meetup workshops. Suzanne provides step by step instructions as well as handouts so you can practice the techniques you learn again after class. The photography learning tools she provides make it easy and fun to learn how to take better pictures no matter what your skill level may be

All levels welcome. You could even work with an iPhone if that is all you have at this time. The focus of this workshop is on stillness, quiet, and seeing creatively. Let's take advantage of the continued good weather and get out there!

As always, I will be keeping the class size small so please reserve your space today if you are interested in this topic. We are starting right next to a cafe so you can have coffee while I introduce this topic.


Closest T stop is Kendall Square on the Red Line