The background is a standard black photography backdrop with white led Christmas lights hung from the top bar with spring clamps. The background lights are not the same string of light she has in her hand. For safety, I, one, didn't want her to pull the whole thing down, and two, the background lights are 120VAC, the light string she is holding is battery powered by 2 AA batteries. The safety of the model is paramount, especially when it's my two-year old. The lighting of the subject is a little more tricky. As already mentioned, this photo was shot wide open, f1.8 as I recall in order to make the background lights have the nice bokeh ball look. But too much ambient light and the background disappears, too little ambient and the subject is too dark. A better camera would have allowed me to push the ISO up, but the crop sensor in my A6000 doesn't like higher ISO settings (800-1200ISO would have been about right, but that created too much noise.) Keep in mind, I'm already at 1/125 shutter speed at 127.5mm (85mm @ 1.5 crop factor) so I'm limited there as well because keeping a two-year old in focus at that focal length with anything slower is tough. So, camera right, I used a 500w continuous light in a bounce umbrella turned away from the background enough to keep it darker than the subject. I then used a 2-stop diffuser panel to soften the light on the subject even more. To even things out a bit, I used a silver reflector camera left and slightly in front of the subject. Hope this made sense and answered your question.