Are you selling products, reviewing or demonstrating them online?
Producing videos is often a great tool to help potential purchasers understand and appreciate the features of your product. As always, a quality video is a much more effective tool than one that presents as amateurish, and lighting is the number one tool to lift your video. Getting the lighting right will not only make the video more appealing to watch but give your overall credibility or “expert rating” a boost as you seek to position yourself as an expert on your products.
Where do you start in planning how to light and present a product in a streaming video or embedded feed?
You need to consider is whether you need to set up separate lighting for the two main elements:
1. Your talking to camera pieces that may or may not include a product component, and
2. Do you need to light and shoot the product as a separate shoot for layering in later, in post-production?
The main reason for shooting products separately is if you have difficult or unique features that need to be highlighted by specialized lighting. The surface of the product may make it difficult to catch all the features in a one-take video that includes your talking to camera. Reflective surfaces are particularly hard to demonstrate and are most likely worth the separate attention to set up correctly and add into your presentation later.
Here is a link to our guide to lighting products to sell or highlight their specific features.
For now let’s talk about how to light for a simple, to-camera, talking head presentation of a product.
As we mentioned earlier, poor lighting will definitely lessen your impact. That said there are many ways to approach this so we will talk here about some simple considerations that will add up to a great result.
This is most simply done with soft or semi-soft lighting to minimize shadows and at some level evenly flood your presentation area. In a television studio, they traditionally use many lights painting a flat light across a large area. This is not necessary for us in lighting a simple presentation today. Given we need to light a smaller area than a television studio, we can use fewer lights and employ the use of soft panels and or softboxes on a monobloc style LED head.
So when you consider how you could light your presenter, we would suggest at a minimum two soft LED lights offering a flood of quality light across this area. The beauty of using large softboxes or soft LED panels is that you can cover the area evenly - but more importantly, reduce any distracting shadows on your presenter and/or products. For larger areas, a third light could be considered.
An example of a simple setup could be a pair of Ledgo E268 soft LED panels. For a larger area, 2 x Forza LED video lights with 120cm Forza softboxes would work very well. Both these can incorporate grids that allow the light to remain soft but the grids direct the light where you want it.
Generally speaking, lighting from your front lights will not be enough to light your background as well. You may want a product display, in the background, or you might want the look of a study or office environment in the background. Whatever you choose, you need to consider lighting it and balancing it with your presentation lights. The use of small detail lights, or even more soft panels or LED heads with softboxes should be considered. By balancing the rear lights with the front lights, you will eradicate shadows from your product video.
So in simple terms: You will need a minimum of 2 soft lights for the presenter and preferably two soft or flooding lights for the background. If you have a busy or detailed background, like a bookshelf or study/library, or product display. If you could make good use of a small light fixture to light parts of the background. This can be achieved with soft light but we recommend grids for control of where the light falls.
If you want to use a green screen background, then the green screen needs to be evenly illuminated so that the software picks up the green screen area well. To achieve even lighting on the green screen, we would recommend two of the Forza LED lights with softboxes, if you have the room in your studio. If the room in your studio is limited, large flooding AltaTube LED strip lights can be used, they have a good output and even coverage.
Also consider, PROtog can give more specific lighting advice for your specific product demo video, we are always happy to help.