How I am Learning to Take Better Pictures with my Camera


Well, I am constantly amazed at all the things I have learned since I started blogging 4 years ago.

I have learned more about my computer that I ever thought I would.  I can’t believe that I can actually read a small amount of html coding in my posts.  Who would have thunk it?

But the thing that I am happiest about learning since I started blogging is  how to take better pictures with my camera.

I have always been envious of my friends who are great photographers.  They always have adorable pictures of their kids on the wall.  Their kids are never blurred in their sports pictures.  They always capture that perfect moment.  Ugh.  Makes me sick.

But over the years, I have to admit that blogging has definitely forced me to improve my photography skills.

Here is a picture I took of a hutch I painted black four years ago.  It’s  not horrible, but it is not good either.

furniture makeover

I had NO idea what was doing.  I just took that picture with a point and shoot camera.  I wasn’t concerned with lighting or crispness, or anything else for that matter.  My walls in that room were yellow, but they look “ombre.”  Hey!  It was ME who started the ombre trend! Smile



Anyway, I got a DSLR camera about a year and a half ago, but I had no idea how to use it.  {I just knew all the big bloggers had them and made them look real cool at blog conferences.}   I knew I wasn’t supposed to use the flash, and preferably not the “auto”mode, but beyond that, I hadn’t a clue.

At a few blog conferences that I went to, I was so excited to go to the photography classes so I could learn to use my DSLR.  Sadly, it was all over my head, and I didn’t learn a thing.

Finally, I started understanding my camera a little bit better after Haven this past year.  Kevin and Josh from Shoot Fly Shoot did a session on Photography that really opened my eyes about how to use my camera!  I was thrilled!

I was even more excited when Kevin and Josh created video classes to help with learning how to use your camera.


I have already taken Photography 101, and I cannot believe how much my photography skills have improved.  I watched the videos the night before I took my pictures of my “sock cupcakes.”


The first picture I took using my flash like I used to, and the “after” picture is what I got after using the techniques I learned in the ShootFlyShoot Photography 101 class using manual mode.

I know they are not “Kevin-worthy” yet, and I still have room for improvement, but I really have come a long way in my picture taking skills.

Check out how I set my camera to make the front cupcake be in focus and the cupcakes in the back out of focus…

cupcakes 039

How cool is that?!

I loved how I had several comments on my post that day about how great my pictures were instead of how cute my craft was.  That means I am getting some where!


I am only getting better, y’all.  The best thing about the ShootFlyShoot video classes is that I can watch them over and over until I get it right.  The classes are downloaded on my computer.  Yay!

Now, Kevin and Josh have created a class called Photography 102.  It dives into photography skills even deeper. I cannot wait to take that class too.

Then maybe I will be able to take interior shots like Kevin…

Or I’ll be able to capture portrait shots like Josh…


Hey, I can dream, right?

Layla, Kevin’s wife, announced on her blog last week that they were now offering the new Photography 102 class.  They were running a special opening price on the new class.

I wasn’t sure if the sale was still running, so I texted Layla last night and she said they would be all day through Tuesday, February 12th.



So today is the last day to get their Photography 102 class for $49.00.



You can also get Photography 101 AND 102

for a discounted rate of $99.

They’re regularly $69 each,

but the $99 price will be permanent for those

who are interested in buying them both.

This is a DEAL, y’all!


If you have ever wanted to improve your photography skills, this is the best way ever.

I promise you will not be disappointed.

And if you are a blogger, one of the best ways to grow your blog is through better pictures in your posts.  I really think their classes are a must for bloggers.  That’s just my opinion though.

If you are interested in taking their classes, you can click on the button below, or in my sidebar.


Let me know what you think after you take the classes!



Disclosure:  I am an affiliate for ShootFlyShoot because their classes are the bomb, and I love spreading the word!  I will receive compensation if you purchase their classes through the buttons on my blog.  Thanks!


  1. I did notice how beautiful the pisc were of the cupcakes. In fact, I thought they were from a magazine or something. I’ve seen a definite improvement in your photography skills. I love your blog for many other reasons, so this is probably a bigger draw with new viewers. I know pis from some blogs I follow really influenced my decision to pay a return visit. Probably the biggest reason I’ll never be a blogger! CTD

  2. Hi Traci, I’m not a blogger but would like to improve quality of photos and would like to help my teenage daughter develop the skill. At this point we just have a small point and shoot camera. Do you have any recommendations regarding a DSLR camera (I don’t even know what that stands for) that would be good to get to take some classes, but not extravagantly expensive? Thanks so much!

  3. Love to have a DSLR camera for sure on my list to buy!! I guess I just don’t what camera to buy.. But what i really couldn’t believe I have the same China cabinet last year I painted ours a cream then used a little stain

  4. Thanks for the info Traci on the DSLR class. I signed up through your link – you better get the credit – I already know what ISO is! How exciting! I need to learn to use my camera before a trip to Ireland in April! I’ve had it for over a year at Christmas and have kept it on Auto since – wish me luck! Love your blog and your family and You! You are great! :)

  5. Well hmm… what is it about the pull of those fancy DSLRs that make me want to “join the club”… lol Sad part is that I have a fancy schmancy regular old style SLR with lenses from my college art school days.:) But who wants to mess with film nowadays? I haven’t been able to validate a DSLR, guess I’ll have to start saving. I have a nice point and shoot, but I long for better control over my photos again. That is awesome that there are tutorials and classes online now. Thanks for sharing!

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