How to set up Three-Point Lighting

The following tutorial how to properly set up a three-point light shoot. You will need your camera, a tripod, and a three-light kit.

Here is a diagram that shows how your set should look if your camera is positioned to the right of the interviewer.

lighting

Your KEY LIGHT is positioned behind and left to your interviewer. This is your main light source. Your FILL LIGHT is positioned about 70 degrees to the right from your Key Light and more or less perpendicular to your subject’s face. This light fills in the shadow created by the Key Light. Further behind your subject is your BACK LIGHT. This illuminates the back of your subject’s head, creating a halo effect, and distancing your subject from the background.

This is your KEY LIGHT, and the materials needed to set it up: a diffuser, a light stand, an electrical chord

keylight

This is your FILL LIGHT, and the materials needed to set it up: an umbrella, a light stand, an electrical chord

fill_light

This is your BACK LIGHT, and the materials need to set it up: a light stand, an electrical chord.

back_light

1) Position the chairs where you’re subject and interviewer will sit.

2) Set up your camera and turn on. Have a partner sit in for your subject.

3) Set up your KEY LIGHT:

  • Erect your lighting stand
  • Position according to the diagram above
  • Bring it up so that the light is eye-level with your subject.
  • Pull the light chord so that the umbrella pops open.
  • Put the light on top of the stand and fasten.
  • Place the diffuser screen over the light.
  • Attach the light’s electrical chord to the extension chord.
  • Plug in the extension chord and turn light on.

4) Set up your FILL LIGHT:

  • Erect your lighting stand.
  • Bring it up so that the light is eye-level with your subject.
  • Extend the umbrella diffuser and place it through the side hole on the light
  • Put the light on top of the stand and fasten
  • Position the light stand according to the instructions in the diagram.
    IMPORTANT NOTE: If the umbrella is reflective (has metallic lining) position the light is shinning towards the umbrella and the umbrella is pointed towards the wall. The light will reflect off the umbrella and back your subject. If the umbrella is white, point the light and the umbrella at the subject.
  • Attach the light’s electrical chord to the extension chord.
  • Plug in the extension chord and turn light on.

5) Set up your BACK LIGHT

  • Erect your lighting stand so that the light is directed down at your subject’s head
  • Position the light according to diagram
  • Put the light on top of the stand and fasten
  • Close barn doors so that a sliver of light comes out.
  • Attach the light’s electrical chord to the extension chord.
  • Plug in the extension chord and turn light on.
  • Look in the camera’s view finder and adjust barn doors emit proper amount of light. Caution: the light gets hot fast so use protective gloves when handling back light

6) WHITE BALANCE
Bring in subject and make sure light positions still work. Adjust if necessary.