A Blurry Mess

For my birthday this year I got a DSLR camera. This one, to be specific. Even though I have no aspirations of becoming a professional photographer, and every professional photographer I know told me my iPhone was perfectly capable of taking every kind of photo I could ever want for my blog – I still wanted a DSLR. For one reason, mainly. I wanted to control the aperture.

mini photographer

Ha! Did I sound all photographer-y there?

I hope so because the truth is I don’t even know what aperture is. I only know that word because I had to google what the “A” setting meant on the main dial of my new camera (A stands for aperture, as it turns out) and the “A” setting is how you make the background of your photos really blurry.

As it also turns out, to make the background of your photos really REALLY blurry – you need a special lens, which costs $400, which apparently is not considered expensive in the camera world.

So I bought the special lens and you’re probably wondering – Seriously? Why?

Well let me tell you why.

First of all, when you blur the background of your photos they automatically look way better. It’s just a fact.

bobo choses sweatshirt

I know all the photographer-y types are like, UM NO. You need to have VISION and LIGHT and WHITE BALANCE. (I just threw that last one in there because it was the only other word I could remember from high school photography class).


But depth of field (that’s what it’s called when you make the background of the photo blurry) is like 90% of the battle. Vision and light and everything else account for the other 10%.

filzword sweater

Fine. That’s not true.

But it is true when you’re not really that good at photography so just go with it, ok?

higgins beach walk

Anyway, aside from making the photos look better there is one other reason why I really needed to be able to blur the background of my photos. And that reason is that my house is a disaster.


My kids are really cute a (am I allowed to say that?) but my house is just not. I try. Really hard. I painted the walls white and I bought 14 expensive rugs that got ruined one after the other by my kids dog husband. I even have some custom artwork and followed a Pinterest tutorial for turning $2 Ikea mirrors into copycat Pottery Barn frames. I replaced 3 windows at $575 a pop in an effort to make the bedrooms look prettier insulate the house and I traded my husband…errr…special favors in exchange for completely gutting and remodeling our bathroom.


And yet –

There is not one single room in the entire house where I can take a picture without it looking like we live in a daycare facility in the basement of a municipal building.

No matter how much I clean (I even hired cleaners!) or paint or shove my kids’ toys inside of Tupperware bins – it still looks like I actually live in my house.

shoe closet

I know what you’re thinking.

But Hannah – you DO actually live in your house. What’s the problem?

The problem is that I have a blog and blog readers don’t want to look at other people’s lived in houses. They want to look at these crisp white heavenly sanctuaries with high end high chairs and gold dipped whitewashed art tables that have never been used (because how are they white?!) and bookshelves that are just for show.

Photo by @HelloBabyBrown on Instagram
Photo by @HelloBabyBrown on Instagram

I mean don’t get me wrong – that room is my dream. But where are the boxes of broken crayons? Where are the crumpled up sticker books and winter gloves hanging up to dry? Where are the half-chewed dog toys and annoying little light up cars that always get stuck on the rug?

Photo by @JLGarvin on Instagram
Photo by @JLGarvin on Instagram

I mean I know these rooms are staged to some extent but there are REAL people who live in them. These are not photo studios. These are actual houses, that actual kids live in.

Where are the grape juice stains on the rug and the muddy boot prints on the couch? Where are the technicolor toys and permanent marker streaks down the wall?

There is no amount of staging or photoshop or Instagram filters that could make my house look like that.

So where did I go wrong? Do I need a new camera? How much do I have to pay for a lens that vacuums my carpet and un-spills my coffee?

Let me know when you find one – preferably one that’s available through Amazon Prime.

Until then, I’ll be sticking with the aperture strategy.


Isn’t my living room cute?


4 thoughts on “A Blurry Mess

  1. Your photos are beautiful. I never know about that blurry background trick. Now I have to figure out how to do it with my iPhone.

  2. There will be endless years for your house to be clean and you will be wishing for the little handprints and baskets of toys and Raffi music. You will NEVER regret the time and energy that you are putting into mothering (and recording it!) so keep on keeping on! Your legacy is proof enough that you are doing it right girl!

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