Shooting Soft and Natural Portraits Using Inexpensive Christmas Lights

Go behind the scenes to see how one photographer used every day Christmas lights to create beautiful portraits in her own bedroom.

Irene Rudnyk is a photographer based in Canada who has amassed a large following on YouTube for her insightful behind-the-scenes videos and post-processing tutorials. In this four-minute video, Rudnyk talks through the process of how she shot the images, including her creative decisions and camera settings.

Shooting wide open at f/1.2, she decides to light her model using natural light from the window for most of the images, which she says was to create an “interesting contrast between the cool-toned window light and the really warm light that emits from the string lights.” Later in the video, she utilizes the Christmas lights to illuminate parts of her model’s face.

She experiments with different ways to capture the lights. Beginning with the entire set hanging from the ceiling, she works her way through various setups, including holding some of the lights closer to the camera so as to create different size bokeh.

The pair ends up creating soft, seasonal portraits using an inexpensive setup. If you like the images, check out how they achieved the results in the video above.

See more of Rudnyk's work on her Instagram.

Images used with permission.

[via PetaPixel]

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4 Comments

Elan Govan's picture

Another great idea I will be sharing with families and friends over this Christmas period. Thank You.

Geoffrey Badner's picture

'Tis the season for ye olde Christmas light portrait tutorial.

Spy Black's picture

Don't forget a gorgeous model... :-)