This Could Be The Difference Between Your Business Surviving Or Closing

It Is Not The Strongest Species That Survive, Nor The Most Intelligent, But The One Most Responsive To Change.

Charles Darwin

At the beginning of March, when I first began to have a feeling that COVID-19 was going to cause an interruption with business, I started to plan an online course for entrepreneurs and small business owners. I had no idea how much of an “interruption” we were actually going to face.

I felt that we were going to see a shift that would force us to take business even more online than we currently were. My experience with most small business owners was that they had an online presence, but they weren’t utilizing it properly to their advantage. I knew that I could create a course that could teach small business owners how to increase their leads, their conversions, and their profits significantly by just making some minor changes to how they were operating online. Plus, we could do it without requiring them to invest a bunch of money into their marketing and advertising during difficult times.

I started to develop this course and soon after, COVID-19 was having a larger and more far reaching impact than I had ever imagined. It was having a bigger impact and we didn’t know how long it would last.

If you’re a business owner, you are probably like me and many other business owners who have major worries and concerns.

I decided to add a lot more into the course than I had originally intended. The outcome is my Marketing Accelerated course which developed into a five-module course that covers many different, and easy to implement marketing strategies for entrepreneurs and small business owners that are worried about their businesses, need to generate sales again quickly, and don’t have the money to invest in growing or rebuilding.

As I watched everything unfold over the next couple of months I knew it was looking worse and worse for small business owners. I knew that this course would bring incredible value to anyone who would implement the strategies, but I kept looking for ways that I could keep adding more value.

All said and done… I’m as excited about all the bonuses that I’ve been able to put together and include with my Market Accelerated course as I am the course itself. The ROI on the investment in this course can be infinite.

The Ultimate Small Business Guide To Shooting Video At Home

Video is an effective form of communication that needs to be integrated into each and every aspect of your existing marketing efforts.

James Wedmore

During this same time period, the incredibly talented Steven Burkhart of Burkhart Creative Agency had similar thoughts and created a course to help small business owners who would be shooting more video from home. As an incredible measure of generosity, he has allowed me to include this 11-part series as a bonus with my Marketing Accelerated course!

I want to share his talent and value that Steven has to offer with as many small business owners as I can, so I’ve asked him to write a guest blog that I can post here.

Video Lighting 101 For Small Business Owners

By Steven Burkhart from Burkhart Creative Agency

Don’t Be Intimidated

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video worth?


If you’re anything like me you’ve seen a million videos whether it was blockbusters in the theater or whether it was podcast interviews on YouTube. Often we are surprised to learn that there is very much science and art to lighting that can create a situation that is rather intimidating for people trying to just simply shoot great-looking video for your business. If you’re interested in learning more about shooting video at home visit ​Ultimate Guide Small Business Guide to Shooting Video At Home​ on our site to help you through the entire video production process!

Unfortunately, like most things that are done well, years of experience have gone into learning the craft to justify the quality of the end product. However there are some simple things you can do to create great lighting for your small business videos especially when first starting out and doing it on your own. Your future business will thank you for all your hard work at improving your videos by taking a simple and educated approach to lighting!

Amount of light

No matter what you do, your job is to tell your story

Gary Vaynerchuk

Well cell phones have come a long way and new models can shoot externally great-looking video, the reality is that your whole phone with all it’s functions is still only a third of the cost of a great video camera. Video cameras like what they use for motion pictures can cost upwards of

$80,000 for just the body not including lens batteries or support gear.does that mean your phone can’t take a great video of you talking about your business? Absolutely not! It does however mean that the sensor that is capturing the video needs a little bit more help.

Outside of the aesthetic qualities that it has, shooting by a window to use sunlight is the easiest way to knock out your first problem of having adequate amounts of light. You have to spend a decent chunk of change to get lighting as bright as the sun!

Of course you have to realize that you are now at the mercy of the weather to have consistency in your video. It’s nothing worse than really nailing your script only to find that a cloud rolled by and covered the sun in the middle of your take and your video went from properly lit to very dark, which is incredibly distracting.

If your background where you have windows is not ideal for shooting you will need to change it up and either reconstruct your background or shoot with lamp light. You may be asking yourself, “why wouldn’t you just use the light in my ceiling?”. Great question, I’m glad you asked. It is simply because light that comes from up above tends to cast shadows underneath our eyes and chin which looks unprofessional and most importantly, unflattering.

While the light from a lamp especially if you remove the shade to increase the amount of light hitting you can look unflattering, (more on this later) the light will the very least be shining into your eyes casting fewer shadows and looking more flattering especially when placed at the proper angle to your face.

Lamp light, while it might look bright to you or me, to a camera is quite dim. You can easily go out and buy some super bright lights that you wouldn’t normally use for a house lamp and replace them for your video shoot to increase the volume of light you have to work with. Oftentimes you can buy a splitter that will turn one light bulb screw to 2 potentially doubling your light output for your video.

Direction Of Light

Video informs and entertains people and, good or bad, today most people prefer to watch a video rather than read a page of text.

Lisa Lubin

We already covered the light from above and it tends to look unflattering. We do have a couple options for other directions of the light.

With our example of window lighting you have the lighting coming in from the side as well as a light that is hitting the floor and reflecting back up. This is why the shadows underneath your chin and your eyes are less pronounced because of the upward bouncing light.

Whether you use a lamp, a window, or if you’ve invested in video lighting, it is important to realize that the light source should never be directly in front of you. Traditional lighting places the key light, or the main light, at a 45 degree angle to your face. This kind of lighting is not only what your eyes are used to seeing but it also creates a little drama by having a shadow side and light side of your face. It’s also more flattering to your features.

Because of the fact that we do more cinematic and edgy lighting we tend to have our key light nearly 80 degrees from the front of the face. This angle creates pronounced shadows and adds more drama and interest to the image, at least to our personal taste. Often the shadows can be adjusted by putting in with industry calls a fill light. It’s a light typically placed directly opposite the key light meaning in this case 80° the other direction from the front of the face, and adjusts how dark the shadow side of the face is.

While you may not have the equipment for this or the desire to spend that much time setting up lighting my suggestion would be to simply adjust your angle to your key light till you find a balance between your bright side and your shadow side that you are happy with.

Color Of Light

Video is the most powerful way to evoke emotions online.


Now that we’ve talked about the amount of light and the direction of light we can now talk about the color of light. The cameras we have on our phone are awesome in the sense that make a lot of adjustments that we do not have to think about. One of those is color balance. Color balance is simply the camera adjusting how it sees color based on the overall image. It’s called White balance.

When we are outside the camera is going to have certain settings for how it processes colors which are completely different than how it measures colors indoors. Without getting into the technical aspects, simply put inside “white” lighting is orange and outside lighting is blue to a camera and it adjusts accordingly.

When we begin to mix these colors it provides a challenge to the sensor of our camera where it has to pick the best option for that white balance. Oftentimes this makes for an odd-looking video image or photo image because objects in the background can be out of whack looking and become distracting in our video.

To make it easier for our cameras to produce a better-looking image it is best to make sure that all of our lighting is the same kind of white balance. This means that if you use window lighting it would be best to turn off other lighting in your home so that the camera doesn’t see incredibly orange lighting in the background and changes the color balance on your face making it more blue. The more blue your face is the less warm and friendly you’re going to seem on a subconscious level to your viewers.

In Conclusion…

Great stories happen to those who can tell them.

Ira Glass

When you follow the typical “rules” for lighting that we have discussed above you’ll notice that your work improves in quality. It also simplifies something that most people don’t spend a lot of time studying. I wish you the best of luck in using this tutorial in improving your lighting for your small business videos.

For an extended look into shooting video at home with your phone and minimal equipment we have 11 videos in our ​Ultimate Guide Small Business Guide to Shooting Video At Home.

Steven Burkhart

Published by D. Jeff Heggie

Father, Husband, Coach & Entrepreneur

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