I like to add depth to my images by adding a secondary element in the background. The background element acts as another layer in the construction of the image. It helps to make the photo about more than just the main subject. A secondary element pulls the eye past the primary subject and further into the image. So don't just look to avoid distractions in the background, use the background to elevate the image as a whole. The main subject still dominates the overall composition, while the secondary subjects gives the viewer a little something extra to look at. In this photo the eye slides past the foreground lotus to the out of focus one in the background. This image utilizes a favorite color combo of mine: pairing warm and cool colors.