This past Christmas season I had the very fun job of doing a photo shoot at a Formal Holiday dinner event. I created a festive backdrop using 4 panels of white sheers I purchased from Goodwill and 7 strings of lights on white wire (to blend in better with the white sheers) purchased from Michaels. I got the lights on sale, and the whole backdrop ended up costing around $100. I will be able to use the components of the backdrop for other events so it wasn't a one shot expense. As is often the case I forgot to take a photo of just the backdrop, but here is photo that shows the set up.
I didn't think about how the color of the walls might affect the backdrop since I set it up at home against a white wall. I'm not a fan of the golden color the walls give the backdrop. Next time I will bring a large collapsible backdrop that has white on one side to attach to the backside of the sheers to neutralize the wall color.
Here's what it looks like cropped.
Later in the evening I moved my whole set up to use the beautifully decorated Christmas tree as a backdrop.
Again the golden colored wall is not my favorite color for a background. But it works well for Christmas colors. The green plant in the background is distracting, too. I moved the plant, and later put a vignette around the Christmas tree during the editing process to de-emphasize the golden hue. This is a sample of the result.
Equipment used: Tripod, Nikon D700 with a 50mm f/1.8 lens, and a Westcott Spiderlite TD5 2 Light Location kit. I shot at f/4.0 since I had the camera on a tripod and could get away with a lower shutter speed. Next time I will go with a wider aperture to throw the background out of focus. My main concern this time was getting sharp images of the couples, but after viewing the images in Lightroom I believe they will still be sharp at a wider aperture.
I charged a fixed price for the entire evening of taking portraits of the couples. I took 3 shots of each couple who participated and chose the best one in post processing. I used some favorite presets (Pretty Presets for Lightroom) to process the picks and uploaded hi-res images to my Shootproof website where I enabled free downloads.