Video Production: Lighting

The process of making a video for business, whether for internal employee information or external distribution, can be a complex but no doubt rewarding task. According to Adélie Studios, video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined, so if you are looking to get your business known, you should be engaging with video.

One of the key components to making a successful video is lighting. The person or object you are filming needs to be well lit to ensure clear and professional looking footage, to reflect your company.

To achieve the best lighting for your video you should film in a studio or room where you have full control of any natural light. This means access to blinds or curtains to block out light that you otherwise cannot control. Relying on natural light will make the editing process later very difficult, because the light will be constantly changing depending on the sun’s strength, direction and clouds.

The following advice is directed specifically towards lighting an unmoving person. For these examples we have used a plain background, to avoid unnecessary distraction and keep the focus on the subject.

The industry standard Three-Light Set Up uses three different lights to control different visual elements.

The major light source is the Key Light, which should be set up around 45 degrees either side of the camera, depending on which way your subject is facing. If you are filming a person, keep the light higher than the face to illuminate them. However, be careful not to put the light too high, as you may begin to see dark shadows underneath the eyes and nose.

Your key light should look like this:

The second of the three-light setup is the Fill Light, which is designed to fill in the shadows and to control any severe contrast made by the key light. This should be set up around 45 degrees from the subject, the other side of the camera to your Key Light. This light should be very soft, so use a scrim or honeycomb grid to help direct the light.

With the addition of your fill light to the key light:

The last of the three lights is the Backlight, a hard spot light placed high behind the subject. With this you should aim to light the subject’s shoulders and the top of their head. This is the crucial final piece of the three-light setup as it helps separate the subject from the background and create a three-dimensional view for the two-dimensional platform.

Your final lighting setup should look like this:

The three-light setup is an excellent way to start video production and once you get to grips with the structure you can experiment with the lights to see how the subject’s appearance changes. Following these guidelines is a great way to ensure your video is good quality.

Finally we recommend you shoot the video or interview with 2 cameras situated close to one another, to focus on both a close up and more medium shot. This will help the editing process as it will allow for a seamless cut.




Over the next few weeks 27partners will be looking at the many facets of videography, and how to make the best possible video for your company.

Written with content assistance by Production Manager Darren Rose.

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