Light You Up: My Guide to Video Lighting

March 29, 2019   //   Business, Freebies, Resources

You’ve heard the whole “LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!” thing, right? Well, I’m here to tell you that those three words (and that order) are a must when it comes to making Facebook Live videos—or really any video for that matter. Why? Let’s be honest: nobody wants to look tired or washed out…and your customers don’t want to see you that way.  Read on for my guide to video lighting!

How to look good on a fb live, guide to video lighting

Natural lighting—the kind that you get when you’re outdoors or have tons of windows in your office is ideal for videos.

But….

Let’s have a little “get real” moment. You’d think that after building multiple million-dollar businesses I’d have some swanky corner office somewhere with gorgeous mountain views.

Um. No.

My office, while being my crazy productive, e-commerce-building, get-stuff-done-because-I-can space, doesn’t have any windows whatsoever. Nada. Instead, I have those same fluorescent lights overhead that you see in offices, warehouses, hospitals…you know the ones I’m talking about.

So when I started creating online videos and hosting Facebook Lives, it took me about 5 minutes to realize that my office lighting wasn’t doing me any favors. More importantly, it didn’t reflect the energy and excitement I feel the moment I get to start talking about e-commerce and marketing.

My Guide to Video Lighting Includes a Four-Point Lighting Setup

Finding the right lighting setup, however, took me some time and some research. The number of products on the market is insane and everyone has an opinion (especially beauty bloggers!)  But here are a few things I knew I wanted:

  1. Costs should be kept as low as possible. I’d rather invest in building businesses than on a high-end video studio.
  2. Any lighting package I bought for my videos would light both me and my office well.
  3. That the setup is easy to use and adaptable. I wanted to be able to flip a few switches and have everything be ready to go. When I film my videos, I don’t have a team behind the scenes to run cameras and lighting.

After some trial and error—and some late-night shopping on Amazon—I created a four-point lighting setup that met all of my criteria. Here’s what I found works really well for me:

Softbox Lighting Kit

The softbox lighting kit from CowboyStudio on Amazon has proven to be a winner…but are you wondering what a softbox actually is all about?  Essentially, a softbox adds brightness while using a filter on the front to reduce less-than-attractive shadows. You can control it easily, and make it look as though you have a lot of natural light in a space (like my office) that actually has none.  I like this kit because it’s under $200 but comes with stands, bulbs, the boxes themselves, a carrying case and more. It was easy to set up, although I did need to try different things before I got the set up just right for me.  And bonus: the system is sturdy, but it’s lightweight, meaning I can move them easily when I need to.

Daylight Fluorescent Video Light

As you’ll see in my lighting guide and in the video, I do use one of my softboxes without the front filter. It adds just a burst of light right in the background, right where I need it.  No shadows here, thank you very much!

Ring Light

The world changed the day the ring light was invented. Okay, so maybe I’m a little dramatic, but it certainly made us all look better!  I chose this ring light, again from Amazon, and have been really happy with it.  It’s large enough that it places light exactly where I need it most and it’s easy to use. As you’ll see when you download my video lighting guide, I position it at an angle instead of right in front of me.  That way I don’t get the light circles in my eyes that you’ll see in a lot of YouTube or Facebook videos.  It’s just a personal preference thing.

Webcam

And…remember the “LIGHTS, CAMERA” part of the movie-making magic I mentioned above? Well, I also picked up a camera that perches on my computer for filming.  (For less than fifty bucks!)  I’ve been using this handy little Logitech for quite a long time, and have no complaints. The videos are high quality, and it has great microphones built right in, so the sound is better too.  Definitely a yay on that one.

Lights and lighting set up for online videos from Alison Prince

The only thing left is the “ACTION” part of the video making scenario, and I’m ready to show you how I put my lighting setup and my guide to video lighting to work.

Download my guide to video lighting–it’s all ready for you.  Just click the link to have it delivered to your Messenger inbox!

Who’s ready to light it up?

–Alison