How Authors Use Lighting for Media Interviews

Stonehenge at Winter Solstice

In today’s digital age, home studios have become an essential component of an author’s office, serving not just for webinars and training sessions, but also for media interviews. While there are numerous aspects to consider when setting up an effective studio, lighting stands out as one of the top priorities.

However, despite its importance, I’ve noticed that lighting is often one of the least effectively managed elements in many home studios, right behind the importance of having a high quality microphone. Proper lighting can significantly enhance the functionality and professionalism of your studio setup, not to mention the fact that done correctly, you will look so much better! And let’s face it, we all want that! So I thought a piece about getting your lighting situation in order makes a lot of sense, particularly because you use a camera for any kind of interview.

Here are some tips to help you achieve great lighting for your studio

Maximize Natural Light: Position your desk near a window to take advantage of natural light, which is easier on the eyes and can help improve mood and productivity. Use light-filtering curtains or blinds to control glare and adjust the intensity of the light. This may sound obvious, but make sure the light is on your face, behind the camera. Not the other way around.

Use Three Point Lighting: Three Point Lighting is a fundamental and widely used lighting technique in photography and videography. This setup involves three primary light sources positioned strategically around the subject to achieve a well-balanced and professional look. They are as follows:

  • Key Light: This is the main light source and is typically the brightest. It is placed to one side of the camera, aiming at the subject, you.
  • Fill Light: Positioned on the opposite side of the key light, the fill light helps to soften and reduce the shadows created by the key light, preventing them from being too harsh.
  • Backlight (or Hair Light): This light is placed behind the subject, often pointing down towards them. It helps to separate the subject from the background, adding depth and dimension to the shot.

Really the main point here is to try different variations, sit in front of the camera, record yourself, and look back at the lighting. Make adjustments as necessary until you find a way that looks fantastic.

Balance with Room Decor: Reflective surfaces like mirrors can help distribute light throughout the room, while dark-colored walls and furniture may absorb light, requiring additional lighting sources.

Consistent Lighting: Ensure that the lighting in your home office is consistent with no dark spots or overly bright areas. This uniformity can help reduce eye strain.

Smart Lighting Options: Consider smart lighting systems that can be controlled via a smartphone or digital assistant. These systems can allow you to easily adjust the intensity and color temperature of the light, and even set lighting schedules.

Bottom line

Remember that the primary goal of lighting for interviews is to ensure that you look visually appealing and professional on camera. Proper lighting can significantly enhance the clarity and quality of the visual presentation, highlighting your best features while minimizing any imperfections. (Not that any of us have any of those, but just in case.)

To your success!


P.S. This week marks the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere. It is when we have the longest night of the year and the shortest day of daylight. After December 21st, each day typically lengthens by approximately 2 minutes and 7 seconds. By around January 18th, there will be an added hour of daylight, and subsequently, every four weeks, an additional hour of sunlight is expected to extend the daylight duration.

The Winter Solstice at Newgrange in Ireland





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