The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

This Is Not a Photography Blog

My friend Laura calls me a “Jill of all Trades.”

I think she means it as a compliment, but I’m not totally sure.

I do indeed have a menagerie of random skills that speak more to my A.D.D. than to any special prowess. Laura finds it mildly entertaining… my ability to use a toilet auger, sprout alfalfa seeds under my kitchen sink, repair a small engine, save a choking child, and knit a prayer shawl all on the same day. Sure, it looks good on paper, but you know what they say… “Jill of all trades, master of none.” That is me. Hi. I’m Jill.

I’ve always admired the people who can focus on one goal and hone one craft or skill. Like Laura and photography. This girl is seriously talented. And she’s living the dream… building her own photography biz on her own terms. You should book her now before she gets super famous and can’t fit you into her busy schedule.

As for me, photography isn’t really my thang. I have a Nikon D40 that my sweet husband bought for me a few years ago so I’d stop whining about missing every shot due to the long delay on the tiny little pocket Olympus I was borrowing from my 7 year old son. This past Christmas he bought me my first big-girl lens: an AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED. I have no idea what that means, but it takes real pretty pictures. Like this:

That’s my little girl, playing in the big snow last week in the cute-as-can-be kitty hat her Grandma bought her. I don’t know if this is what the pros call depth of field, but I love the soft gray background and all the different sized snow flakes.

I’m still trying to figure out how to work the dang zoom…

Ooops. Too close. How ’bout that booger just clinging to the nose hair in his left nostril?! Sorry hon.

Now this one turned out just right:

That’s Ike. He’s waiting for a meter reader to chew on. Look at his cute little gray beard. He takes after his mama.

I have so much to learn… like how to capture motion. Sometimes I can get a good shot:

But usually not:

That’s my youngest having oodles of fun with an empty 7-Up bottle. Please don’t tell all my relatives who sent him a metric ton of real toys for Christmas.

And don’t get me started on how much I need to learn about lighting and shadows.

Ouch… that just hurts. Look at his cute little face behind those dark window pane shadows. He was so proud of himself for trying a green smoothie that looked SO GROSS but tasted soooo good. Damn. That could have been such a cute photo if I spent less time making green smoothies and more time reading Photography for Dummies.

So, just wanted to put it out there that if you are looking for one of those Mommy Blogs with gorgeous, artful photography like The Pioneer Woman (my fave!), you are totally barking up the wrong tree. The most artful photo I ever took was when Ike ate that box of crayons… For the record, Laura took the lovely “before” photo of the crayons and I took the “after” photo of the rainbow colored doggie doo. Classy. I know.

Mostly I’m just a blissfully ignorant novice, which is par for the Jill of All Trades course. But once in a while, through the grace of God, I am in the right place, at the right time, with the right lens, and the camera on the right setting. And when that happens, I can see the light! Literally.

“I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven and remain upon him.”
– John 1:32

Can I get an Amen?!

Thanks for reading,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

12 comments on “This Is Not a Photography Blog

  1. The NDM
    January 17, 2011

    OMG – no, make that ZOMG – you are back . Huzzah!

    And stuff ‘Photography for Dummies’. You do just fine with your photographs. Who wants perfection when you can have it Iris-style?

    • The Bearded Iris
      January 20, 2011

      Aw shucks, mama. God bless the Internet, is alls I gots to say. “Iris-style”… can I borrow that?

  2. laura lee
    January 17, 2011

    heavens to jill, thanks so much! those pictures bonafide. those are some mighty cute youngins you got there.

    • The Bearded Iris
      January 20, 2011

      Thanks pumpkin. They take after their daddy…. whoever HE is. Kidding. Just kidding.

  3. MamaCloud
    January 17, 2011

    So glad your back…looking forward to making this a regular outlet for avoiding my housework once more…and inspired to committing to my own creative outlets again before i am just a giant milking cow…LITERALLY…Love you Iris and so grateful to share the trials of womanhood with such a fine thang like you…


    • The Bearded Iris
      January 20, 2011

      Right back atcha, Mama Cloud. Now hurry up and gestate that thing in time for Mojito season.

  4. merrilymarylee
    January 17, 2011

    I had no idea you had left Witness Protection! Welcome back.

    No way you can screw up pictures too much with models that cute. Even Ike.

    • The Bearded Iris
      January 20, 2011

      Thanks Mary! I’ve missed all your wit and wisdom! Will you adopt me? I promise I’ll behave.

  5. lulu
    January 17, 2011

    AMEN! 🙂

    Was just cyberchatting the other day with some friends and we were wondering how you were/where you were – and lookie here – u r back! Hot Dog! You look great – the kids look great – the pup looks so sweet – and your hubby gets a star! Love the pics – keep snapping!!:)

    • The Bearded Iris
      January 20, 2011

      Hi Lulu! So glad you found me again! The pup IS sweet… want him? He needs a woman like you who will appreciate his good looks.

  6. Jincey
    January 17, 2011

    I’ve missed you, Iris! Thanks for returning. Your blog will become a regular read (again).

    Your kidlets are beautiful. If your photos don’t do them justice, they must be even more beautiful. 🙂

    • The Bearded Iris
      January 20, 2011

      Thanks for coming back, Jincey! And for the sweet compliment about my babies!

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This entry was posted on January 17, 2011 by in Catholish, crafty, hairy, Jill of All Trades, not a professional photographer and tagged , , , , .
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