From the Bookshelf: A Beautiful Mess


It’s finally here! I just received my pre-ordered copy of “A Beautiful Mess Photo Inspiration Book” by the talented ladies at A Beautiful Mess. Coming from a photography background, I usually don’t buy “how to photography” books because I usually don’t get much out of them, but this time I decided to take a chance and I’m so glad I did. This book is absolutely beautiful and so easy to understand.

Who is this book for?

Emma and Elsie address that they created this book with bloggers in mind, but truly I think the book is best for anyone looking to take better photos. Specifically though, they write to people who already know a little about using their cameras, but need some help composing better shots. This means that grandma who can barely figure out her camera settings might need a 101 crash corse before taking on this book.

Why is it awesome?

It’s Friendly Advice, not a technical How to guide
This book is great because it’s very friendly and personable. They wrote it like they would give advice to a friend or colleague, which is both encouraging and non-intimidating to read. It’s not meant to be an all-encompassing book about photography. Instead of getting bogged down in the technical vocabulary of photography, they lay the book out by subject and give simple tips and tricks on how to take better photos. They still cover all the topics one would learn in a traditional basic photography class, but they break it down into laymen’s terms and focus only on the most important tips. 


It’s Rich With Examples
The book from cover to cover is just eye candy. I mean how could you NOT enjoy the beautifully laid out book packed full of their own photography. It’s truly inspiring and chalked full of visual ideas that you can even reference for your own work.


They Get Crafty
They offer you not only great advice on taking better photos, but they show you some great projects on how to USE those photos in creative ways. Living in Chicago, I have a brick wall in my apartment and it’s been bare for the longest time because we were too afraid to drill into it to mount shelves or photos and risk our deposit, so we did nothing. When I saw how they treated their brick wall by adding rows and rows of perfectly aligned square photos, I knew that we could do that on a budget, fill the space, and tell our story in the process.


You will learn a lot
Even if you come from a traditional background in photography, you are still bound to pick up something you haven’t thought of. And for those who have little experience in photo composition, you will learn a ton. My photography teacher in school made an analogy for us. He said there’s a difference between taking a “snapshot” and taking a “photo”. A snapshot is something you see in family photo albums, where the person is dead center, usually in front of some beautiful landscape  that is far away and it’s’ a bright day with really harsh shadows on their face. That’s a snapshot. A photo uses all the rules and principles of good lighting, composition, and camera settings to capture interesting and eye-catching stories. This book will teach you how to do the latter.