Lighting Your Set

There are many ways to light your set and enhance the feeling of your show. Below I am going to break down different lighting and how they effect the outcome of your content.

Daylight/Golden Hours

One of the most flattering light sources you can shoot in is natural light. Typically when the sun isn’t its harshest, so morning and just before sunset. Please keep in mind when utilizing sunlight you are on a time constraint. As the sun rises and sets you may get washed out or end up in the dark. Buyers looove casual morning shows in the morning late. They also love public sunset style shows.

Ring Lights

This is my go-to lighting method. There are tons of ring lights to choose from and it can be overwhelming. The key features you want to look for are:

Adjustable Intensity of Light

Adjustable Light Temp (cool and warm light)

Adjustable Height

Mount for Your Phone

Long Power Cable

There are also ring lights that are not the traditional circular shape. They may come in a heart shape or star. The only benefit to a “ring light” in that shape is the reflection it creates. When your eyes line up with the camera lens and the light you will see the ring light reflection in your pupil or glasses. When its a heart shape it will reflect a little heart instead of a ring. This is super cute for kawaii style creators, but i personally don’t use one like that.

LED Color Lights

LED lights can be purchased in a plethora of styles and colors. Each one has its benefits and uses. Below i’ll break down the various common types.

Strip Lights

LED strip lights are perfect for wrapping around your bed frame, behind TVs and Mirrors. Places where the strip itself is hidden but the glow of the light is visible.

LED Bulbs

This is like your standard light bulb but can illuminate many different colors including a white light. I have these in my bed side lamps. These are great for flooding a general area with color in all directions. Having them beside my bed allows me to change the entire vibe of my bedroom with one click. These are also great because you can dim and brighten them.

Rope Lights

These are perfect for illuminating around tops of walls as they look better then the strip lights when not illuminated. They are also very durable so they can be handled and used in more extreme conditions. I love using them for illuminating through loose cotton to look like glowing clouds.

Lighting Tips

When considering lighting your set even if you use colorful led lights I suggest utilizing a ring light. Flooding the whole set with just color, especially dark colors like red or blue, will make it very difficult to see the goods in a show. For a photo set it could be artsy and beautiful, but if you are gonna bang yourself they should be able to see it. A common issue I see are models doing red light shows with no ring light. It makes it impossible to see any body detail. You can always start with a naughty tease in this lighting and then turn on the ring light for the remainder of the show.

When setting up a ring light you want the center of light level with your face. This is traditionally where you will have it unless you are shooting from the ground up. Having the light source high while the camera is significantly lower will cast shadows downward blacking out everything you are trying to show off. Lower the ring light to the floor and point it toward the focal point. If you shoot from the ground up often I recommend getting a small table top ring light. That way you dont have to adjust or struggle with a large ring light.

When using LED lights to add color to your set make sure to consider your background. White walls can be completely illuminated when the light source is placed close enough to the wall outside of the camera frame.

Please keep in mind when shooting some LED curtain lights and other lights where the strand is visible to the camera you may see a flicker in the bulb. This has to with the frame rate of your camera and the rate the power current is running through the light. Some colors may cause this and some may not. If you come across this try shooting at a slightly lower frame rate or select a different color that doesn’t do it. If you let it flicker you create a strobe like effect which could trigger seizures in viewers.

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