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Guest Post: Photography Made Simple!

Today we have a guest post from none other than my hubby, Floyd. In addition to putting up with my day-to-day craziness (no small feat!), he’s also an amazing photojournalist for CNN and has his own photography website ( He is often the eyes behind many of my post’s photos and recently has been teaching me some tricks of the trade. Today he’s here to share some quick tips on how to make your photos stand out. You could say it’s photography made simple!

Back in the day when Megan and I were dating, her photos were always either chopping off my legs, out of focus, or over exposed. It took me a while to get up the nerve to tell her that she needed a ‘Floyd Photo 101’, but once she was armed with a few tips, her photos quickly improved. And taking better photos is easier than you may think. Here’s a few basic tips that will have you shooting like a pro in no time!

Easy Photography Tips for Beginners

Tip #1: Keep your subject out of the center. Now, I know your camera has a little circle or box for you to focus on in the middle, but once you have your focus, move your subject to the right or left in your frame, and then take your picture. This technique gives your subject a sense of direction and added perspective. In this photo, the hot-air balloon is the subject, but since it’s off-center, your eye wonders through the rest of the frame, almost looking to see where the balloon is floating off too. It also works well with people shots.

Tip #2: The “Rule of Thirds”. Well, it’s more of a guideline than a rule, actually. Basically it means the frame is divided into thirds both vertically and horizontally (like a tic-tac-toe board). You’ll want to put your subject in one of those slices. In this example, notice how the tombstone cross is off-center in the vertical, and in the horizontal, the sky, houses, and grass each fill up a third of the frame. You can use this with sunset/sunrise shots too, but make sure the horizon is either in the lower or upper third, never the middle!

Tip #3: Get Down! Seeing things from a perspective you don’t usually see makes a photo interesting. Look at this photo of our cat , Meatball. I’m at his level, rather than shooting him lying on the couch from above. Makes all the difference. This also is great when taking pics of children. Here’s a ‘Madison eye-view’ of the world.

Remember, the key to all of these tips is taking a picture of something in a way that your eye doesn’t normally see. Hopefully these simple techniques will help give you more ‘frame worthy’ shots from every vacation! Good luck and happy shooting! – Floyd

We hope you enjoyed Floyd’s take on photography made simple! For more family photo taking tips, check out the posts we shared below!

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This is not a sponsored post.


  1. Café Bellini - Beauty. Yoga. Kids. Life. says

    This is great! Thanks so much for the useful tips. And I love your cat!!

  2. Heather says

    thanks so much I am very keen on learning more about photography! I totally agree on the off centre guideline 🙂

  3. Christina Lee says

    GREAT tips. Keeping your subject out of the center threw me when I read it but it makes sense!!

  4. Andi says

    Great tips, thanks Floyd!
    I always put the subject smack dab in the middle, now I am going to work on moving it over a bit 🙂

  5. Lenore says

    This is so timely for me! I'm getting to know my digital camera a little better and every little tip helps.



  6. Kristen says

    This is so helpful to new beginners, or old beiginners who just purchased a Nikon D-3000 (like me)! Thanks a lot for the tips, they are always needed.

  7. Maddy says

    Thanks for the tips! I've been working on my photography skills recentlyand all these tips are tried and true! BTW – just visited your site! You have some awesome pics and the kind of stuff I would be interested in shooting 🙂 So tell us… how did you manage to get a "gig" with CNN???!!

  8. Eyeliah says

    wow! Great post, I appreciate these simple tips (would love a follow up post with more in the future too?) 🙂

  9. Salt says

    Wow he is SO talented!! Awesome post and tips! I'm hopefully getting a new camera soon so I can make the most of them. 🙂

  10. Allison says

    These tips are so appreciated, especially as I head to China on Thursday and will definitely need to take some fabulous pictures 🙂 Thank the hubs for me!

  11. living well says

    This is great! I'm certainly guilty of cutting off people's heads or legs in pictures – or worse, getting my finger in the picture!! I've been trying to be better and this is mucho helpful!

  12. Dancing Branflake says

    This is such a great post. I love what he said at the end about taking a picture of something in a way your eye doesn't normally see. Great advice all around!

  13. Marcie says

    I am in LOVE with this post. By far the most interesting and helpful one I've read all week. I am constantly trying to take more interesting photos, and these tips will really help me.


  14. Mademoiselle Frou-Frou says

    these are wonderful tips! i usually try to use these, but i'm still missing something to make my photos amazing…
    xoxo alison

  15. sandy says

    Being a photojournalist for CNN must be such an amazing job!! The pictures in this post and on the website are wonderful!!

  16. Laura@JourneyChic says

    These are great tips! Sometimes I take a great pictures, but I have no idea what I did to make it turn out great. I probably just landed on your tips by accident! Now I'll know what to look for.

    Love Meatball, BTW!

  17. ~dawn says

    This is so appropo! I was just writing my blog for tomorrow- I am starting a new feature with my soon-to-be 13 year old daughter's photography every Friday.
    I will make sure she reads these for sure… she wants to be a professional photographer so who better to get info from?

    Stopping by from SITS and thanking Kristin for stopping by my blog this week.

  18. Danielle says

    Thank you so much for your time and tips! I appreciate any photography tips I can get. Please keep 'em coming!

  19. shari @ little blue deer says

    Great tips! I am a horrible photographer, and I really, really want to get better. Really. It's kind of crazy to be a graphic artist and a crappy phtog! Thanks so much for posting, gorgeous pics!

  20. Diana Mieczan says

    This is so great! Thanks so much for those tips and this cat is soooooo cute!
    Ahh what a great post!

  21. Melissa B. says

    First off, Meatball is adorable, whether you're down on his level or not. Just sayin'. Thanks for the tips. Do you mind taking a gander at my daughter's photoblog? She's at MOO, and wants to "grow up" to become a pro. Thanks!

  22. Cheryl Lynn says

    This is a wonderfully informative and beautiful post. The pics are fantastic and the advice is creatively sound.


    Thanks so much for visiting my blog and leaving your sweet comments. Have a wonderful evening.

  23. Join the Gossip says

    those are so great tips. simple stuff that non-photogs (like myself) would never think of. great post!

  24. knk says

    wow thansk for great tips of photography
    i will definitely follow these these are very useful for beginner like me
    cool post

  25. The Empress says

    LOve the idea I can use: the subject off center.

    It makes all the difference.

    Thank you for this tutorial.

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