How to Create a Custom Bokeh Backdrop

Portrait photography doesn’t always have to be set in front of a plain, boring studio backdrop. Photographers have been getting really creative—from taking portraits outside in strange and unique locations, to adding in-studio twists that spice things up a bit. Anya Anti offers up her own spin to make studio portraits with a celestial bokeh background:

This is just some inspiration to get you started! You can create your own bokeh backdrop with whatever image you choose.

What You’ll Need

Either come up with your own design or find one you like online. Use your marker to draw an outline of the design on the paper backdrop. Then simply cut or punch holes along the lines of the image you’ve drawn.

make your own bokeh backdrop

Then, it’s on to the lighting. Choose a few different color gels and tape them over the lights you’re going to use. Place those lights behind the backdrop. Set up your front lighting and have your model sit or stand in front of the background you’ve created.

black backdrop bokeh

holes in backdrop for creative bokeh

The colored light from the gels will shine through the holes in the backdrop to give a really cool bokeh effect.

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