Lighting A Subject… The Right Way!

Are you searching for some quick tips on how to light a film or photo subject properly? If so, you’re in luck – because inside this guide, you’re going to find the advice you’re looking for. So without any further introduction, let’s get straight to the advice we have for you.


Tip 1 – Be ready to work fast

headshot-actor-photo-tipsWhile you may have plenty of time to get your lighting perfect when you’re studying in film school, online or in the real industry, speed is often very important – because you’ll often have only a few minutes to get it right. For example, if you’re lighting a TV interview, there will be times where you only have 10 to 15 minutes to get the lighting perfect.

Typically, with actor headshot photos, you’ll have more time as still photography can be, at time, a bit slower pace than doing a talking head interview.

In these tough situations, you’ll often have little more than your on-camera light, and LED super clamp light, and your ambient light to get the shot you’re looking for. Ultimately, learning how to make use of limited options in a short time frame will make you a real asset in the industry – so focusing on these aspects of interview lighting is certainly worth your time.

Credit to for the use of the images in the blog post. Always been a fan of their work and now their creative photography team is really starting to knock it out of the park!

Tip 2 – Get creative

One of the best ways to learn proper interview lighting technique is to study the basics, but once you’ve mastered these, don’t be afraid to spread your wings and get a little creative. Of course, while you don’t want the lighting to distract from the content of the interview, there’s no denying that many of the industry’s top players aren’t following the conventional rule book when it comes to lighting interview.

As an example, one of the most popular ways to learn interview lighting is to create the ‘spotlight’ effect with a dark background, which is great for illuminating the subject, but can sometimes create a very unnatural look. Ultimately, being creative is the key to setting yourself apart while still performing the job that’s expected of you.

BONUS: I found this video that has a couple more great examples of lighting techniques