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How to Create Lighting that Looks Professional for YouTube Videos




YouTube success depends on both personality and video quality. Popular gurus stress the importance of high quality videos in their “Keys to Youtube Success” videos. Many gurus who are just starting out do not have thousands of dollars to invest in a DSLR ( digital single- lens reflex). While a DSLR improves the quality of a video, breaking your bank account is not necessary. With the proper video lighting, even a basic point and shoot camera can produce high quality videos. Think about high quality videos you’ve watched in the past? Were any of those videos filmed in dim or poor lighting? Chances are the answer is no. The truth is, to create professional videos the main necessity is lighting. Some people spend thousands of dollars on equipment, such as ring-lights and soft boxes. If you are willing to be resourceful, you can create studio quality lighting at a fraction of the cost.

Light Reflectors

A light reflector is important because it reduces shadows and creates highlights. White reflectors are to brighten images and soften shadows. Silver reflectors create neutral tones. Gold reflectors create warm tones. Blue reflectors create blue tones. You can make your own light reflector for under ten dollars. The easiest to make is a silver light reflector. Items needed include: aluminum foil, spray adhesive, and cardboard. Cut a large piece of cardboard ( 32 inches is the standard size of light reflectors) Sparingly spray the adhesive, then fully cover it with aluminum foil. A standard windshield sun shade can also be used as a light reflector.


Soft boxes diffuse light, eliminate contrast and provide a more natural source of light in photography. When purchased at photography shops, a softbox can cost hundreds of dollars. The Photo Tuts website features a DIY approach to creating a softbox for under $20 dollars.

User Manual

A common mistake that people make is neglecting to read their user manuals. To get the optimum performance out of your camera, it is imperative that you read the manual. As boring as it is, don’t make the mistake of always using the auto-setting.

Natural Light

The best lighting comes from natural light. Make sure to record your videos in an area that is full of natural light. Do not allow too much light, since this could create a glare. For example, do not record videos sitting next to a window with the sun beaming into your room. Shoot your videos before noon or mid-day. Try to avoid using artificial light, which can cast a yellowish tone. If applying artificial light, use florescent lighting. This type of lighting creates a natural effect, doesn’t produce heat, minimizes shadows and is affordable.

Roland Dan “How to Make a Professional Softbox for Under $20,” Photo Tuts

Want to know how to market your You Tube videos and gain subscribers? See How to Market Your You Tube Videos and Gain More Subscribers in 1 Month

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