🎄 DIY Christmas Light Portrait and Fairy Light Beauty Shot Ideas.

You can create dramatic beauty shots or dreamy portraits with that have great bokeh this easy and inexpensive DIY Christmas Light Portrait Technique. All you need is a few inexpensive strings of LED Christmas lights.

When my wife mentioned Christmas in July – the lightbulb went on and I decided to go and pull out the Christmas lights I had to see what I kind of diy portrait lighting I could come up with using some low tech Christmas lighting.

I came up with four different sets of led lights that I had stored away for the holidays. I had simple mini white tree lights, colored mini tree lights and colored leds in plastic casings that are designed to look like the old school christmas tree bulbs. I also had a white flexible LED strip that my wife and I bought at Walmart a while back but never made use of.

A beautiful model and a few hours of experimenting and I was able to come up with some really fun portraits with LED lights.

The moral here – experiment, learn to see light. Remember that there are no RULES. AUTO exposure doesn’t work in these situations. WORK your shot and build your visual database.

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS VIDEO
Large Size 3 Card Set – 4″ x 5″ White Balance Card 18% Gray Card: http://amzn.to/2h4nW7m

ExpoDisc EXPOD2-77 2.0 Professional White Balance Filter 77 mm: http://amzn.to/2uzB9ts

LED Mini Christmas Tree Lights. 100 Count Bulbs with 52 Ft Green wire: http://amzn.to/2w2ilRE

LED Multi-color Indoor/Outdoor Christmas Lights-50 bulbs and 16.4ft: http://amzn.to/2u0v59M

LED Christmas Lights, 25 LED 16ft Fairy Decorative String Lights: http://amzn.to/2uzLk19

Rope Lights, 8MM Diameter 120Led/M, 110V: http://amzn.to/2eOXmOO

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Comments

RyKie Images & Events says:

Wow, great work on this, Joe! I really like the simple lighting concept – proving you don’t need to go out and spend tons of $$ on lighting to achieve something interesting (that being said, I recently picked up a 53′ octobox on clearance at my favourite camera store for $50! lol). I liked your first set up the best – just how well-lit your model is, and the catchlights in her eyes. The later ones have a sci-fi vibe with the light around her neck.
Also really like the look at 3:50 – her makeup really fits well with the background.
Cool images!

Trevor Rowell says:

The ones around the neck and head with the plain background are my favourites because they remind me of stills from a Star Trek movie. Very cool.

Ken Stewart says:

Well done Joe! Very imaginative and informative. Quite like the shot(s) at 3:33 with the flex light around Monet’s (sp?) neck – along with the orange background w/ lights. The flex light certainly provides some interesting catch lights as well. A lovely model certainly helps. Kudos and thanks.

brute910 says:

Woah! Can’t wait till Christmas this year. My girls are going to think their dad has finally lost it completely, but we’ll know better Joe! Liked and Bookmarked ! Thanks, Joe R.

DaMayorOfNewYork says:

@Joe Edelman –

I prefer that first photo at 1:36 the most.  To me it’s clean and simple.  I’ll have to try it out within the next few weeks and see what I can achieve.  When Christmas time comes around, I can spring the idea onto friends and family and do holiday headshots.

Cheryl Pierce says:

Last year, I played with old Christmas lights as a backdrop. I used auto white balance and the all white lights photographed as gold and blue. I was fascinated by the different color temperatures of the different strands of lights. I was looking for a fun background for photographing children. I never thought of using them for lighting the subject. What a great idea!

Marcus Frank says:

Hi Joe, werd cool Video. My favorite Photo is the version with the orange background and only the rope light. I love the clean look of this photo. Sorry for my bad English. See you on tog chat.

Ryan Levy says:

I love this! My favorite shot is definitely the one at 3:14 (the second b&w), in part because I really enjoy black and white photos, but also because of the placement of the string lights. They don’t detract from the photo, in my opinion, and the actual strings are barely visible, if at all. Additionally, the addition of the LED strip is really interesting.

SHIFTING FOCUS Photography says:

As always, innovative and fun! Thanks for sharing Joe.

Stephen Caldwell says:

Hey Joe as always some great stuff . I like the image with the orange background. Why, i liked the light from the led lights

Walter Eaton says:

Really useful advice. Thanks, Joe! I appreciate the work you put into this because it demonstrates that we should never be satisfied with our first shot, our first set or even our first concept but to move and to “work the shot.” Great advice and a great philosophy.

mac740 says:

Wow Joe, this shoot looked like a lot of fun! My favorite is the tight head shot of your model in the yellow shirt with the rope light as the main light! The ever so slight tilt of her head, to me, is perfect! Great video and thanks for all you teach us!!

Jarek 'Wasyl' Wasilewski says:

Cool shots Joe. Great idea with the LED on the neck.

Josh Blood says:

You got some fantastic looks, especially on the closeup shots. And how awesome to have such a beautiful and willing model to work with so frequently. Thanks for the inspiration!

ProArt says:

Sweet & Beautiful heartshape reflection on eyes 😉

Mark Harris says:

There is so much to learn from this video, all the different type of key light and fill. And when you take these concepts out of the norm of key, fill and hairlight using monolights I thought it was easier to see what they should be doing. I think my wife started Christmas shopping in the January sales, we have cupboards full of stuff but I can’t find my Mamiya RZ67 in any of them. I wouldn’t mind, I tell her every day what I want.

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