The Secret to Capture Christmas Light Bokeh Background

Do you see these photos of the Christmas light bokeh background and a child wonderful exposed and wonder, how did they do that???

The secret to capturing one of these images is not a fancy flash or light set up. It is…are you ready for it?? Natural light.

Hopefully your tree is by a window. If not, don’t worry. You can string lights on your headboard or a foam board if you have a different location you would prefer to use.

Set your subject in a location where the light hits them nicely to create catchlights and there are Christmas lights behind them.

Pullback for Christmas light bokeh background:

pullback for Christmas light bokeh

I placed my daughter at a 45 degree angle from the window so she would have nice soft shadows and still have catchlights.

Remember, if you want to capture bokeh then you need to have your aperture pretty wide open.

For this images I had my aperture at f/1.4.
Settings: ss 1/160, ISO 100, f/1.4 taken with my 50mm 1.4
christmas light bokeh background

This image I closed down my aperture a little to get more of her in focus. My aperture was set at f/2
Settings: ss 1/125, ISO 100, f/2.0
christmas tree light bokeh

If you are looking to capture some photos of your kiddos/pets with a Christmas light bokeh background, then get near a window during the day and take advantage of the natural light. Don’t forget it is all about your aperture!

If you liked this post, you don’t want to miss these other Christmas posts:
* 16 Tips to Photograph Christmas morning
* 5 steps on how to photograph Christmas lights
* Tips to make your Christmas photos more than snapshots
* How to create beams of Christmas lights
* Christmas Tree Lights Photos: 5 Easy Steps
* Christmas Tree Light Bokeh

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you in advance if you decide to purchase something through the link and support Click it Up a Notch.

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  1. Thanks for the tutorial! I love your blog.

  2. Thank you for sharing! I am looking forward to doing some holiday photos this year with my new camera (first dslr-Nikon D7000)!

  3. avatar Rhoda Jane Olmstead :

    How far away was your camera from your baby?

  4. is it possible to do if the lowest you can get is 3.5?!?!

  5. Another key would be the distance between your subject and their background, right? I imagine it would be difficult to get a Christmas light bokeh if your subject was right in front of the tree unless you shot wide wide open?

  6. I tried this last year and the baby was cute, the light was perfect. Everything was great EXCEPT I had flares from the Christmas lights all over the shot. I just read recently that it was from my filter. Im looking forward to trying again with my filter off!

  7. Great article. I just purchased this lens for my bag. I’ll be setting up my Christmas tree an using your advice this year to capture my kids in front of the tree. :). You are a wonderful educator and blogger. So happy to have found your site.

  8. avatar Jennifer Russell :

    Love this! Always love reading your blog! Going to have some fun with this tomorrow!

  9. Thanks for the tips! God bless you and your family!

  10. Thank you for the tips!
    God bless you and your family!

  11. thanks so much for this great tutorial. just a q. did you use a tripod? thank you in advance.
    Betty Manousos recently posted..Have a Wonderful Weekend

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