So the family is all there, it’s a great scene and you just want to catch that moment on film. You whip out your go to camera (which could be your phone) but there’s one thing that will make the difference between an ok image and the perfect shot, it’s lighting.

I’m 100% sure that if you keep this one thing in mind before you gather the whole family together you’ll be taking great video every time.

Think About Your Lighting

Honestly it’s as simple as thinking where the light source is coming from and I’m going to give you a few examples to show you how you can apply this technique.

Light is important in film because it sets the tone. It balances out what we see and when all we see is a dark subject (your family) or a super bright background, it can really destroy what would have been the perfect moment on film.

So here is my simple rule for thinking about light.

Put Your Subject Facing The Light

So here I have 2 images. The first is with the light on Sabby’s back.

You can see that she looks dark and it’s hard for me to fix that without making the background super bright.

If I just turn her around, the light is perfectly balanced and the problem is solved.

What If I Want Some Light In The Background

Easy, put a light in front of your subject. A strong lamp, or build a reflector.

We made one out of a piece of cardboard and an old pillow case.

What’s next?

Well there’s a few extra things that you can do to improve your videos: improving your audio or preparing your shot. All these are things we’ll cover in later posts, or checkout our DIY Pluggas course covering every thing you need.

For now just think about lighting and enjoy your Christmas 🙂



Director & Cinematographer, Fisch Rasy's love of storytelling inspires him to create powerful films. Sometimes dad duties spill over onto onset, where he's been known to give the kids a real hands on experience...

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