Top Lighting Tips For Recording Quality Videos

2013 is the year of the video! That means you’ll want to ramp up your video content creation, production, editing and distribution… BIG time! I’ve said for years that NO amount of sophisticated technology will EVER take the place of real, live, in-person, face-to-face connecting… because you can look into people’s eyes, feel their energy, shake their hands, and observe their body language. However, the next best thing is VIDEO! Especially live video, when possible. Google Hangouts (on Air), Livestream and Ustream are all great examples of reliable live streaming video platforms.

Plus, the good news for producing your own video content is that the costs of doing so are becoming so much more affordable. I’m going to be exploring many elements of successful video creation over the coming weeks. This blog post is the first in a series of short video tutorials on important elements you’ll need in order to create top-quality videos. I’m delighted to feature my friends Catherine Hedden and David Gumpel from Films About Me. (Catherine is a Social Media Marketing expert and Brand Specialist, and her husband David is an Emmy Award-winning Director). 

Play this short video below for the simple lighting tips:

Here are a few of the key points:

  • Bad lighting is like talking to people with your sunglasses on – it doesn’t create a good connection.
  • Good lighting is critical to ensure great eye contact through the camera lens with your viewers.
  • Basic 3-point lighting is a big soft light on one side, a smaller one on the other side, and a back light.
  • The purpose of a back light is to separate the talent from the background, so you don’t look glued to the backdrop!
  • You can also include a bonus floor light — called a “diva light” — to create extra fill (nice and flattering for lighting up us women!)
  • Extra diffusion on the lights makes the lights look nice and pearly.

If you have any questions or comments on video lighting, please do let us know in the comments below.

Lighting Kit

David and Catherine recommend this lighting kit from FloLight that comes with three light fixtures and three 6′ light stands. This is the kit we used in the video above. Please do share any questions or comments you have about this or other equipment in the comments below!
FloLight Fluorescent Lighting Kit

FloLight Fluorescent Lighting Kit

Gear We Use

Also, be sure to follow this Pinterest Board by Films About Me, sharing their latest cool gadgets, toys and equipment they use in their own video creation.
FAME - Pinterest Board - Gear We Use

FREE Live Webinar – January 24th

You’re invited to join David, Catherine and myself on a free LIVE webinar on January 24th where we’ll discussing in-depth how to regularly create quality video content, distribute your videos effectively for maximum impact, and create measurable results including improving your bottom line. You’ll learn about a whole range of equipment, and we’ll explore a variety of options for video style, including your very own web-TV talk show. Plus, we’ll discuss how to map out a proper social media marketing plan to set yourself up for the best viral distribution. Find out more here, or just pop your name and email address in the fields below so we can save your seat for you!


2013: Year of the Video – FREE Webinar

 

January 24, 2012 at 11am PT / 2pm ET


If you’re unable to attend live, we will send out a replay to all registrants.

 
 
 



Your privacy is assured. Your email address is safe with our company.

Mari Smith

Forbes Top Social Media Power Influencer | Facebook Marketing Expert | Globe-trotting Speaker, Author | 'Mari like Ferrari' | Bubbly Scottish-Canadian!

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Content Marketing, Relationship Marketing, Video Marketing
  • http://twitter.com/TravisSaid Travis Ross

    Thanks for sharing your studio, Mari. I totally agree that 2013 is the year of the video. One of my goals this year is do create many videos helping people get better that this wonderful medium. Anyway, have a great year!

  • Tracie

    This is great, but what about those of us who don’t have friends that can do this for us? Where do we get a back drop? How do we get the diva light? Should we do this in a garage or a place where there’s already a lot of light coming in? For me, I’m a newbie and can’t afford much but would still like to look professional in my video’s – I can get the three-light kit but I don’t have a back drop. Thanks for all your help!

  • John Baranski

    Wow, that light kit is over $500 – any other options that are mid-range? Where do we get the diffusers? Great video!

  • http://www.facebook.com/anneasher Anne Asher

    Thanks for this, Mari. The diffusion thing looks like a great idea.

    What about make up for video? Especially for those of us who do not photograph well but who want to incorporate the use of video in our businesses. Do you have any tutorials on that? Thanks again!

  • Julia Rymut

    Fantastic! I got great ideas. I’ve struggled with lighting for a long time. I considered using a backdrop because none of the shots in my house end up looking nice. Now I’m convinced this is what I should do.

    Off to figure out how to find lighting supplies and diffusers…!

    Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CatherineAnneHedden Catherine Hedden

    Hi John, David says you can start with 2 of these for the front http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80213597/ and then hang a paper lantern (sometimes called Chinese Lanterns) from the back. Probably under $50 for all. We will have a blog post up about this soon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CatherineAnneHedden Catherine Hedden

    Hi Tracie – Yes, we are all at different phases in our video journey. You can use your smartphone or any digital video camera to film. You can purchase a paper backdrop from a photography supply shop for around $70. If you have a big window with a lot of natural light you can position yourself facing the window and cover the window with a white sheet (it will act as diffusion). This usually offers beautiful lighting. The diva light is on our Pinterest page here: http://pinterest.com/pin/357121445421487056/ Best of luck! You can do it!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/CatherineAnneHedden Catherine Hedden

    Great job Julia! Love your can-do attitude.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CatherineAnneHedden Catherine Hedden

    Hi Anne, We haven’t created a make-up tutorial….. will have to add that to the list. ;-)

  • http://www.sjfpc.com/home.html Steven J Fromm & Associates

    Very nice post on the lighting issues. By the way, of the two lighting kit choices which one do you recommend? Or why would one choose one versus the other?

  • http://twitter.com/AmyLynnAndrews Amy Lynn Andrews

    This comes at a great time as I was just contemplating putting a studio in my garage too. A few questions: I see the back light is shining down from the center, but I’m curious about the other two. Should they be higher and pointing down on the subjects being filmed or at the same level? Also, about how far away from the subjects should they be positioned?

  • http://marismith.com Mari Smith

    Great questions, @twitter-17225617:disqus — with the lighting kit that David & Catherine recommend, they come with 6′ stands. Catherine and I were sitting in chairs and the two main lights were above us pointing down. I believe David typically positions approx 6 feet away from the subjects. Hope this helps!!

  • http://marismith.com Mari Smith

    Hi @sjfpc:disqus — I believe the 3000k is good for daytime use and the 5400k for night. But I would get the 5400k and use for all-purpose. I’ll double check with David though and let you know for sure!

  • http://marismith.com Mari Smith

    Love this simple and inexpensive solution!!! Brilliant.

  • http://marismith.com Mari Smith

    Hi @facebook-690046779:disqus — love your giraffe avatar!!! hehee My fave animal. Yes indeedy, as @facebook-1205792243:disqus says, we’ll need to add a makeup tutorial to our list! Also styling/wardrobe as well! Meantime, I can say that I’ve learned a ton from my friend Carol Meredith who is a talented makeup artist with a couple decades’ experience working in television. She likes the line of HD makeup by Sephora called Makeup Forever. They also do a primer and a powder. Contrary to the old-style way of doing TV makeup, Carol says these days with the HD cameras, you actually want to go a bit lighter… the goal is to look flawless without looking too “made up!”

  • http://marismith.com Mari Smith

    Fantastic! Thanks for stopping by, Travis! Hope you’ll join us for the free webinar on the 24th! :)

  • http://spiritnewsdaily.com/ Donovan Moore

    Another good ideas is to shoot a light up under your chin from the front. makes you look better. Trust me.

  • Dave

    Great tutorial. Two questions…

    1. I don’t see the soft boxes on the FloLight site. Can you point me to where those are located and why use an additional diffusor in front of the soft box?

    2. Your background light is hanging from the ceiling, but what if I want a portable setup. What is the best way to rig a background light so the light stand doesn’t show up in the background?

    Thanks for the help!

  • http://www.colthart.com Bruce Colthart (@bccreative)

    if you are inclined to look into cheap, DIY alternatives, search YouTube. I’ve been doing just that lately but mulling over a) how far my diy skills actually go when it comes to electricity and b) will a diy rig appear to clients like I’m ingenious or just plain cheap?

    Someone who I really admire on YouTube is The Frugal Filmmaker ( https://www.youtube.com/user/thefrugalfilmmaker ) with great ideas for very little money. http://filmflap.blogspot.com/ is his blog.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mary.g.malia Mary Gorham Malia

    Thanks Mari and Catherine,
    Here’s my problem. I wear glasses! I have an anti-reflective coating on them already but the glare or reflection in my glasses is still a problem. Help? How does one correct this?

  • http://www.bizsugar.com/ Heather Stone

    Hi Mari,
    Love these nuts and bolts posts for improving video quality. Breaking down great video production into its component parts makes it a bit less intimidating. Thanks also to Rachel Parker for sharing this post with the BizSugar community!

  • http://marismith.com Mari Smith

    Oh way cool – thanks a mil, Heather!

  • http://marismith.com Mari Smith

    Hi Mary — hmm, as you saw, David wears glasses. Were you on our recent live webinar? Typically, as you move your head naturally, the glare/reflection isn’t constant and people can see your eyes. Especially if you have the anti-reflective coating. I wear glasses at my home office, but switch to contact lenses when doing video. I know it’s not always an option for everyone.

  • http://marismith.com Mari Smith

    Great, thank you!

  • http://marismith.com Mari Smith

    100% agree! The ‘diva’ light. hehe!

  • http://marismith.com Mari Smith

    Hi Dave — Hmm, you’re right the boxes David has in our video do seem different to the FloLights. The additional diffusor (paper) is to soften the lighting on our faces (with HD cameras, we don’t want every line/wrinkle and pore showing. Lol!)

    Ahh, I see what you’re saying about the back light… yes, David hung that one from my garage door track. Lol! I’ll need to defer to @facebook-1205792243:disqus on this one!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=699240914 Wayne Marshall

    Great videos! my only issue is with the music – is too loud when trying to listen to your voices. Just my 2 cents.

  • StuartDunmore1

    LED lighting is definitely something that is highly recommendable as they are top quality lights that can be available for a great price and they are definitely something that I would recommend to others.

  • Pingback: How to Create Professional Looking Videos | HomeBusinessHangout()

  • David

    Hey, can anyone advise me on how to get hands-on experience with lighting in film?

  • Roger Richard

    Thanks for the tips man its really worth it. ceiling lanterns

  • http://videocreationcompany.wordpress.com/ Video Creation

    Appreciate your sharing this excellent post. I would like to visit again.

  • http://www.swoon-me.co.nz/ Jon Waters

    Interesting article. The article took a lot of thought, which makes reading it more interesting. I may return and take a look at what else you have to write.

  • iris

    thanks for the article. what will be the perfect watt for this fluorescent lights..

  • samr

    This site is
    very great and indispensable to my thank you to expect continued success with
    the authorities there are millions of people come easy memlunkalan but I guess
    I did not bring the language

    ????? ????

  • jeni

    Great advice on how to navigate complex social media ocean. I especially liked your interview on FOX in San Diego, great tips!
    ??? ????????
    ????? ????

  • nahal

    Writing is an art that everyone does it. Congratulate you for having this art. Your blog is unique

    ?? ?????? ?????????? ?????????? ???? ??????? ????????????????? ???????? ???? ????? ?? ????

  • Gil

    What is the size (width) of the backdrop you are using in the video? Also, what is the difference between using the back-light you have mounted on the backdrop as opposed to using an over head light on a boom stand? Trying to figure out the best set up and what i nee dot buy. thanks!

  • ?????? ??? ?????
  • Leopatrick

    Its great to see the light effects in the raw videography , rather than the visual effects in the post production. I use the lighting kits from backdropsource.com for making my videos. They are cool and effective to light the situation. Try this.
    http://www.backdropsource.co.uk/products.asp?mcid=17&mcdesc=lighting

  • abdullahalbyati

    I want to learn how to record video reviews for products I review on my website http://www.techpicks.net

  • Sylvia Sanderson

    There’s so much to lighting when you’re on video. We’re looking for how to set up our led lights for a short film we’re making. Hopefully we can get the lighting right with these ideas, thanks!
    http://www.ariesenergy.com/our-services/led-lighting/

  • Lacey Rockwell

    I was in a recorded interview, and there were all sorts of lighting tricks they did. I had never thought about how tricky that could be! They made sure there were no shadows on our faces.

    http://www.Burnrecording.com

  • shima

    Hey, can anyone advise me on how to get hands-on experience with lighting in film?

    ?????
    ????????
    ??? ?????
    ???? upvc

  • negin

    Great videos! my only issue is with the music – is too loud when trying to listen to your voices. Just my 2 cents.
    ???? ???
    ?? ? ????? ? ??????????
    ??? ? ???? ????????

  • shila

    Thank Khvbtvn Terrific Very much enjoyed the Mtalbtvn

    ????? ????

    ??? ????????

    ??? ???

  • neghar

    thanks for the article. what will be the perfect watt for this fluorescent lights..

    ?????
    ??? ?????
    ???? ??? -??? ????????
    ???? upvc

Online Training Courses

  • ACCELERATE: 30-Day Social Media Success Challenge
  • Facebook 101: Back to Basics - new online training course with Mari Smith
  • Facebook Marketing Success System - Facebook Ads course with Mari Smith featuring Dennis Yu
  • Facebook Marketing Masterclass - online training course with Mari Smith

JOIN over 91,000 beautiful peeps! :) Each week, we sort through the huge pile of new social media blog posts, resources, articles, tools, tips and more ... and Mari hand picks just three of them to send you via email. Enter your name and email below to start receiving our weekly top selections in The Social Scoop email newsletter, published every Friday.

We respect your email privacy. Your address is safe with us.

Archives

Connect With Mari





Follow Mari on Pinterest


Mari’s Tweets

Get The Books

  • Books by Mari Smith - Facebook Marketing and Relationship Marketing
  • Books by Mari Smith - Facebook Marketing and Relationship Marketing

Hire Mari to Speak

  • Hire Top Social Media Expert, Mari Smith to speak at your next event!
  • Hire Top Social Media Expert, Mari Smith to speak at your next event!
  • Hire Top Social Media Expert, Mari Smith to speak at your next event!

Find Out How...