I love bokeh in the background of pictures! Bokeh is the out of focus area or blur in the background of a picture. Lights are significantly affected by depth so you can create different effects by moving your subject closer and farther away from the background.

Bokeh Background

I removed my couch from my living room so I could use that space on the wall for my Christmas lights. I used colored Christmas lights for my backdrop. I originally planned to use white Christmas lights but found the colored ones first so I went with those. I think the colorful lights work well for children’s portraits.

DIY photography backdrop

I hung my Christmas lights from a rope but you could attach your lights to the wall with tape or tacks if you don’t mind holes in the wall. I closed the curtain on the nearest window to darken my background and make the lights pop. Generally you want more light in front of your subject, not behind.

I didn’t use any professional studio lighting in these photos so you could easily set this up in your house as long as you have enough natural light. I had a large amount of natural light coming in from 5 windows. In some of the photos, I also used my Neewer Pro CN-160 LED light for some even lighting on the face (since most of my light was coming in from the left) You can purchase one from Amazon very cheap but they are well worth the money.

Besides proper light, you need space!! The farther away you are, the bigger the bokeh.


In this photo you can tell my uncooperative model is very close to the backdrop.


In this photo, my little model is about 8 feet from the backdrop…


And in this photo my subject is about 12 feet from the backdrop. This background (to me) is much more ideal.

You’ll need plenty of distance between the subject and background and a wide aperture lens. I used an 85mm f/1.8 for all of these photos above.

Here’s 9 other photography backdrop ideas you could easily create for a fun photo shoot or a photo booth at a party!


Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by christmaslightsetc.com. All views and opinions are my own.