5 Simple and Easy Cinematography Hacks to Improve Lighting for Video

Every good videographer or cinematographer will tell you – lighting is everything! Lighting can change the mood, feel, tone, and overall message you’re trying to convey. However, good lighting, and I mean really, really, good lighting is super expensive.

After all, video is going to be running the internet before you know it. 82% of internet traffic will be driven by video in 2021. You'll want to step up your game when following the best practices and rules of video marketing.

 5 Simple and Easy Hacks to Improve Lighting for Video

If you’re shooting video on a budget, here’s some simple and easy hacks to improve video lighting:

Smart Phone Flashlights can help with video lighting on a budget1. Utilize your smartphone flashlight

Sometimes you arrive to a video shoot and realize, “Oh no, I forgot my light at the office.” No worries, if you’re shooting a quick interview, turn on the flashlight on your cellphone and have someone hold it above the camera to add some light to the subject’s face. Works like a charm and it's easy video lighting on a budget.  

Mounted Camera Light for Improving Lighting in Videos – Story Block Media

2. Mounted camera light 

Buying the right portable light to mount onto your camera can do wonders. Some work amazingly well. I bought a Neewer CN-160 for under $30 and it gives my interviewees a natural ambient light. I can also control the strength of the light on the source and it comes with two filters. A portable light is far less expensive than spending hundreds on a professional lighting kit.

Lamps Can Improve Lighting in Videos – Story Block Media3. When life hands you lamps, make lamp-o-nade

Ok, not really. But use the light around you to light your subject. Household lamps work best because their shades work as a natural diffuser. If you have three, place one on each side of the subject, and one near your camera, facing them.  

4. Never ignore natural light

easy hacks for lighting in video – Use Natural Light

Always use natural light to your advantage. If indoors, use the light coming from a window, but never shoot the subject against it because they’ll be backlit. When shooting outdoors, the magic hour is sunrise or sunset but if you have to shoot during mid-day when the sun is harsh, find some shade to shoot under so your subject isn’t squinting.

5. Easy Product Photo Studio 

If you like DIY projects, you have to try this hack: use a cardboard box and tissue paper to make an Easy Product Photo Studio lightbox. It’s easy to make and perfect for taking photos or capturing video of products in your own home. 

Related content: Building a Brand with Video

Easy Hacks for Lighting in Video

You can get great quality video without having to spend a lot of money on expensive lighting equipment. Do you have any tried and true easy hacks to improve lighting? Tweet us and let us hear your ideas!

While lighting for video is everything, do you have all the other essentials you need to make a winning video? Grab our checklist to make sure and get shooting!

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