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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’s 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. ~ Megan

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!
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

p.s. Don’t forget that today is the last day to enter our embellished tee or hoodie giveaway!

  • Café Bellini - Beauty. Yoga. Kids. Life.

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

    May 13, 2010 at 6:08 am Reply
  • Heather

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

    May 13, 2010 at 6:48 am Reply
  • Christina Lee

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

    May 13, 2010 at 6:56 am Reply
  • jackie fo

    Great tips! Thanks Megan and Floyd!

    May 13, 2010 at 7:18 am Reply
  • Andi

    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 🙂

    May 13, 2010 at 7:41 am Reply
  • Cheryl Clarke

    this is great. i took a photo class in college, and was taught about the rule of thirds and keeping the main image out of the center of the photo. thanks for reminding me of these great photo-taking tips!

    May 13, 2010 at 7:47 am Reply
  • Megan (Best of Fates)

    Thanks for the tips – I can always use help with my photography!

    May 13, 2010 at 8:32 am Reply
  • Melanie

    This is an amazing post! Thanks so, so much for the tips!

    Melanie@Unravelled Threads

    May 13, 2010 at 8:38 am Reply
  • Lenore

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



    May 13, 2010 at 8:38 am Reply
  • Scientific Housewife

    Great tips, I need to keep those in mind!

    May 13, 2010 at 8:51 am Reply
  • Kristen

    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.

    May 13, 2010 at 9:18 am Reply
  • Maddy

    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???!!

    May 13, 2010 at 9:29 am Reply
  • Betty

    Thank you! Great tips! Very helpful!
    Betty xx

    May 13, 2010 at 9:32 am Reply
  • Marie Z.

    This was a great post! Thank your hubby for the tips : )

    May 13, 2010 at 9:44 am Reply
  • Eyeliah

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

    May 13, 2010 at 9:47 am Reply
  • Erin @ SYL: Slipcover Your Life

    I think we can always use more photography tips (least most of us can!)

    May 13, 2010 at 9:48 am Reply
  • SogniSorrisi

    What great tips. Thanks!

    May 13, 2010 at 9:53 am Reply
  • brlracincwgrl

    Thank you so much for the tips! They were very useful!

    May 13, 2010 at 10:20 am Reply
  • Salt

    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. 🙂

    May 13, 2010 at 10:44 am Reply
  • Mande

    Thank you!! These tips are fabulous. What a cool team at Bon Bon Rose. Love to read this blog daily. xo

    May 13, 2010 at 10:58 am Reply
  • Allison

    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!

    May 13, 2010 at 11:19 am Reply
  • living well

    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!

    May 13, 2010 at 11:21 am Reply
  • Melissa Miller

    Gorgeous! Love the kitty. 🙂

    May 13, 2010 at 11:21 am Reply
  • Dancing Branflake

    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!

    May 13, 2010 at 11:39 am Reply
  • Tights Lover

    All very good to know. Maybe now I won't be such a horrendous photo-taker!

    May 13, 2010 at 11:47 am Reply
  • LaLa

    what great shots!! I love them the last one is my fav of course! 🙂

    May 13, 2010 at 11:52 am Reply
  • Marcie

    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.


    May 13, 2010 at 12:00 pm Reply
  • Mademoiselle Frou-Frou

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

    May 13, 2010 at 12:52 pm Reply
  • sandy

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

    May 13, 2010 at 1:30 pm Reply
  • Shelley

    Those are great tips! It makes me want to go out and take some pictures!!

    May 13, 2010 at 1:35 pm Reply
  • Jaime @ La vie...J'aime

    These are really great tips.. I love the cat picture too! 🙂

    May 13, 2010 at 1:42 pm Reply
  • Laura@JourneyChic

    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!

    May 13, 2010 at 2:00 pm Reply
  • Traci

    Thanks so much for the tips. I'd love to see more!!!

    May 13, 2010 at 2:11 pm Reply
  • ~dawn

    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.

    May 13, 2010 at 2:12 pm Reply
  • lisa

    These tips are so basic but they really do go a long way in improving photos. Thanks for the post!

    May 13, 2010 at 2:19 pm Reply
  • ParisiannSkies

    very good tips!! x

    May 13, 2010 at 2:26 pm Reply
  • junghwa by amy stewart

    Oh! I loved this. Great tips. 🙂

    May 13, 2010 at 2:41 pm Reply
  • Danielle

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

    May 13, 2010 at 3:13 pm Reply
  • Diana

    great tips!

    May 13, 2010 at 3:36 pm Reply
  • BonjourRomance

    Thanks for these great tips Floyd. I need all the help I can get!

    May 13, 2010 at 4:15 pm Reply
  • shari @ little blue deer

    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!

    May 13, 2010 at 4:30 pm Reply
  • Diana Mieczan

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

    May 13, 2010 at 4:31 pm Reply
  • The Blonde Duck

    Great tips!

    May 13, 2010 at 5:02 pm Reply
  • drollgirl

    photo tips are always appreciated! so thank you!

    May 13, 2010 at 5:12 pm Reply
  • Jamie

    Great tips and beautiful pictures!

    Thanks for stopping by and making my SITS day so awesome!

    May 13, 2010 at 5:28 pm Reply
  • Melissa B.

    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!

    May 13, 2010 at 8:10 pm Reply
  • Clare

    These tips are awesome. As are the photos! xoxoxo

    May 13, 2010 at 8:27 pm Reply
  • Josie

    My photos always turn out HORRENDOUSLY, so these tips are a huge help — thanks Floyd!
    xxoo Josie

    May 13, 2010 at 8:30 pm Reply
  • The Only Girl

    Great tips – thanks!

    May 13, 2010 at 9:35 pm Reply
  • Sara @ Domestically Challenged

    Simple, easy, perfect! Thanks ladies!

    May 13, 2010 at 9:39 pm Reply
  • Cheryl Lynn

    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.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:02 pm Reply
  • Hilary

    Good advice.. thanks. I have to admit that I never think of these things.. I just shoot what I like.

    May 13, 2010 at 10:41 pm Reply

    thanks for sharing the photo tips. i still suck myself taking good ones. keep up with the good finds!



    May 13, 2010 at 11:16 pm Reply
  • Chessa!

    GREAT tips! so fun and easy:) great for beginners and a good reminder for pros:)

    May 13, 2010 at 11:34 pm Reply
  • Join the Gossip

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

    May 13, 2010 at 11:52 pm Reply
  • hi-d

    Cool tips. How cool to have a photojournalist giving us some pointers. 🙂 thanks!

    May 14, 2010 at 12:30 am Reply
  • WendyB

    I'll have to make MrB read this.

    May 14, 2010 at 12:50 am Reply
  • knk

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

    May 14, 2010 at 2:06 am Reply
  • Susu Paris Chic

    With blogging, I'm loving photography more and more… Lovely shots!

    May 14, 2010 at 2:16 am Reply
  • Alicia

    so cool!! thanks for all of the awesome tips!!

    May 14, 2010 at 2:17 am Reply
  • Bug

    Wow, great tips. I found them very useful. He does a great job. I bet its exciting to have such neat pics!

    May 14, 2010 at 2:34 am Reply
  • Mindey

    Cool! Thanks for great tips 🙂

    May 14, 2010 at 4:53 am Reply
  • kumar

    thanks alot these are great tips

    May 14, 2010 at 5:44 am Reply
  • Cassie

    Great tips!

    May 14, 2010 at 12:15 pm Reply
  • Alicia

    such great photography tips! loved this post!!

    May 14, 2010 at 6:02 pm Reply
  • The Empress

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

    It makes all the difference.

    Thank you for this tutorial.

    May 14, 2010 at 8:21 pm Reply

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