DIY Easy Christmas Lights Background


You may recognize this image set up because it has gone viral on Pinterest!  I am happy to see it can inspire all of you 🙂 Feel free to share with me your set up or any ideas you may have!

From the comments I have read from other pinners, you can do something similar for any type of season! Just be creative. But since the Holidays are sooo close and I know a lot of people love easy DIY stuff, I wanted to share it again with all of you 🙂 BE inspired.

Equipment used:

DSLR Camera (Canon 5D MII)
50mm 1.4 Canon Lens
What I did:

*I grabbed my old outdoor christmas lights and literally taped them to the wall (using clear tape) with the help of my friends.

*Used a fluffy (soft) blanket and placed the ornaments randomly on the bed.

*The baby was about  6-8 feet in front of the lights background. I was approximately 2-3 feet in front of him.

*His aunt was right next to him, holding the canvases (I did not had a reflector, so this worked perfectly, you can use anything white to reflect the light back at your subject).

*His mom stood right next to me, getting his attention 🙂

*To make sure the background was “blurry” I used a big aperture.

*Didn’t use any other source of lighting, only natural light coming from the two windows in my guest room. This was shot around 1pm.



This beautiful image was using the same set up and hanging some ornaments! (taped them to the ceiling, using a very good quality tape so they wouldn’t fall)


This gorgeous princess is modeling a hat from Mary’s Daughters, make sure you visit her Facebook page here. 


Love this? Make sure you Pin it or share it with your friends! 🙂

And if you want, browse my blog and leave some love!



lizvette - Looks amazing! Looove it!!!

Karen - Thank you very much for posting this tutorial. We spent a couple of hours yesterday staging this setup for our daughter’s first Christmas. The result was beautiful! Take a look!

lizvette - Hi! I’ve never used strobe lights before, so I can’t really help you. I highly recommend that you play around with them and see if the final result is what you are looking for. Good luck!

Julie - Are you able to get the bokeh if you use strobe lights?

Siobhan Wagner - Does this method work with studio strobes?

lizvette - Hi! I would suggest having your subject far away from the background and check if the look can be achieved with a kit lens (using the smallest aperture, If I am not wrong: it’s a 5.6?) Let me know how did it go 🙂

lizvette - Let me know how did it go!? Share the link 😀

lizvette - Hi! The blurry background was done using a big aperture (I currently own a 50mm 1.4 lens and I imagine the aperture was around 2.something). I use the focal points (If you are using a DSLR, you’ll see the little dots that appear in the middle of your view finder). I moved my focal point to the baby’s eye and used a big aperture. That’s how I was able to achieve this look 😀

lizvette - Hi Diane! Check your Facebook, I replied to your email a couple days ago 🙂 If it’s not in your regular inbox, check the “others” (must check using a computer). THanks!

Diane Eugster - Lizvette,
Can I have your permission to post your tutorial on the lighting on my blog? It would be helpful to other crafters, like myself, who are always looking for an interesting way to photograph our projects, and this is a fabulous idea. I would of course give you full credit and link back to you. Let me know, thanks, Diane

Maebelle - I think I mean to say is, how do you get a blurry background and then focused subject at the same time?

Thanks in advance!

Maebelle - Wow. I love this.
Lizvette, on your settings, you said “big aperture.” What do you mean?

Thanks for your help.


Nichole - Reyihg this out today! So excited!

Amber - Hello I’d love to try this with my daughters :)) Is it at all possible to do this with a kit len’s because that is all I have and can get at the moment. I have these items

1. Studio Set Up / 3 umbrella’s-lights, white/black backdrop
2. Nikon D7000
3.Kit Lens which is a AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 G , its all I have at the moment
4. Christmas Props & Lights
5. Full size bed, White Wall

Please let me know if this is possible for me to acheive <3

Thank You

lizvette - You can always purchase a reflector. They have some at amazon starting at $15 with free shipping. (For the cheap ones). I am not sure, try to play around with your set up and figure out what do you like the most 🙂 And what comes close to your vision. I’d keep in mind to allow some distance between the subject and background.

lizvette - Hi, a regular painting canvas. I got it at Hobby Lobby. You can use anything white, it’ll reflect the light back to the subject.

MARISSA - Hi, I am wanting to try this out with my baby girl! What is this Canvas thing that is used as a reflector? Where can I get one at ?

Thanks!! 🙂

Erin Radach - I love how you broke it down into a set up, I am hoping to mimic this effect for a client (new photographer) if I wanted to add a bare tree branch and hang decorations from it how much of a distance would you put between the subject from the branch and lights? BTW thanks for the tip about using a white canvise I have been looking for ways to better light some of my photographs

Melanie - Hi, thanks for getting back to me! 🙂 I’v tried shooting mid morning and in the aft too, not great light although i had a decent sized window nearby without blinds. Scotland doesn’t get much in the way of sunshine, light or heat past summer haha. I changed to manual, played around with iso and whte balance and got a less orange look but still quite rubbish quality. im detemind to get it as i love this! I was going to post a pre processed pic but unsure how lol. Thanks so much again for ur help 🙂

lizvette - Thanks! Ok, the images will look orange or blue if the white balance is not correct. You can easily fix this in camera (youtube for tutorials). What time of the day are you shooting? Is there enough lighting? I had two big windows – which helped sooo much 🙂 The higher the ISO, the chances of the image being grainy are bigger. I’ve never shot in Av mode, highly recommend that you move to Manual mode and try it out.

Melanie - Hi, i’ve also tried the xmas lights photos. Yours looks amazing but mines comes out with an orange look to it and the quality looks quite grainy. Any advice would be amazing! I used Av setting with f1.8 iso 400. tried changing iso to 800 but the quality looked worse. My camera is a canon eos 1000D.

lizvette - If you get the chance, invest in a lens 🙂 Being able to have a lower aperture will make a huge difference! I use the 50mm 1.4 and love it. It’s the lens that never leaves my camera, hehe. Thank you for stopping by!

Jodie Buerger - I adore this setup and am going to try it with my kitty! Thank you so much for sharing and for sharing your camera settings…I am learning to use my Olympus DSLR with the lenses it came with and wondering if I should invest in different lenses, since the lowest f-stop I have available is 3.5…

Lizzie Brooks - Love, love, love the set up! I really appreciate your willingness to share your set up, as well as a list of lens, aperture value, distance etc. because it would have taken me a verrry long time to trial and error those things! Can’t wait to try this out. Thanks again!

Kristi Webb - I appreciate you so much! I will try that this Christmas and will let you know how it goes. THANKS AGAIN SO MUCH! You have been great! (Some photographers don’t want to share any of their secrets…hate that!)

lizvette - I have a friend that also shoots with a Sony 🙂 that’s ok, as long as the photographer knows how to use their camera they can produce beautiful images 😀

Have you tried bumping your ISO? and having a big aperture? Try playing with those two 🙂 I own a speedlight but never learned how to use it (I know, I know lol)… wish I could help with that part. You are welcome and have fun! Let me know how did it go 😀

Kristi Webb - I actually shoot with a Sony DSLR (I know…it isn’t the usual brand but I really love my camera). I just normally use a flash indoors and need to work with natural lighting more. My house is just naturally so dark that it is hard. I will just have to move the tree around a bit. I think that would help! Thank you so much!!!

lizvette - I used a big aperture for a great bokeh/DOF 🙂 I think ISO was 400, aperture 2.0 and can’t remember the SS. Yeah, I think not using the flash will help a lot more, what lens are you using? And thank you!! 😀 Happy to see that you stopped by.

Kristi Webb - What was your settings to get the Christmas lights to really pop? I have had some trouble with them showing up so well in the past. Maybe it was because of my flash though. Any thoughts? FABULOUS work! I love the pictures and poses and props!

Life with Kaishon - This is beautiful! Thank you for sharing how you achieved this. Very pretty!

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