Video Lighting NOT on a Stage 101 – Angles, Balance, Ways to Make it Pop! – featuring GVM

Lighting for the camera is more common then ever before – even off a stage! In this video, I show you how to use some video lights from GVM to create a great look.

Setting up video lighting for a video shoot rather than lighting a stage is a bit different.

Setting Up

Because you will be using different lights for a studio setup than you would be for a stage setup there is a different way to go about placement.

Panel Lights

When you pull your panel light out of the package and get ready to use it it comes with a few things. It will have barn doors on it as well as a diffusion card and a bunch of LED’s that run via app control. The cool thing about units like these is that they are a full color unit meaning that they have cool and warm light and RGB.

Lighting for Video

When lighting for video the first light we want to work with is the “key light”. This light is the light that is directly in front of you and controls how bright you are on camera depending on where you are standing in location to the video.

Where to Put the Key Light

Your key light will come with a stand so that you can easily maneuver it where it needs to be. The key light is often times best at eye level, facing straight at the presenter. In comparison to the camera you will generally shift it a couple of degrees in one way or the other. The purpose for the small shift is to create a shadow side to the face of the subject on video so that the audience can more easily see the presenter’s facial expressions while providing a bit of contrast and depth.

Be cautious to avoid placing the light too high if yours is one that hangs from above so that you do not create a shadow under the eyes.

Key Light Details

Once you have the placement set you will then begin to tweak the details regarding the exposure, brightness, contrast, hue, etc. It is important to step back into the light on camera to see exactly what needs to be adjusted so that the presenter will look perfect on camera.

Backlight and Texture

Another great way to make video even more aesthetically pleasing is to light the texture in the room and get a bit of backlight on the presenter. You may use a separate light similar to your key light and set it low and give it a some color. You will set this light close to the backdrop to avoid shadow and make the backdrop pop perfectly to give a little more depth to your video.

Side Light

Adding a side light give you the option to add just a bit of color to the presenter. To do that, set your light on a stand and place it slightly off camera so that your audience won’t see it in the frame. Then you will need to take the time to choose a hue that blends well with your backlight and adjust the brightness and degree according to your liking by standing where the presenter will stand on video.


Using three basic lights that you can purchase via Amazon is more than enough to give your video presentation the perfect look you are going for. It is all about taking the time to ensure that your placement and minor details of each light are suited to the person who will be the subject of your video. This will take a bit of tweaking and double checking the over all look but once you have it set, you will be good to go and ready to put on your very best video performance!

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