Video Lighting Tutorial (Video Lighting for Beginners!)

– Lighting is a critical
element of any video but fortunately it’s not
hard to get great results with the right video lighting techniques. In this video we have a
full video lighting tutorial to get your results fast. Hey it’s Justin brown
here from Primal Video where we help you amplify your
business and brand with video If you’re new here then make sure you click that subscribe button and all the links to everything
we mentioned in this video you can find linked in
the description box below. So let’s jump into it. Now lighting is a critical
element of any video but most people overcomplicate it and it really isn’t as
hard as most people think. Your lighting doesn’t need to be perfect you just need to focus
on a few simple things to get great results consistently. In fact using these tips
I’m about to run through, it takes me less than one minute to get the lighting setup in this studio every time I go to shoot a new video. I know you’re thinking that’s fine for you you’re a professional but I’ve taught these
techniques to a lot of students who now get the same results in about the same amount of time and while we’re talking lighting make sure to drop a note
in the comments below with your number one video lighting tip and check out some of the other responses while you’re down there too because we always get some
incredible ideas and insights from the rest of the
Primal Video community. Okay before we get into the gear and what lining you can actually use it’s important to start
with the fundamentals. The key fundamentals of lighting. And this really is to
light your subject first. So whether it’s a product that
you’re creating in the video whether it’s a person whether it’s yourself that is on camera whatever the focus of your video is light that first and then use whatever
additional lights you have or have access to to light the rest of
the scene as a secondary then it should be pretty obvious as to why but that is the key focus of the video and that is the part that
really has to look good. It’s interesting we see a lot of people worrying about the background
and lighting the background yet the light on
themselves is really poor. So flip that and light yourself first to make sure that you look good because you’re the one that’s going to be creating the content and delivering the
content to your viewers. Make sure they can see you and that you look good in your videos and your background and everything it’s all definitely a secondary. Now that you’ve got that sorted and you’re gonna light yourself first or the subject of your video first, the next point is to
start with what you have. So if you don’t have any additional lights then use a window. Use natural light. Just sitting in front of a window is going to give you much better light than having your back to the window. If you don’t have any
windows or it’s dark outside then use whatever lights
you have around you. It could be desk lights that you bring in. It could be a lamp or
anything that you’ve got that you can use just to light up yourself at the absolute minimum then that will be much better
than using no lights at all Now we don’t have access
to any other lights then you can use whatever
lights you have on in your room Now we’re gonna be filming in a room that has ceiling lights in there and you don’t have too many lights then it’s a good idea to have
these ceiling lights on too while you’re filming to
give your scene more light and the only thing you’ve
got to watch out for is if you are going to be
standing directly underneath one of those ceiling lights. It can cast some pretty
bad shadows under your eyes and on your face and also on your body as well. So you want to make sure that
if you are filming indoors and you do have the light on
to give your scene more light that you aren’t positioning yourself directly under one of those lights. And just to show you what
I’m talking about here this room that I’m filming in actually has four ceiling lights. The one that I have turned off is the one directly above my head but if I turn it on now then you can see we’ve got some shadows from my neck and from my head on my shirt. We’ve also probably got some
darker areas under my eyes. The whole thing just
doesn’t look that great. So like I said in my case this
is the light that I turn off. and it’s off. If at all possible and
in an ideal situation you’ll position yourself so that you are slightly in front of your ceiling light so that is lighting up the back of your head and around to your shoulders and not lighting you up from the front. Now with all of this it’s really important to remember that lighting and
video in general is an art it’s a creative process and there really is no
right or wrong to it. There are some tips and things that we’re covering in this video to help you get better results but at the end of the
day if you like the look if you like the shadow if you like the bags under your eyes, then go for it. If that’s all you can get in your videos based on your shooting scenario then keep running with
it because the content at the end of the day is the most important part and don’t stress
too much about your lighting Some people will really like
the look of having a harsh shadow on the face where
one side is lit really well and the other side isn’t Others will like a more consistent look or a more even lighting look to their videos where there’s not so much of a harsh shadow. Which is kind of like
what we’re going for here but again there’s no
right or wrong with this. It is a creative process. So with all of this where should you be positioning your lights. Well as we said the focus
of your videos is yourself. So what I would suggest is
that you get at least one light or one light source. A window. Whatever it is you’ve
got to light yourself up. So what that means is you’re going to need to
have that light source somewhere near the direction
that you’re facing. Could be right next to the camera it could be on top of the camera underneath the camera. Somewhere around this
area here to light you up So that you lit up from the front and that your face is lit well. Now if you’ve got access to two lights then you could use one of those lights to light yourself up in the scene and the second light to
light up the background to make that look a bit better or you could use the two
lights to light yourself up and get a different look. Because again you’re the focus
or the priority in the video and having you lit well is
the most important thing. So if you are gonna use two lights then what I would suggest is that you actually separate the two and move them a bit further
away from your camera. So in my studio setup here for example, I’ve got two lights
that are lighting me up. I’ve got one off to the side here and one off to the side here and they’re both probably
on about a 45 degree angle from where I’m standing. Now what you would normally do here if you’re going to run multiple lights is to have one primary light source as the main light that is lighting you up. The brightest light so in
our case it’s the one here. This is the brightest light. That’s the main one that is
lighting up this side of my face Now to counteract some
of that bright light and to fill in some of
the shadows on this side I do have a smaller light a less powerful light
up in the corner here that is lighting me up from this side. I’m really filling in some of
those darker areas on my face. Now the other big thing that
I’ve got in the room here is a giant window off to the side. Now depending on the time of day and how bright it is outside, this can obviously change things up but having these two primary
lights that are lighting me up means that whatever
else is going on outside obviously the room will get
darker and brighter around that but I’m still lit consistently because I’m the focus of the video. Now something that you may or
may not have already noticed is that because it is
so late in the afternoon and I am filming with this window open the light is changing a lot and the light would have
already changed quite a bit now to the start of the video but it doesn’t really matter. Only the background is changing and the light on me is
remaining pretty consistent. Now that’s all once again
obviously personal preference. I easily could shut the window and have everything locked down and have no changing variables
like light changing outside. That is all personal preference And in a lot of cases
you may want to do that but personally I don’t mind having some natural light
coming through the window as long as it’s not
changing things too much and making the videos distracting
for the viewers watching. Now there’s another really
popular lighting setup called three-point lighting. This is obviously we’re using three lights to light up your subject but it’s something that you’ll
see a lot in documentaries on broadcast and in films and even on a lot of
YouTube channels as well. So the idea here is you’ve got once again, one really bright primary light that’s going to shine on the
side of your subjects face and then you have a second fill light on the other side that’s going to fill in some of those darker shadows and the third light is usually positioned behind your subject and in a lot of cases up high throwing some nice light down to separate your
subject from the background. So it’s lining up the back of their head or the top of their head and the shoulders to really give some depth to again separate them
from the background. Wow while I’m a big fan of
the three-point lighting setup and we do use it a lot
for any documentary shoots or for a lot of corporate work as well. It’s actually not my go to recommendation for setting up for content videos or for videos like this for YouTube. For most people and for most setups, I think it’s overkill and you probably won’t even notice the subtle differences
that the third light or that even in some
cases that a second light is going to do for your video. So don’t let that stop
you creating the content. Now if you do want to get more advanced with your lighting and you do
have more lights to play with then you can start to experiment and adjust the different brightnesses and play around with shadows and really get creative and once you’ve dialed in your look and you’re happy with how
you look in your videos then you can play around
with the background and get creative with that as well but remember the focus needs to be on you and the final tip on how to
get everything set up fast every time you’re going to shoot is to try and leave everything
either exactly set up the way that you want it or almost exactly set
up the way you want it. So just a matter of walking
in turning on your lights making any minor adjustments
or tweaks if you need to and then you’re good to go. This is gonna save you a heap
of time setting everything up and packing everything up
every time you want to shoot. If everything is almost
the way that you need it and all you’re doing is just
adjusting the brightness up and down to dial it
in properly for that day and for those lighting conditions it’s gonna make it much much
faster for you to get set up and get your content creation underway. One other tip to remember when
you’re setting up your lights is to position them so they’re slightly higher than eye level. So whether you’re sitting or standing make those adjustments so that your lights are just higher than your eye level and that’s going to give you that nice little twinkle in the eyes that you can see in a lot of videos. So as always start with what you have. Now if you don’t already then I suggest that you
get at least one light and it could be something like
the Yongnuo YN-300 air light. These are the lights
that I’m actually using in my studio here and these are also might go to portable travel lights as well for any filming that
I’m doing on the road. These are a really nice soft light and they can be powered
by either batteries or you can plug them into the wall and power them that way as well. Now if you do want some
more recommendations on both portable and studio lighting kits then check out the link on screen now featuring some of our top recommendations and what we like about
them and I’ll see you soon.

100 thoughts on “Video Lighting Tutorial (Video Lighting for Beginners!)

  1. Thank you for your videos! Can you share how you would light someone wearing glasses?

  2. Thank you for all your awesome videos! I currently filming and editing recipe videos for my up coming food blog. So far, I made a few videos and wasn't happy with the result so here I am learning things from the pro ;-). I need lights for both food photography and recipe videos. I don't know if I should get the the 2 lights soft boxes or the 2 YongNuo YN300-Air. I like to YongNuo as they are small and portable, easy to put away. Will 2 YongNuo be enough for food photography and recipe videos. Also, which stands and battery or ac adapter do I need if I buy the YoungNuo. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge!

  3. The video actually looked a lot better with that light above you on 🙂 I could barely see the bags under the eyes.

  4. I love your videos! Can I ask what you're using for the purple/blue light in the background? Are those black lights?

  5. Great video! Do you have a battery brand and size you've found to work well with the Yongnuo YN 300 air?

  6. My lighting is set up similar to yours; however, I always have an issue with my glasses. Any tips? If you wouldn't mind checking out one of my videos to see how I can improve or adjust the lighting set up it would be greatly appreciated. I do film in a designated room, so I leave the set up at all times.

  7. Hi Justin. Thanks for sharing so great content. You don't use teleprompter anymore?

  8. Great videos matey, lots of tips in all your stuff… I have a couple of the big studio lights but I seem to get flickering between light and dark in some of my videos – I try to avoid using the natural light from a window behind my camera, as there are some huge trees nearby and they sway around and cause issues – but the getting light then dark is bugging me… do I need to set my camera white balance to a different setting do you reckon…? any tips welcome! Thank you – keep up with the great channel

  9. Thank you very much Justin. I started uploading videos on Youtube last November and one of my problems is that I only use natural lighting (sun), and always tell myself that I need lots of money to have good lighting but I am inspired by this video. I know it will help me improve my videos. Thanks man!

  10. Thanks for a great basic tutorial on this. I am always challenged by getting the lighting correct. Keep up the great work.

  11. Amazing video! Used some of these tips on my latest video:

  12. Awesome tips. I used a dyi light but it is blasting me like there is a sun in my face

  13. What kind of stand do you have the light on the right mounted on?

  14. You're a lovely guy! Thanks for the tips and attitude towards filming for the sake of making good content with creativity. Blessings 😉

  15. Well done and thank you for your contribution to my education. Keep up the good work!

  16. Hi Justin, are your video's not monetized? I've watched several and I don't recall seeing an ad once….

  17. The top 2 questions in your comments are about glare on eyeglasses, with no answer from you. You're probably very busy, but a lot of people wear glasses, & glare is an issue. Any tips for that?

  18. Thank you very much for the info in the video. The demos really brought the point home.

    I would appreciate your advice, if you can help. I am working on that point #1 about lighting your subject first.
    I make youtube videos on automotive DIY & repairs, and quite often I have to do this in my garage. When I make videos outside, the lighting is perfect, but I am not very pleased with the quality of the indoor shots. Most times, I am overwhelmed by the shadows using a light source + my DSLR, and am forced to set the camera down and have to use my phone with the flash on.

    I have noticed it to be an issue with other larger youtube channels as well, for example when they are working under the vehicle or remove the wheel to work on the brakes or suspension. Are there any pointers you might have on how to properly light up a tight workspace with a lot of reflective surfaces?
    You can see the 3 lighting scenarios I have to deal with within the first 3 minutes of this example video –

  19. How do you avoid getting blinded? I've found that lights in front of me make me squint, even if they're soft.

  20. It amazes me that shirt has two more buttons on it to go tighter on the neck. Who has that small of a neck?

  21. What kind of lightning do you recommend for a Mukbang/ASMR video? Can you also do a tutorial set up for that too? Thanks in advance!

  22. You make brilliant vids. Excellent content. Informative honest clean cut no fuss presented well and to the point. Just the right amount of everything in your presentations. You are helping me buy the right gear. Thank You

  23. Thanks so much for the information, I lighting issues :/ Will definitely try your methods, thanks again!

  24. …another great video with practical tips that are easy to understand and implement!

  25. This video is perfect! You demystified the subject for me and helped me make an easy decision about how to setup my studio. I'm a new sub now 😀

  26. I just bought the aputure light dome 2 and I constantly get comments on my lighting is not positioned properly I have watched many videos on my day but I guess I just don't understand

  27. Justin thank you for the video. What is the black material which is located behind your camera in this video? It has pyramid patterns.

  28. Thanks mate, getting set up your vid was perfect at explaining what and why re lighting.

  29. Do you think using these round lights in front of the camera ( that make the eyes round and glowing) work?

    Or better use separate lights? Thank you!

  30. Can you pls review Kodak Ring Light i just want to know about Kodak R5 Ring Light.

  31. I got umbrella lights because when they are pointing right into my face I tend to squint. Does anyone else use those? Thanks Justin for all these tips.

  32. Please checkout my YouTube channel, I brought an Ulanzi 96 LED light with a white & yellow soft filter I was thinking of getting a cutting mat to place down on my table to take the shine off my table. If you as you can see I need the light on my hands and the object that I am reviewing, I main film with my iPhone 7 Plus. Please can you give me any tips, my channel is called ‘Paleo Postman’ thank you.

  33. I am a newbie at recording video. Thank you so much for this tutorial on lighting. Lighting is everything. And you gave me some great insight. New subscriber. Thanks again

  34. Great video Justin! Wish you'd drop in some links to eBay Australia to buy the YN300's (fellow affiliate marketer here, happy to support you!)

  35. Thank you very much. The light just above the eye tip was marvelous. 😀

  36. Hi,great vid..need your advice please, i plan to do YouTube guitar covers using a c920 webcam,i know there are just SO many lighting options but for the sake of simplicity what would be one item you recommend first for immediate results,cheers!

  37. Justin, YOU ROCK! Thanks for all the tips, and paving the way for new creators to Youtube!

  38. Great video my friend. Simple and easy to understand!

    I also had a thought, for the "window" light. This might be a bit overboard, but to keep a consistent outside light…what would you think about getting a 4-6 foot led light and place in the window behind the blinds up against the glass. A while back I purchased a pack of six Barrina LED Shop Lights, 40w 5000 lumens 5000K, 4ft V shaped T8 light tube. These are the lights I had in mind when adding the comment. Hope that it helps add value to the conversation. Cheers!

  39. Thank you for this video, it was really useful, I am starting my YouTube channel and it was important for me to look it up, I am glad you uploaded a video covering this topic!

  40. I loved watching this lighting video and I use your lighting in my own youtube art channel

  41. I want to get infos of your blue color light in the background!!

  42. What do you suggest if you have black walls behind you? If you check my last video I’m such a mess I don’t know what to do.

  43. Hi what would you suggest to buy and within price i want to show my makeup products swatches talk about them ect something not to expensive as iv got small budget left. U mentioned ring lights not great but cheaper option?Better to buy yongnuos? will i need2 if so what would you recommend yn-300 air x2 or 1 off plus aputure Al-M9 anything else soft boxes come in at a price 🙁 So confused whats best for now??

  44. Justin a big thank you to you and your brother for inspiring me with these amazing videos. JM

  45. Thank you for your videos! Really pleasant to watch as well as learning a lot

  46. Thank you so much, Justin. My mistake was placing the lights in the wrong place, after I watched your video, my lighting in my mini studio looked much better. Thank you very much!!

  47. I love all your videos. You put the subject out there and make it super simple to learn. You're a very good teacher.

  48. Thanks for the video. I got a lot out of it. I had been told to put my backlight on the ground but I will definitely try lighting from above.

  49. Came back for a second look at this one Justin. My lighting still sucks but getting better as I experiment more. Love your point about choosing the style you like and it being a choice. No right or wrong in creative endeavours!

  50. Thank you for the tips! I have gotten a lot better with indoor lighting, using a lot of natural light has been helpful (just making adjustments to when the best time to shoot is so the light isnt too intense).

  51. Thanks for the tips. I have very pale skin and even the smallest amount of light makes me shine like the sun. ? any advice

  52. Hello Justin, I just watched your lighting videos and still have some questions. What would you suggest for live tutoring videos, were the camera would be withing 3 feet from the subject, lots of laminated props (reflection problems), and backgrounds that would include white boards & posters?

    -I need lighting on the subject, props, & background without reflection or glare.


  53. how i make it bright i might either make a video at night because its always bright that time or i will do it in the early morning because the sun will make it bright by opening the curtains.Those 2 were my number 1 to make it light.

  54. can i use a torch? because that is light. wait a minute i have those same lights in the seiling thanks i can use the lights now for my vids

  55. I have two lights, sort of like you have. They're on either side of the camera, like yours. I stand in front of my wall, and there are huge shadows on either side of me on the wall. How do you prevent shadows on the wall or objects behind you? Do you have a video on this? Thanks!!

  56. hi , l recently pourchased macrem led ring light kit 6 inches for you tube is it better?

  57. You do have pretty much perfect lighting in that room. I like the blueish purple accents in the back.

  58. Great video! Can you share what you used to achieve the purple color projected on your back walls? Looks great, and perhaps you could share an Amazon link (if they carry them)?

  59. My hands are tied. My room is crowed as to where I can have an area to set up. I was finally able to place my backdrop in a certain area. I can't come forward to have the overhead fluorescent light behind me. I have no other place I can put the camera. It would go right out the door. However, I can back up to the curtain with the fluorescent light ahead of me. The view through my camera lens does look better than before. Originally I was positioned right under the fluorescent light and it did cast a heavy shadow on my face. The backdrop cloth which is a painter's drop cloth still doesn't look that great. It is shadowy looking in areas. I do plan to buy a couple of clamp lights and soft white light bulbs to see if it helps. The light from my lamps was yellow looking and did not reach me enough. Also I don't want the Tv tray showing up in my videos. Your video is great. I am just a person with limitations and can't afford much. Any more suggestions?

  60. Justin, thanks so much for this hugely helpful vid. We hopeful influencers out here thrive on this great info! Cheers, brother. (Btw, you do look good with your lighting!)

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