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Let's Talk Lighting

On my 30th birthday, our family went out for dinner at a nice Italian restaurant. We all sat down and about 15 minutes into the event, I asked my mom to take a picture with me. As I expected, she hesitated.


“I hate the way I look in phone pictures,” she said. I told her just let Matt take it. He’ll find the good lighting. So, my mom reluctantly gave in as my Director of Photography husband snapped the picture.


I quickly flipped the phone around to show her the result.


“Wow! That’s great! I need a copy of that one!” she said. Matt and I both laughed. Lighting is everything, he told her. Three years later, my mom still uses that picture for everything (work, social media, etc.)


It’s Not About Vanity, It’s About Quality


Let’s ditch the notion once and for all that good lighting has anything to do with personal vanity. My mom is not vain. Like many of us, she’s just accustomed to being photographed or filmed in an unflattering way.


No one wants to look like a worse version of him or herself. You want to look your best, always!


Consider the last time you presented in front of a large group of people. Perhaps it was a group of investors, potential clients, employees, or customers. I’m certain you took stock of your appearance and carefully designed your presentation. You might even have had a designer or marketing specialist check your materials before you stood in front of an audience and told your story.


Do not think it vanity to care about how you look on screen, how you present yourself, or how your brand is portrayed through a visual medium. You deserve to look your best, you deserve a well-told story, and professional lighting can help you achieve those goals.


3 Simple Ways Lighting Enhances a Video Production


Improve the Subject’s Appearance

The most notable way lighting improves a video production is by boosting the subject’s physical appearance. Lighting can smooth the appearance of wrinkles, highlight or soften facial traits, it can even make your hair look brighter and more dynamic.


Lighting can create separation, and help a subject pop off of a background, so there is depth and visual interest. Lighting can also be controlled to avoid reflection in your glasses which can be quite distracting for audiences.


Create a Desired Mood


Lighting can make a scene feel bright and cheerful or more serious and thoughtful. How does this matter to your brand or business? Well, it depends on the type of mood you want associated with your brand story. What message are you trying to communicate to your audience everyday?

Let’s take a doctor’s office for instance. As a medical professional, you want new patients to feel comfortable and safe. So you wouldn’t record a shaky video in a dimly lit room. You would want your lighting to reflect comfort, safety, trustworthiness. You wouldn’t want shadows on your face or anything that would make you seem unapproachable.


On the contrary, if you have a serious, perhaps emotional brand story that needs to be told, you would want the lighting to support that mood. You would likely want something a bit darker, softer, and more contemplative.


Guide or Shift a Storyline


Lighting can also help guide or shift a storyline. A change in lighting can signify a change is coming in the narrative. You see this a lot in feature films, but it can also be subtly infused into video brand content as well.

The Future for Video is Bright


Maybe you’ve been unsure about video content and investing in more quality video production work for your brand. COVID changed everything. Our work environment has become increasingly virtual and that will only expand as more companies move to a remote style or hybrid model.


As your video content increases, think about the level of quality. Think about the lighting. Think about the composition. Your video content should be clearly communicating your message at every level, and you should feel confident using this content for a long time.


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