YouTube is one of the biggest platforms for creatives and artists from all disciplines. Filmmakers, videographers, and photographers are some of the most benefited from the website’s popularity, making use of it to showcase their work and reach an audience of millions. Moreover, creators also share lots of tutorials, tips, and vlogs about their industries, often featuring themselves in front of the camera. This setup has become the norm across the platform, but new channels often struggle to achieve a good look. Here, we share 7 tips and tricks to light better YouTube videos.
Use a large source of light
The first thing you should do to get closer to that signature YouTube vlog look is using a large source of light. A larger surface area will also be softer and more uniform in how it illuminates you as a subject and the background behind you. If you don’t have a large light, a DIY softbox can be very helpful.
Don’t bother with elaborate light setups
Three-point lighting setups are not exactly necessary when shooting videos with this format. Of course, you can do it if you have the means, but if you don’t a large LED panel or any other light with a softbox will do to illuminate yourself, and perhaps a backlight to separate yourself from the background.
Mind the position of your lights
How you position your lights will directly influence how you look on camera. With a large light, you want to place it as close to you as you can without it entering the frame. The height and angle of the light are also important. You can try a 45-degree angle (slightly to either side of your face) and a slight tilt from above to get appealing results.
Separate yourself from the background
As always, clearly separating yourself from the background is a good idea. If your background is neutral, this separation might not be too noticeable and you could achieve your goal by simply using the right lens. However, if you have an interesting background and don’t want to lose that much detail in your videos, you can use a backlight on yourself to mark that separation and lower the exposition of the scene behind you.
Make it visually interesting
Even if you’ll just be talking about your day, you want to try and play with your image. As visual artists and creators, one of the most basic things we can do besides working with light is working with color. Playing with the colors of your clothes, your background, or even the color temperature of the lights you set up in contrast with other elements in frame can make a great visual difference.
Define your ratios and aesthetic
The devil is in the details. While the sort of setup we’re talking about is one you can generally find on most YouTube channels of this kind, you can craft a signature style within these guidelines to set yourself apart from the crowd. For instance, you can define how flat or varied you want the lighting to be; if you’ll be talking to the camera directly or at an angle that shows equipment, among other choices like using a real background or a green screen.