How to light your talent
Mark Horton avatar
Written by Mark Horton
Updated over a week ago

Good lighting can make a simple shoot look far more polished. The aim is to evenly light your talent's face. Here are 4 easy tips on how you can light your talent:

1. Choose your light source

We recommend working with natural light as much as possible. Find a naturally well lit environment to film in, either a room with big windows or outdoors. If you’re shooting outdoors, soft and even natural light, like at dusk or dawn, or when it’s cloudy, works best.

If you need a little extra light to help fill in shadows on your subject's face, grab the LED light in your Shootsta Kit. The Shootsta Kit LED light is perfect for filling in those remaining shadows. Check out our guide on How to set up the Shootsta Kit LED Light.

Make sure to match the LED light's colour setting to your environment's existing light. For example dial the LED to a cool (white) light if you're filming in daylight and dial the LED to a warm (orange) light if you're filming in a setting with other warm (orange) lights. Then position it above your subject's eye line, directing it at the side of their face in shadow. If your talent is wearing glasses, the light is best held slightly higher above or below their eyeline, to avoid causing a reflection. Not sure how much light is needed? Start with a little bit of light and work your way up until you reach your desired result.

Need even more? Perhaps consider three-point lighting.

2. Have your talent face TOWARDS your main light source.

Although it’s tempting to use a window as a backdrop, the contrast in light between inside and outside will either 'blow out' the background with white light

or cast your talent in shadow, giving a distinct ‘witness protection look'.

Instead, do the 'spinny-thingy test': grab your camera, put your hand or your talent in front of the lens, and spin around to see where the light is at its best.

3. Avoid overhead lights.

Avoid overhead lights or direct sunlight as they can cast unflattering shadows on your talent's face.

4. Don't overexpose your talent.

If you have too much light coming from a single source, this can cause part of your shot to become overexposed... 👻. Either move your camera and your talent farther away from your light source or move your light source farther away.

Need help or have questions? Contact us. We'd love to help!

Did this answer your question?