DIY – Photo Backdrop Ideas

With our cameras being advanced enough to fit in the palm of our hands and even our pockets, getting that quick photo at your wedding, outdoor party, or other special event has never been easier. But if you are looking for that special little extra something to take that photo to the next level, then LED lighting may be the solution for you. With some simple tips, products, and DIY ideas you can easily transform your event into a scene that everyone will remember for a very long time!

A general tip when trying to create a beautiful LED photo backdrop is to play with the focus and depth of your photo with your lights or strings in the background. This effect, when the lights in the backdrop of your photo are blurred or slightly out of focus, is called bokeh. Lights are significantly affected by depth so you can create different effects by moving your subject closer and farther away from the background. This will create a beautiful glowing effect behind the subject of your photo and will almost give off a heavenly feeling in any photo you take in front of your DIY backdrop.

Curtain lights are some of the most popular strings to use in photo backdrops, especially for weddings or even corporate events, as they can be used bare to create a cascading effect or paired with a curtain to create more of a warm glow. Curtain lights are great by themselves as standalone type backdrops, but popularly they are also placed with sheer curtains overlaying. With some simple PVC piping, or even a curtain rod if you can make it work, you can either attach your curtain string lights to the pipe or rod itself, or you can use safety pins to fix your curtain lights to your sheer curtain which will allow the lights to fill your curtain with a warming glow- perfect for any photo background. It is also important to remember that in order to accomplish all that you want to with an LED lighting backdrop, especially with curtain lights, you will need adequate space which, many times, is more than you would think you need.


For a look that won’t be overpowering, or take up the entire background of your photo, implementing LED twinkle lights can be a great way to elevate your photo without completely taking it over with heavy light. Great for weddings & baby showers and receptions, these LED strings, as opposed to a traditional flashing bulb, will alternate as they flash. The lights “dance” on your display rather than a steady on and off flashing bulb. A tip to compliment your photos with these lights is to take a very similar approach as you would with the curtain lights in terms of attaching your strings to a surface that will allow them to hang and twinkle beautifully. To further elevate your photo stage, you may think about adding flowers or other small foliage for a soft, natural touch to your photos that will only bring out the beauty of the subject, with the warmth and twinkle from your light strings, but also the natural beauty of the scene you are trying to capture.

Bistro lights, otherwise known as S14 LED lights, are some of the most popular LED light strings on the market and can add a truly rustic look to any photo backdrop at any event. These lights have incredible utility and you an use them in a variety of different ways to achieve different effects. You can use them in the most basic function, by simply stringing the lights, and exposing the bare bulbs, above or around your venue or only in the background of your photography area, to give a subtle, warm glow and ambiance to not only your photos, but to your entire venue. Other ideas are to conceal the bulbs slightly with paper lanterns or other thin fabrics to feel the same warmth that you get with the bare bulb with also just an extra splash of color that can bring out elements in a photo that you would never see otherwise. S14’s make a great statement for professional photography backgrounds or just simple backyard events. These bistro lights have become incredibly popular within the “rustic” style barn wedding scene which you can learn all about in our wedding lighting ideas blog. 


The M5 mini light strings are a very unique style of LED light string as they are smaller than the traditional bulb and string, hence the name, and can be used in niche situations as well as what you would expect from traditional LED light strings. M5 LED lights can be used as the centerpiece of a scene or photo backdrop much like the curtain or twinkle light strings; however, they are also incredibly beautiful as an accent to a staged scene for photography or videography. To use them to highlight the beauty of a scene and elevate your next photo, try to create objects that the lights could wrap around or that the radiant light could bounce off of. Things such as balloons, large picture frames, or ribbons and lace can be added to your photo area to make these lights really pop and bring your photography to a whole new level. These lights are great for prom photos, birthday parties, wedding reception photo booths, and so many more special events.

Hopefully with these ideas, products, and DIY tips, the photos at your next special event will be even more outstanding then they normally are and your guests will leave with a special memory that they won’t ever forget. For more DIY Event Lighting or Wedding Lighting tips please visit our blog. For more on the products we carry visit our website to view our full selection of LED Christmas Lights.

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