It's called "bokeh." Bokeh is a Japanese term for the subjective aesthetic quality of
out-of-focus areas of a photographic image (the flag above has that burry, bokeh, drawing your eye more to the subject of the photo).
How do you to it? It's not that hard. Most cameras have shooting modes (P,A,M,S). If you are shooting in P (Program), switch up to A (Aperture). Move your subject closer to the camera, making certain that there is a great deal of distance between the subject and the background. Then shoot. It's pretty simple.
Just a simple note: All techniques take practice. There's a learning curve, and there are plenty of resources to draw upon. And if you are a visual learner, just go to YouTube and find a great tutorial on bokeh. I've listed one for you at the end of the post. Easy enough.
Stay with us and we will teach you how to shoot like a pro this year! Happy shooting in 2013. Oh, and a footnote... my hubby was the model for this picture for a bokeh competition (the image won!). Thanks Dave!