Videos are one of the hottest trends out there for influencers, and everyone wants to get in on it. The biggest question is always – how? I bet you’re like me and want to seize on the potential viewership, but feel insecure about your filming or editing skills. That’s me – I’m scared of the whole editing process. Before I can get there though, I have to shoot the video and that starts with properly lighting the videos. I took a deep dive and figured out that the videos I was attracted to had great lighting. That’s right, one of the most important keys to getting your videos looking absolutely fabulous is lighting.
Why Does Lighting Matter?
Why is lighting so important? Well, for starters, bad lighting will cast shadows in places you don’t want them. This can make your video look bad and make it difficult to edit. As a newbie, you want to make everything as simple as possible. Trust me on this one. Bad lighting can also give your project a low budget, seedy look to it. That is NOT the image you’re trying to project! Getting the lighting right can give you a professional looking edge that will immediately make your audience take notice, get their eyes on your work, and keep them coming back for more!
How Do I Make the Lighting Right?
You don’t have to have a fancy home studio or expensive lighting to produce a good quality video. You can have all of the equipment in the world, use it improperly and STILL produce a poor quality video. What you need is a quick tutorial on how to light your videos properly. Here are some great techniques to get you lit like a pro.
Make sure you have at least Key lighting
In professional lighting, the system is called 3-Key Lighting where you have a key (main) light, a fill light, and back lighting. These three lights are set up around the camera, and the subject that is being shot. In this case, your key lighting will be placed directly behind the camera. Since we are working with limited light, we want to maximize what lighting you do have, and placing your light in the key position will help illuminate your entire subject.
Avoid shadows and dark spots on your face and your subject when lighting
Depending on the position of your light, you could inadvertently create shadows that make editing difficult. Go ahead and run a test video to be certain you’re ready for your close up! You can make adjustments before you begin filming.
You can use household items to diffuse or amplify what lighting you have
Doing DIY anything means being creative with what you have! Aluminum foil wrapped around cardboard makes a great reflector. Use white sheets for backgrounds and backdrops to make your area brighter.
Wear bright clothing when dealing with low light levels
You don’t want to have your area lit perfectly to throw it all off with a wardrobe malfunction. Stay away from deep reds, blacks, blues – you get the drift. The colors you wear will either absorb or reflect the light you have so make sure to wear light-friendly colors.
I found great lighting in the hallway of a school when I had a maker’s market. I snapped a ton of photos as I wasn’t worried about the shadow that was casted on the locker doors.
Don’t be afraid of natural sunlight
The sun is the greatest light source we have. Use it to your advantage! Keep in mind to ALWAYS shoot with the sun at your back. Never shoot directly into the sun or look directly into it. You can damage the lens or even your own retinas. You don’t want to go blind trying to get the perfect shot, please be careful!
This photos were taken during the Golden Hour, which is dusk or dawn. No filters or editing was done on either of these pics.
I personally tend to photograph and video outside as often as I can during the Alaskan summers.
You are going to look great on the screen, don’t worry! Everyone started out somewhere in the video game, and as long as your video doesn’t look like it was shot in a dungeon, everyone is going to be excited to watch your brand branch out into something new. Get that lighting right, and enjoy your foray into video!
PS Here’s a look at a video where I had terrible lighting. I still published it and it fine. That’s right, the world didn’t end and people didn’t hate it. It is what it is and I will try to do better on the next one. My pup was cute and loved his Bark Box and that’s all that matters to me.