Fresh eyes

Understand lighting to help your videos stand out from the crowd

Understand lighting to help your videos stand out from the crowd
Ben Hewes Head of Video; PR & Comms Manager

Published by Ben Hewes,
Content Marketing & Video Production Manager at Freshfield

When Freshfield’s video team begins to plan a shoot, there are a number of elements to take into consideration, from location to subject matter, from equipment required to whether or not the finished product will need subtitles for those with impaired hearing.

As with any element of a marketing programme, it is this planning that can make a real difference.

Our video team includes former journalists, PR advisers and designers, as well as photographers, so we can look at every element of a video project from the ground up.

We ask ourselves, what is the best way to tell a story, are there any graphics needed, and what will work?

Lighting makes all the difference

One often overlooked factor that can make a difference between a professional-looking video and a home movie is the lighting.

One top tip we learnt very early on was to use the natural light available to us on a location shoot. Filming requires what is known as a key light – the principle source used to light the subject of a video.

Other lights then come into play – fill lights to remove shadows from a face, a hair light to separate the subject from the background, and so on.

Understanding these basic principles of lighting makes a real difference on a shoot, but too often it’s tempting to rely solely on artificial light sources.

Use daylight to maximum effect

But take a look around and there is a major source of lighting available to everyone – daylight.

On a recent shoot, the Freshfield team incorporated light from large windows in the filming location to great effect, using a reflector and just one artificial light to complete the look.

Daylight and artificial light look different on camera, so it is still necessary to adjust the white balance accordingly, and experiment with different strengths of light. Once happy with the lighting setup, it can save both setup time and space, particularly if a shooting location is small or you are operating to a smaller budget.

Getting the lighting right is key to creating a successful video and worth the time spent.

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