Profesional Interview Lighting Setup Tutorial

How to create an amazing interview lighting setup, easily and quickly!

in todays video, we’re going to teach you how to achieve fantastic, different looking interviews with the help of some lighting.

Getting Started

Now, before we begin getting stuck in to talking lighting, it’s very important to take a few minutes to firstly assess your scene and find your frame.

If you’re shooting an interview in a building that has windows, consider what the natural light is doing and how it fills the room as this could be the deciding factor as to where you place your subject and how you light your scene. It’s a good idea to use lighting to enhance and improve upon on what is already happening in the scene rather than compete against it. (Give example)

You also need to consider your foreground and your background – think about any possible distractions in the background or foreground that could interrupt your viewers attention, but also about what objects you could add into your background and foreground to add interest in the shot. It’s important to also think about if you want your subject to interact slightly more with the background or be separated from the background?


So after you’ve found your scene, you know where you’re going to be shooting and where you want your subject, you need to consider how you are going to light it and the look you want to achieve.

Now, if you have access to plenty of equipment, and the ability to turn off the house lights or block windows, we’d recommend doing this so you have complete control over your lighting setup, but this sin’t always the case and if you only have access to one light or two, you may need to keep these on and work with them.

Key Light

So typically, for this sort of look, we start by setting up our key light, now today we are in a studio without any windows so we don’t need to worry about them but we are going to turn off the room lights so the room is as dark as possible. Now, the Key Light. The Key light is the main light, usually the brightest and the main one used to light our subject.

We’re using the Aperture 300D But you can use literally any light with a bright enough output.

As a general rule of thumb, we’ll set this up on about a 45 degrees angle from our subject as we want create some contrast on out subject.

The next thing to do is to soften our light so it isn’t as harsh. To do this, we’re using the soft box but you can use a whole range of things to achieve a similar look such as a white bedsheet, shower curtain, baking sheet or you can always just bounce the light off of something that’s large and white like a wall.

As you can see, the key light creates a nice light across the face and a catch light in the eye which helps to add some life into the shot.

Hair Light

Next, to achieve the high key look we are going for, we’re going to add a hair light. The hair light is a much less powerful light that we’re going to put on the opposite side of the primary key light, behind our subject.

We’ll angle this towards our subject and you can see how it creates a beautiful highlight around the shoulders and head and this just helps separate our subject from the background in the frame.


Next, we’re going to add some practical lights into the background of the shot. Practical lights are lights that can help add interest into our frame and add more depth into the shot.

And there we have it, that’s a pretty standard cinematic interview setup that you can achieve with a very low budget and get similar results to others who have access to thousands of pounds worth of lighting equipment.

Fill Light

Next, to achieve the high key look we are going for, we’re going to add a fill light. The fill light is a less powerful light that sits on the opposite side of the primary key light. It’s known as a fill light because it will literally fill in the high-contrast shadows that the key light creates on a subject’s face.

The fill light is again, roughly placed at a 45 degree angle on the opposing side and you can see the difference that this light makes.

Okay, so we have a key light and a fill light setup and we’re happy with how it looks, so now we are going to consider what else we can do to add interest in the shot and create some depth.


To help make your subject stand out in the frame and create more depth, you can add a hair light or an edge light. We’re going to place this light behind, a couple of feet away to add some light to the shoulder and hair.


So, we’ve got our key light set up, our fill light and our hair/edge light, but to add some more interest into the shot, we’re going to add some background lights. These background lights will help add a little more interest to the scene and create more depth within the shot.The lighting techniques you choose to use are completely up to you depending on the look you want to achieve and the mood you are going for.

It would be our pleasure to discuss this in more detail

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