Ever since our inception back in September 2016 , we’ve had our eye on the minimalist work of Mohamad Hiedayyat and we’re really excited to be able to share a special behind the scenes look at a typical shoot set-up from @absolutemono.

Behind the Scenes
Mohamad Hiedayyat – @absolutemono

Minimalism is a very subjective form of photography. It is a style that is characterised by extreme bare space and simplicity. By developing my style over time, I’ve noticed the incredible effect minimalism has had on my photos.

My world of toy photography starts in my room. Things I use for my photoshoot are HTC10, black or white cardboard, toy figurine(s) and most importantly, lighting. I’m a natural light seeker; my photos are taken next to a window where I use the light source to my advantage.


My Set-up

My work’s end result is done using a phone app called Snapseed. This photo editing app is convenient, fast and easy to use! Even though it is a simple app to edit my photos, I have discovered a lot of ways to improve my photos through trial and error.

Lately, I’ve been taking a lot of photos of threeA figures @worldof3a. This was introduced by my fellow IG friend Kelvin @imakelv and heavily inspired by other IG users; Jerald @foreignparticle and Thong @frutiger.  Thanks to them, I’m now a big fan of threeA. In fact, I have specially got a threeA figurine for this Exclu Collective behind-the-scenes (bts) feature.


For start, keep the composition simple. The use of negative space is an integral part of minimalist photography.  A well placed subject doesn’t have to be large to create an impact. My recommendation is to make those decisions in camera instead of cropping unwanted distractions during post processing. A clever use of depth of field will also isolate your subject from the background by shooting with an aperture as wide as your lens will allow. This is not a problem for current hand phone cameras as most have this inbuilt capabilities which explains my preference in using my phone instead of the conventional professional camera.



Next, a bright color or contrasting colors make great minimalist subjects. The same applies to textures. The viewer should be able to almost feel the texture. Sometimes it’s all about finding a creative angle to make the photograph. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Shoot straight on, shoot high or low and work your frame until you get the shot that will speak to you. Other point to add is, I usually increase my exposure for white background and vice versa for black background.

Screenshot images shows the development of the photo with the tools used. What I wanted to achieve is a black and white noir-like effect which focuses on the subject’s face. Tools like ‘Drama’, ‘Selective’ and ‘Vignette’ help to darken the image. ‘Lens Blur’ helps to focus on the subject’s face. Using tools like ‘Details’ and ‘Tune Image’ will sharpen and enhance the image. With much practice and experimenting, I’m sure you can master using this awesome app!


My perspective on minimalism showcases a dull mono background space with a toy figurine as subject. The subject although small, becomes the focal point of the image. Yet, it is the dull background that draws me to make the shot. This and other elements such as symmetry, lines and shadows all play a vital part in making the photograph alive.

Thank you Jack Sturman @exclucollective for this amazing opportunity to feature my interest in minimalistic toy photography.


Instagram @absolutemono

Our toy photography community is vast and near-endless with its depth of variety from art toys to articulation figures and pyro-shots to character portraits as this insight from Mohamad shows. A huge thank you to @absolutemono for compiling all the content for this feature and giving us a look at how minimal equipment can be used to great effect.

Last modified: March 26, 2017

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