How Many Video Lights Do You Need When You're Starting Out Making Videos?


When I walk into a room to set up for an interview I'll tell you what I'm thinking.

I'm thinking
Where are the power outlets?
How many circuits are there?
Is furniture moveable?
Is there an air conditioning vent? Is it noisy?
Where are the windows?
Is it sunny, cloudy or sun/shade/sun/shade?
How long is the interview?
How long do I have to set up?
Will it get hot with the lights in here?
Is there a stylistic look I have to match?
Has the interviewee got small eyes, bulging eyes, deep-set eyes?
Do they seem agreeable? How will they react to light right in their eyes?

All these questions and more take me generally about ten seconds to assess. Only then do I even think about what lights I will use. The choice of video lighting is the last decision I make.

So many ’Getting Started With Video' Blogs hand out the advice, 'when starting with lighting you need to get the essentials: a key light, fill light and backlight and arrange them so you get a result that's pleasing to the eye. That's like saying get an accelerator, a brake and a clutch pedal and keep pushing until you go really fast.

Lighting is an art, not a science.

When you are starting out with your videos, leave the purchasing of lights till later. Stop thinking about the delivery room when you're only three months pregnant.

Right now just do one of two things.

Find a window, face it and make your video there.

Borrow a desk lamp from wherever you can, place it above your phone and shine it in your eyes. If you say but it's really bright then that's a good sign that's it is working.

Have a play around with this simple set up, have a look at what's behind you to make sure you don't have a post that looks like it's growing out of your head, press record and make a video. Your videos will evolve, your style will evolve and then go and buy yourself the right lights for the right purpose to get the right look you are after.

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