When I was in upper elementary school or just starting junior high, I can’t remember what year exactly, I entered a photo of our puppy running towards me in our backyard in the county fair. He was an adorable puppy and the photo caught him mid leap. It was a great photo. And after the judging I got the feedback “Pay attention to what’s in the background.” Which stung. The background was our patio and had a few patio things on it but even now I don’t think it detracted from the photo at all. And it’s not like I could tell the puppy to run at me from a different direction so I could compose the shot differently. I’m still slightly bitter about that judge. I have similar feelings for a judge in the Utah County fair about ten years ago who told me a close-up photo of water splashing in a fountain needed more details.
I pay a lot more attention to what’s in the background of my photos now. In fact, not wanting to step on toys and not wanting cluttered backgrounds in the photos I take (because I take a lot every day) are the main reasons why I try to keep a tidy house.
A less chaotic background also keeps my brain from getting too chaotic as well.
I rarely scrub the baseboards and dusting doesn’t happen all that often either. But I try to keep things in their place and horizontal surfaces as clean and organized as I can as well. We’ve had some small home repair things happening the last two weeks so several boxes from the garage are in our living room and our coat closet has had to be completely emptied for over a month now with those contents in the living room as well. It’s been a bit much for me. But today I vacuumed and swept all the floors and just getting that done made me feel a lot better about our currently overly cluttered living room.
The background isn’t the focal point for anything, but it can make a difference to what is.