Photography 101

Hello, Scatterbrain Fans,

My name is Laura and I blog over at! I recently found Caitlin’s wonderful blog this past spring and was so excited to find out that she lives in the great state of Minnesota, just like me!


I am a graphic designer by day and blogger by night. I started blogging as a creative outlet and was surprised to find out how much I enjoy it! My blog started out as a design blog but has gradually transformed into a random, lifestyle blog. Topics range from wedding planning, fitness, recipes, design/photography, and random bits and pieces of my daily life.


As a guest on Caitlin’s blog, I thought I’d share some photography tips for new bloggers. Photography is a hobby of mine and I am by no means an expert; however, I have picked up a few tricks of the trade over the years.

1. Don’t get discouraged. I used to think "Oh, I shouldn’t even try photography because I will never be good enough! My photos never turn out like so and so’s…" Stop right there! Don’t bash yourself before you even try. Want to know a secret? I’ll bet you that my photographs look a lot like yours before I edit them.

Yep, every image is edited in good old Photoshop before it hits my blog. Sure, you can take great photos but if you really want to make them pop–you’ll want to edit them since cameras have limitations and can’t capture something as great as your eye sees it.



Here are two of my photos; the image on the left is raw, while the one on the right is edited. See how much it pops after touching it up a bit?

See, I bet you’re feeling better already!


2. Don’t think that you need to go out and buy a huge expensive camera that you have no clue how to operate. 90 percent of the photos that you see on my blog are shot using a Sony Cyber-Shot point and shoot camera. I save my big, bulky Nikon for things like scenic trips and artsy-farsty shots. Let’s face it–a big camera is a huge investment and it is not fun to carry around in your purse. Believe me, I’ve done it–and it is heavy and annoying.

3. Avoid using the flash while taking photos. You may think that the flash will enhance your photo but in reality, it takes away from your picture. Built-in flashes cause things to appear way too bright and unrealistic. Your best bet is natural lighting since lamps and lightbulbs tend to give a yellowish glow to images. Whenever I can’t avoid taking a picture inside, I always edit it to balance out the colors and remove the yellowish cast that it has to it. See how my flash in the above photo made the strawberry super bright and unrealistic in comparison to the super dark background?

4. Take a look at your photo as a whole before you release the shutter button. Are there distracting items in the background? Remove them and tidy up a bit–taking a picture of your lunch is awesome, but the enjoyment factor drastically decreases when we can see your garbage can in the background. See how much more appetizing the same salad looks when I photographed it in natural light and added a few props that I had on hand such as salad dressing, bread, and a cloth napkin? I also blurred the background a bit to make my focal point pop without competing with the distracting background for attention.

5. Want to know one of the best tricks? Don’t center your image. I like to have my focal point be on one of the sides or at an angle–it adds more interest and spark to an otherwise boring photo. Try standing on a chair and shooting downward or laying on the floor and shooting up for a fresh perspective. Leading lines in a photo also increase visual interest. Look for lines that lead your eye to the object to give it an extra punch.

That wasn’t so bad, was it? It is easy to step up your photography with just a few simple steps! If you have any questions about photography, please feel free to contact me or stop by my blog!

A big thanks to Caitlin for letting me steal the stage for the day!


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