Livestream Learn Recap: Lighting for Live Video Master Class

When you’re getting started with live video, it’s easy to overlook some filming basics that can improve the quality of your stream. We often see live video on Facebook Live and elsewhere that looks dark, grainy, and poorly lit. But 67% of viewers say quality is the most important factor when it comes to live video. When your livestream looks professional, you can attract a larger audience and more engagement.

Just like cinematography or sound, lighting is an art. Lighting for live video should be as much a part of your process as testing your internet bandwidth or streaming workflow.

On Livestream Learn, lighting expert Carlos Garcia joined us for a master class about lighting for live video. Watch or read on to learn:

  • What makes lighting beautiful.
  • How lighting for live video differs from lighting for pre-recorded video.
  • Live lighting solutions for every budget.
  • How to create a great live video lighting setup.

Lighting for Live Video vs. Pre-Recorded

Unlike traditional “narrative” lighting, which tells a story, lighting for live video is all about the content of your live broadcast. When you’re lighting for live video, you want to make sure your guest speaker, interview subject, or host are evenly lit and easy to see. It’s important to make sure that your lighting flatters your subject, and presents a clear picture to your audience.

Three-Point Lighting

One of the simplest ways to add production value to your live events is with three-point lighting. Three-point lighting is the foundation of all lighting setups, whether for a pre-recorded program or a live broadcast. With three-point lighting, you can ensure your subject is softly lit from multiple angles, giving your live video a nice, even look.

Testing Your Live Video Lighting Setup

Before you go live, you may already be testing your camera equipment, streaming solution, and microphones. When you add lighting to the mix, it’s important to build out time to test your lights as well. Setting up your lighting equipment ahead of schedule can save you time. Remember: when it’s live, you only get one take. The more you test, the more likely your show will run smoothly.

Lighting Live Video for Every Budget

Streaming technology has never been more accessible. But if you’re already investing in a livestreaming solution, you want to make sure your content looks professional.Fortunately, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to add professional quality lighting to your broadcasts. The video below includes equipment recommendations for entry level, mid-level, and professional level producers.

Watch our Lighting Master Class webinar below to learn:

  • Key lighting terminology
  • Tips for great lighting
  • Equipment recommendations

5 Tips for Streaming Live Interviews

Bringing a guest speaker onto your live show is a great way to add insight and expertise to your regular programming. With new solutions arriving on the market every day, streaming live interviews is more popular than ever. Gone are the days of pricey flights and complicated scheduling. Now anyone can invite a guest to join their live broadcast, from wherever they are.

Getting Started Streaming Live Interviews

Streaming live interviews can be intimidating, but you don’t have to be Terry Gross to conduct a great live interview. With our tools and tips, you can get started streaming live interviews right away.

1. Finding a Remote Interview Solution

The most important things to consider when choosing a remote interview solution are reliability, video/audio quality, and ease of use. Video conferencing software is a popular choice for beginners, but it isn’t always ideal for a live broadcast. A dedicated live interview solution is the right tool for the job.

Many streaming solutions, like Livestream Studio software, include a live interview function. Adding a live interview in Livestream Studio is very simple: if your guest has a webcam and the Google Chrome browser, you can send them a unique URL generated by the Studio software. When they open the URL, it will automatically activate their camera and send a signal to your Studio software, giving you both the ability to chat in real time.

2. Testing Your Workflow

Before you go live for the first time, test your live interview workflow. Ask your guest if they can join you for a remote “rehearsal” so you can troubleshoot ahead of your broadcast. During your rehearsal, make sure to test your camera and audio equipment, your streaming encoder, and – most importantly – your internet connection.

This last component is especially important. Both you and your interview subject should connect to a dedicated network if available. Connecting via ethernet, instead of WiFi, adds much-needed stability to your live broadcast. Without a reliable network connection, your live interview could have stuttering, buffering, and drop-outs, making it hard to have a smooth conversation.

3. Practice Makes Perfect

Your first live interview might have a few hiccups, but that’s to be expected. Try running a test stream, and monitoring it online, so you can better understand what your audience will see. After testing your workflow, try practicing your interview techniques with a friend or colleague. If you have questions for your interview subject, run through them so they seem second-nature on the day of your show. With enough practice, you’ll feel confident about having a conversation on camera with your guest.

4. Looking Good, Feeling Great

With live video, you only get one chance to make a first impression. When you’re streaming live interviews, it’s important to put your best foot (or face) forward.

Before you start streaming, take the time to bring your space to life. You don’t need to rig heavy lights or contend with cumbersome equipment. Even adding a few simple LED lights will make your video softer and more evenly lit.

If your guest doesn’t have access to a dedicated space, ask them to find a well-lit, well-appointed location to conduct their interview. If additional lighting isn’t an option, recommend a place with soft, indirect lighting (think table lamps). Overhead lighting, especially the fluorescent kind, can make you and your subject look wan and high-contrast.

5. Creating a Distribution Strategy

You’ve just wrapped up a great interview, but what happens next? It’s time to start thinking about your distribution strategy. It’s important to continue the conversation with your viewers so you can promote your next live show, and encourage your audience to tune in next time.

With your Livestream account, you can easily maintain an archive of your live shows. You can share the video on-demand of your live event on all of your social channels. Each video on-demand comes with its own unique embed code so you can post the interview to your – and your guest’s – website. You can also download the video itself and edit your show into bite-sized pieces of content.

If your interview guest has a following of their own, ask them to share your video on-demand to their fans and followers. Livestream uses this strategy with our webinar series, Livestream Learn. After the show ends, we write a blog post around the event, with a call-to-action to watch the full show in each post.

Ready for Your Close-Up

These five tips for streaming live interviews are just the beginning. As you continue to grow and learn, your live video strategy will evolve too. Remember to set aside time before and after your live broadcast to test your equipment, rehearse your show, and stay in touch with your audience. You’ll master the art of the interview in no time!

Want to learn more about getting started with streaming live interviews?

Check out our webinar with CXOTALK founder Michael Krigsman to learn how one independent uses Livestream to interview leading entrepreneurs in technology and business.