Lighting your videos properly is one of the most important things that you can do. Doing it well means that your work will be illuminated and you will have a better chance to get viewers to see the video the way you want them to see it. Doing it poorly can torpedo a project. When you are setting up your lighting for a video shoot, go through the steps below to make sure that you have the essentials covered.

1: Set your White Balance

Before you even start shooting, you should make sure that any cameras you are using have the white balance set properly. This is usually as simple as pointing your camera at a white object and pressing a single button. The exact way to set your white balance can be found in your camera’s manual. Doing this will make sure that your colors pop properly when you start filming. A poor white balance means a lot of post production work and a lower quality final product.

2: Take the Sun into Account

If you are filming outside, you should know where the sun is at all times. Even if it doesn’t seem like the sun is affecting your video, it will change the way things look on film. The sun can be a powerful source of natural lighting that can make your job easier, or it can flood out your shots and make things more difficult. Consider the time that you are filming and make sure that the sun is to your liking at that time. It is unlikely that your lights can drown out the sun’s rays, so if you are filming outside this will always be a factor.

3: Secure your External Light

Make sure that you have at least one strong LED external light and that it is put in a stable place. Many cameras, even DSLRs, have insufficient lighting built in. A good example of one of these lights would be the Sima Ultra Bright Video Light, which provides focused and clear white light for your shoot. Whether you use that product or another, an external light is essential when shooting. Consider the placement carefully before you start shooting.

4: Stabilize all Lights

Make sure that any lights you use are stable and not capable of being jostled or rattled during a shot. A wavering light is a distraction to the audience and something that will cause a lot of work in post production. Ideally, you should invest in a good lighting stand, which can help hold your light steady even if there is a lot of movement nearby. A good light stand to look at is the Lowel Pro Light, which comes with an umbrella that you can adjust to make sure that the light remains consistent in retakes and additional shots.

Overall, the key to good lighting largely boils down to good preparation and equipment. Make sure that you have the best gear you can afford on hand. Don’t go for unreliable solutions such as not using a proper light stand or relying on the sun to provide all your lighting in outdoor shots. By following the advice outlined here, your videos will look better than ever.