Business woman dressed casually, filming a Pinterest Story on her phone while reading a script on her laptop

How to Setup Lights for Filming Stories

If you want to film stories for Pinterest, Instagram or for your website, then you’re going to need to set up lights. Whether using natural lighting or artificial lighting, you’ll need to know how to set up the right lighting for your video.

As more and more people are looking to shoot video content for their blogs, YouTube channels, and social media, they are looking for tools to help them get the best results because it can often be the difference between a good video and a bad one.

In this video tutorial, I’ll be sharing tips on how to set up lights for filming stories using my phone.

The Setup of Lights for Filming Stories Doesn’t Have to be Hard

Just practice moving them around, get in front of your phone, record a few seconds and review. Once you’ve got your setup, take a picture or make notes along with a sketch on placement of the lights and tripod.

Remember, in the end, it’s not about making the video perfect or looking like a motion picture. You’re documenting “something” for your ideal customer/reader/viewer. It’s what “they” see that’s important.

Be true to who you are and if you happen to look good with a few adjustments with lighting, then it’s a bonus.

As always, if you have any comments or questions, share them below.

Until next time, Stay Inspired.

Gisèle Grenier


Gisele Grenier sitting at her desk

I help female business owners build, manage and grow their first website fast, so it looks custom and high end without the tech overwhelm.

Gisèle Grenier
Website Designer, Developer and Coach


How to Setup Lights for Filming Stories

Hey, in this quick video, it’s basically all about lighting. So I don’t know if you’ve seen on Instagram where you’ve got these models, it looks so beautiful and all that stuff,  it’s all about the lighting. So I just want to share a quick tip on your lighting and what to do and what not to do. So I’ve got some stuff set up here and  all I have is the lighting from up on top and with the camera looking at me, I’ve got a big ring light behind, and I want to show you what happens if you don’t position your ring light properly.

Oops. Wrong one.

So you get these rings in glasses, like without glasses is fine, but I can’t see, but you get these ring lights. So what it is is this ring light is positioned right behind the camera. So just to give you an idea, so I have another light that’s positioned right here so it’s off the side, about seven inches and it’s about seven inches above the camera.

And so there’s a little bit of a reflection up on here, but you can see there aren’t any harsh lights. The other thing is the color temperature. So this is a super warm light. Looks like a tanning in the Caribbean, but you can flip through.  This a balanced light. And then this is a cool light.

She could see how blue it is. So blue, so that’s cool, warm and then balanced. And if I use the other one, which is much stronger, So this one is, I think it’s a balanced one. I’ll show you that after, and then we have warm and then we have cool light is what I used to use. And it always made me look sick.

So let’s go right there as you can see rings. Now, the difference is the one that’s on the back is one solid led where the ones up here have little dots. So you kind of take a balance off it. So now I’m going to bring them in the front and I’m going to show you what they look like.

All right. So I had to position everything cause I needed the tripod. So for the lighting, this is the main one that I have. It’s a nice big ring light. And this is the one where it’s a solid light and you don’t have any of the dots. So with this, it comes with a USB plug so it makes it easy to connect.

I recommend connecting it directly to a charger. And then you can plug that in because sometimes if you connect it to a USB hub, like an actual thing, you connect to your laptop, you might get some buzzing. And this is the one here that I would use. It had the nice light. So this one I’m going to turn it on.

Okay. So let’s see if I can knock that down about, you might not be able to see the dots. Yeah. You can’t see the dots, but in my eyes. So you can see where that light is coming from the reflection. So that’s the nice little light. The good thing is that this has a little built-in holder for your phone.

You just have to be careful though, to make sure that it’s, that it’s strong enough that you can position this any way you want the other one, you need a tripod. So that’s one thing to consider when choosing your lighting. The thing is, I’ve got this photography light, this sits on top of a tripod or my DSLR, super bright.

I’m not turning it on. It’s really bright, but you can, you know, there’s dials. So lighting is important to make your videos stand out, even your photography. The other thing is mounting systems. So you’ve got your typical tripod. And the tripod where it goes up and down, and then you also have where you can tilt it.

But on top of these tripods, because our phones aren’t made to go directly on a tripod, you need an adapter, so you can get adapters like these little do-dads here, this hooks onto… this hooks on directly to the light, and then you tighten it. And then you mount it forward. But the problem with that is that you are going to get, especially if you wear glasses, you’re going to get the ring inside your glasses.

So ideally this… I never use. So now I positioned the light onto the side onto its own tripod. And then I put the camera right here. So another type of adapter you can get are these little do-dads here, this one’s not too bad, but some of them, you got to be careful. You don’t pinch your hands and these screw on directly onto the tripod.

And then you can put your phone this way, but you’d have to have a ball head or, you would have to turn this, for your phone to be portrait for stories. You could also get these little types of tripods. I broke this one. So they can turn this way to hold your phone. I broke the bracket and this opens up.

This is super tall, it was a beautiful tripod, for filming. Then it also comes with a remote control that you can control your phone, it’s phenomenal. So I have to replace this,  because I wasn’t being patient with setting it up. Cause this here…I got my finger pinched and yeah, that didn’t work out.

So with the combination of the right lighting and the right lighting position, so you need a tripod and, uh, yeah. And the right color temperature, and then you should have some nice lighting on your, for your stories  and with the lighting you have right now, again is just the…there we go. it’s just the light that’s coming up here.

One thing I do recommend avoid having a light behind you. I had to turn everything. Cause if I turn this this way, the light behind me and then the camera on automatic settings tries to compensate and, yeah, you don’t get a very nice picture. So like that. So having stuff behind you like this, not ideal, but you know what?

This is real life. So I’m not worried about it. But yeah, the lighting and the tripod, that’s probably one of your two most important tools and you can get lights like this, pretty inexpensively. This one was a little bit pricier because of the size. Um, and this one was old school, which was very expensive for when I bought it, but you can get some stuff that’s really affordable and tripods like this.

They’re really cheap now. All right. So I hope that this helps you,  enhance your video taking, because you can use this stuff for your website. You can use it for social. You can use it for YouTube. You just have to flip the video the other way. And,  not to be.

Into the vanity stuff, but it’s always nice to look good on camera because then you can connect with the people that are watching your videos. Alrighty. So let me know what you think. If you have any questions or if you have any tips or things that have worked for you and I look forward to reading your comments, Stay Inspired.

Hey, in this quick video, it’s basically all about lighting. So I don’t know if you’ve seen on Instagram where you’ve got these models, it looks so beautiful and all that stuff,  it’s all about the lighting. So I just want to share a quick tip on your lighting and what to do and what not to do. So I’ve got some stuff set up here and  all I have is the lighting from up on top and with the camera looking at me, I’ve got a big ring light behind, and I want to show you what happens if you don’t position your ring light properly.

[00:00:32] Oops. Wrong one.

[00:00:36] So you get these rings in glasses, like without glasses is fine, but I can’t see, but you get these ring lights. So what it is is this ring light is positioned right behind the camera. So just to give you an idea, so I have another light that’s positioned right here so it’s off the side, about seven inches and it’s about seven inches above the camera.

[00:01:00] And so there’s a little bit of a reflection up on here, but you can see there aren’t any harsh lights. The other thing is the color temperature. So this is a super warm light. Looks like a tanning in the Caribbean, but you can flip through.  This a balanced light. And then this is a cool light.

[00:01:17] She could see how blue it is. So blue, so that’s cool, warm and then balanced. And if I use the other one, which is much stronger, So this one is, I think it’s a balanced one. I’ll show you that after, and then we have warm and then we have cool light is what I used to use. And it always made me look sick.

[00:01:37] So let’s go right there as you can see rings. Now, the difference is the one that’s on the back is one solid led where the ones up here have little dots. So you kind of take a balance off it. So now I’m going to bring them in the front and I’m going to show you what they look like.

[00:01:53]All right. So I had to position everything cause I needed the tripod. So for the lighting, this is the main one that I have. It’s a nice big ring light. And this is the one where it’s a solid light and you don’t have any of the dots. So with this, it comes with a USB plug so it makes it easy to connect.

[00:02:15] I recommend connecting it directly to a charger. And then you can plug that in because sometimes if you connect it to a USB hub, like an actual thing, you connect to your laptop, you might get some buzzing. And this is the one here that I would use. It had the nice light. So this one I’m going to turn it on.

[00:02:36] Okay. So let’s see if I can knock that down about, you might not be able to see the dots. Yeah. You can’t see the dots, but in my eyes. So you can see where that light is coming from the reflection. So that’s the nice little light. The good thing is that this has a little built-in holder for your phone.

[00:02:55] You just have to be careful though, to make sure that it’s, that it’s strong enough that you can position this any way you want the other one, you need a tripod. So that’s one thing to consider when choosing your lighting. The thing is, I’ve got this photography light, this sits on top of a tripod or my DSLR, super bright.

[00:03:13] I’m not turning it on. It’s really bright, but you can, you know, there’s dials. So lighting is important to make your videos stand out, even your photography. The other thing is mounting systems. So you’ve got your typical tripod. And the tripod where it goes up and down, and then you also have where you can tilt it.

[00:03:33] But on top of these tripods, because our phones aren’t made to go directly on a tripod, you need an adapter, so you can get adapters like these little do-dads here, this hooks onto… this hooks on directly to the light, and then you tighten it. And then you mount it forward. But the problem with that is that you are going to get, especially if you wear glasses, you’re going to get the ring inside your glasses.

[00:03:59] So ideally this… I never use. So now I positioned the light onto the side onto its own tripod. And then I put the camera right here. So another type of adapter you can get are these little do-dads here, this one’s not too bad, but some of them, you got to be careful. You don’t pinch your hands and these screw on directly onto the tripod.

[00:04:20] And then you can put your phone this way, but you’d have to have a ball head or, you would have to turn this, for your phone to be portrait for stories. You could also get these little types of tripods. I broke this one. So they can turn this way to hold your phone. I broke the bracket and this opens up.

[00:04:45] This is super tall, it was a beautiful tripod, for filming. Then it also comes with a remote control that you can control your phone, it’s phenomenal. So I have to replace this,  because I wasn’t being patient with setting it up. Cause this here…I got my finger pinched and yeah, that didn’t work out.

[00:05:11] So with the combination of the right lighting and the right lighting position, so you need a tripod and, uh, yeah. And the right color temperature, and then you should have some nice lighting on your, for your stories  and with the lighting you have right now, again is just the…there we go. it’s just the light that’s coming up here.

[00:05:33] One thing I do recommend avoid having a light behind you. I had to turn everything. Cause if I turn this this way, the light behind me and then the camera on automatic settings tries to compensate and, yeah, you don’t get a very nice picture. So like that. So having stuff behind you like this, not ideal, but you know what?

[00:05:54] This is real life. So I’m not worried about it. But yeah, the lighting and the tripod, that’s probably one of your two most important tools and you can get lights like this, pretty inexpensively. This one was a little bit pricier because of the size. Um, and this one was old school, which was very expensive for when I bought it, but you can get some stuff that’s really affordable and tripods like this.

[00:06:18]They’re really cheap now. All right. So I hope that this helps you,  enhance your video taking, because you can use this stuff for your website. You can use it for social. You can use it for YouTube. You just have to flip the video the other way. And,  not to be.

[00:06:34] Into the vanity stuff, but it’s always nice to look good on camera because then you can connect with the people that are watching your videos. Alrighty. So let me know what you think. If you have any questions or if you have any tips or things that have worked for you and I look forward to reading your comments, Stay Inspired.

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