To avoid the "shiny object" syndrome, I use a white posterboard as a backdrop in many of my blog photos. I first read this tip over at "Serenity Now! A Mommy's Solution To Staying Sane!" Brilliant!
I don't even have to tidy up before the shots- I just pull out the poster board and VOILLA!
Take a lookiloo:
There you have it, my big secret. My big tip! My big...oooh, what's that?