A few of you have asked how I set up the background for the photos I posted on the blog the other day. You will probably find a few variations floating around pinterest but here’s how I was able to translate and pull this off at our house.
We are fortunate enough to have a big great room with huge windows that let in a lot of light so I set up against a empty wall in there. Here’s the pull back. Light is coming in from Windows to the right and entry way to the left. I taped three strands of white lights (with white cords) to the wall and laid a white sheet on the floor.
The key to getting those gorgeous big bubbles of light in the background is to locate your subject a decent distance from the lights while at the same time positioning yourself as close to your subject as you can be to get the shot you want and setting the aperture on your camera just about as wide open as you can. The further away your subject is from the lights, the closer your are to your subject and the wider the aperture…..the bigger the lights.
For our session I tried to keep Mr. C about 3/4 of the way up from the lights on the wall and towards me (right around where you are seeing the garland and red ornaments in the above photo). I was sitting only as far back from him as I had to, to get what I wanted of him in the frame (keeping in mind the three criteria above). Using the garland and ornaments for props helped because he just played with them wherever I set them down.
For gear, I used my Canon 50mm 1.4 lens. My camera settings for most of the shots you saw were f1.8, ISO 640 and shutter speed around 250. No flash. Just natural light. You really just need to play around with it a bit depending on your lighting situation and what not. Be brave and use that manual mode on your camera or at least the aperture priority setting. I did test shots using stuffed toys while the little guy was napping so as not to “waste” any precious time with him and risk missing any good shots. If you have older kids that will sit still you can get some really cool shots! If only Mr. C was old enough for an M&M bribe. Mr Moose did well though…. Here’s a test shot…..
And here’s an final image….
If you’d like to do a little further reading, here are a couple of links to tutorials that I found helpful before trying this myself. Prop Insanity has a great one with pictures of their actual studio set up using this type of background and Digitial Photography School has a great article on How to Take Beautiful Bokeh Christmas Images . (Bokeh being that gorgeous background blur we all love). You can also check out my Photography board on pinterest for more ideas. If you do try this, I would LOVE to see your finished product so please come share with us on Facebook.