After our last Kajabi tutorial on camera gear for filming your online courses, we got a ton of questions and feedback. As always, we’re listening and working to create content that’ll help your business grow.
One of the questions that caught our attention was from Kajabi client, Jon. He said: “It would be great to learn more about lighting, especially if we’re recording in our home offices.”
So, inspired by Jon (hi, Jon 👋 ) we’re going to cover techniques to improve your lighting for video.
Try using these six simple lighting tips as you film courses to ensure professional looking video every time.
1. Use a three-point lighting system
If you’re looking for a more professional set-up, you don't need to have a ton of tech experience or buy expensive equipment to film a great course video. But you will need to know how to set up lighting for video in a way that’s effective.
A three-point lighting system works best for filming and is made up of:
- Key light: Main light that illuminates the subject of the video (in this case, you!).
- Fill light: Softer lighting (about 50%-75% brightness of your key light) to fill in shadows. Usually placed in front of the subject.
- Back light: Placed behind the subject at an angle to help create dimension.
Three-point lighting for video produces great results. Here are some everyday tools you can use to create your very own three-point lighting system at home:
- A big open window
- A scarf or sheer curtain to diffuse lighting
- A roll of tinfoil
- Scotch tape
- An office chair or ladder
- Some imagination 💡
2. Film in front of an open window
Filming in front of an open window will allow for natural sunlight to be your main source of video lighting and give you a more even look. Open your window blinds and voila, you have your key light.
This particular setup is best for when you want to have your computer directly in front of you as you film. If you’re filming at a desk, be sure to move it next to your window. This allows the sunlight to come in from either the left or right side to fill your space.
If you need to diffuse the sunlight a bit, try using a sheer scarf or curtain to cover the window. Just remember, you don’t want to completely block out the sunlight, just dampen it down some.
3. Film at the right time of day
Lighting for video also depends on the time of day you film. The best time of day to film is in the late afternoon or early evening. These times are when the sun is less bright and won’t cast shadows, yet still provide ideal lighting for video recording.
If possible, avoid recording at night unless you have the proper studio lighting equipment.
4. Create a DIY fill light with tinfoil
Now that you’ve created your key light by positioning your desk next to a window, you may notice uneven lighting and shadows on your face. You’re going to need a fill light to get the right balance of video lighting.
To create a fill light, all you have to do is tape a sheet of tinfoil to anything around eye level. Try taping it to an office chair or ladder, so it’s in one place and consistent throughout your videos. You can also tape it to a large piece of cardboard for easy maneuvering.
Adjust the foil to reflect the light onto the side of your face not lit by the natural light.
Here’s a great video on how to create a DIY light reflector that you can use over and over again. With the right positioning, tinfoil can revolutionize your video lighting and best part is, it’s inexpensive!
5. Create depth with a back light
In order to help you (or your subject) stand out from the background, you’re going to need a back light. Back lighting helps create depth and, in some cases, even drama (like when people use hair lights to create a glowing effect).
There are multiple back lighting set-ups to produce different looks. To create back lighting for video at home, place a floor lamp out of frame, behind the subject to give added depth to the shot.
Play with different angles until you get the desired effect. You can also use more than one source of backlight, so see what works best for your online course videos.
6. Test and re-rest your lighting
Setting up your own three-point lighting to film your online course videos takes practice. Don’t get frustrated if you feel like your lighting isn’t “just right”. Remember to test and re-test your video lighting and jot down what works for you, so you can replicate it in the future.
Also, remember to try filming around the same time each day. This ensures you’ll get similar lighting (weather permitting) each time.
Once you’ve successfully crafted your free version of the three-point lighting system from household objects, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to film professional looking videos.
The only thing left to do is grab your laptop, smartphone, or DSLR, and start filming your beautifully lit courses!
Sell your video courses with Kajabi today
Once you’ve filmed your online course, you need a place to host, market, and sell it. That’s where Kajabi’s all-in-one platform comes in.
Share your knowledge with the world and create life-changing income with your own Knowledge Commerce business. Sign up for a free 14-Day Kajabi trial to start bringing your online course ideas to life!