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Quick Tip: How to Make a Creative Bokeh Backdrop for Portraits


In this creative 2-minute tutorial, Ukranian photographer Anya Anti demonstrates how to make an interesting bokeh effect using shapes cut out of a paper backdrop.

To create the effect, you will need:

  • Paper backdrop
  • A marker
  • Something sharp (preferably scissors)
  • Flash heads or other light source to place behind the backdrop

The idea is quite simple:

  1. Draw a pattern (such as a star) on to your backdrop with the marker. This pattern will frame your subject in the end result.
  2. Following the guidelines you’ve drawn, poke holes through the backdrop with your scissors.
  3. Position your lighting behind the backdrop so that it shines through the holes, surrounding your subject with tiny light sources. In the video, Anya uses color gels to take the effect a step further.

Check out the video at the top for this quick video to see the steps in action. For more of Anja’s work, take a look at her YouTube channel or her Instagram.

(via Anya Anti via ISO 1200)