lighting for live video
“Hey, Cyrissa!  What lighting for live video is your favorite?!”  Seriously… if I had a sparkle for every time someone asked me that question!  As if getting up the courage to broadcast on live streaming video wasn’t enough, we’ve also got to worry about lighting for live video, microphones for live video, tripods for live video… for real.  It can be overwhelming!  But not today, sweet sparkle! I’m here to help you up your live streaming video game. How do you ask?!?! Well…I am going to help you set up the perfect sound and lighting for live video… without breaking the bank {or leaving your couch}!

Before I tell you about my favorite lighting for live video, I have to tell you a little story.  When I first started teaching online workshops, I did all the scripting, teaching, filming, editing and uploading myself.  It was super intimidating and overwhelming, to say the least!  Since I didn’t really know what I was doing… I went through SO MANY MICROPHONES and WASTED SO MUCH MONEY until I finally found the set-up the worked for me!

While everyone’s needed will be different, I can promise you that you’re about to discover the best microphones and lighting for live video!

 

The Journey to Find My Lighting for Live Video

Prior to figuring out my current setup, in the moments right before going live, I fumbled around like a hot pink, sequined mess. I was propping my phone up on cheap mini-tripods, flower vases, and hoping beyond hope that they were high enough that I didn’t have a triple-chin like Jaba the Hut when I finally went live.  I know that you know what I’m talking about.

Getting things situated in terms of lighting and backdrops has allowed me to focus more on the content I’m sharing be eliminating so much stress!  It also saves me lots of time {and let’s be honest sparkles, time is money…so…lemme’ get you back some time friends} by enabling me to get live, faster!

 

That Fancy Sparkly Backdrop You All Love

Before I get all into lighting for live video, people constantly ask me about my fancy-schmancy sparkly pink backdrop.  That beauty is from Drop It Modern. While these lovelies cost a pretty penny, they’re absolutely worth it!  Most sequined backdrops are low quality and let light leak through. Not these. They are solid, gorgeous and of course….sparkly.  Unfortunately, they’re no longer selling sequins backdrops {sad day!!!} but there are other vendors who do!  My advice – go for QUALITY, not necessarily a cheap price!

Okay…let’s hit the lights…

…get it?!?! Hit the lights? Lighting for live streaming?!?! I know what you’re thinking…”that was clever Cyrissa”… don’t lie.

 

Lighting for Live Video Streaming

The Ring Light

This guy is amazing ya’ll. This 14 inch ring light ensures my face is evenly lit while I’m live streaming. No wonky shadows, just top to bottom, left to right brightly lit perfection. I attach this light ring to my tripod, and then just hit the switch when I am ready to go live. It’s amaze-balls people. It’s super affordable and all I need it an outlet and I’m ready to sparkle and shine!  Five second set-up before I go live?!  Yes please!

Tripod

I know you probably have a million light stands in your studio or home, so you’re probably thinking that you really don’t need another one.  I 100% understand your mentality and was *this close* to skipping this purchase, myself!  So glad I didn’t skimp!!!  I keep my tripod-ring-light combo permanently set-up in my studio space.  So instead of having to lug out one of my big boys and mess with getting it set-up {and let’s be honest – that’s always a pain in the booty}, I’m always ready to go!

Think all tripods cost a million dollars? Ummm… when you’re buying a lightweight tripod to hold your ring light, they’re super cheap. Like, less than $20 cheap. So. You should get one. This is the one I use. It works with my ring light beautifully and once I throw on my mount, I can go completely hands free.

Smartphone Adaptor

This handy smartphone attachment slides into your ring light’s hot shoe {it looks exactly the same as where you attach your flash to your camera} and holds your phone.  This is glorious because it means you have nothing to hold… and you’re free to let those hands do the talking for you!

 

My Favorite LED light

If you’ve got a little larger budget and plan to do a lot of video, this light is my absolute favorite!  It’s around $200 and isn’t as mobile… but my goodness, is it lovely!!!!!  It’s got 600 LED lights that are dimmable and boasts a FAR superior dynamic range than my ringlight.  It can go from barely a glow to as bright as the sun with a quick twist of the knob.  Combine that with it’s daylight {5600K} color and it’s a real peach!  The Fovitec Studio Light with Boom stand is definitely my #bae and I know you’ll love it too!  Check out almost any of my recent videos on Sparkle Society and you can see it in action!

Tips for Using a Ring-Light Set-Up

One pro tip when using this lighting for live video streaming: the ring light can create a weird alien-type circle around your iris’ if you stand too close to it… so, back away sister. Plus, ain’t nobody want to see up your nostrils, so take a few steps away from the camera friends. For everyone’s sake.

Warning: You may have trouble setting this up the first time {unless you remember this tip!}

So be sure to use the hot pink buttons at the bottom of this blog post to pin this {so you can refer to it later}!  Here’s the deal: MANY, people have bought this set-up and then messaged me because they thought the light didn’t fit on the tripod. Trust me my friends, it does. But, there is a little screw on the side that is used to secure the tripod head.  Check out the photo below and you’ll see what I mean {disclaimer: one of the screws on my tripod is missing – so you’ll probably have one more knob than you see in the photo!}

Before you set that on your tripod, you need to unscrew the ROUND knob at the bottom of the ring light ALL THE WAY, put the light on the tripod, then screw it back in until the ring light is stable.  So, pin this little post… that way you can refer back to it when you think your tripod is broken!  LOL!

ring light for live video

 

Microphones for Live Video Streaming

If you’re strapped for cash, you can probably get by without a mic for a while. However, if you are wanting a higher quality social media stream, you need to turn some of your live streams into content for courses, or just want to shoot videos from your phone for your courses, then a mic is necessary!  But, and I have to be honest here, this is where I wasted A LOT of money during my hunt for the perfect audio and lighting for live video streaming!  Be careful when microphone for live videoyou shop for mics… NOT ALL MICS WILL WORK WITH YOUR PHONE!  And, while your fancy pants DSLR does have a microphone… it’s garbage {even with a fancy attachment}.  Believe me, I wasted over $150 on different options.  Every last one was bad!  So be sure to read my notes below in order to get the most out of your purchase!

Now, since lots of you have different needs and goals for your videos {and some of you may even be looking to do more than live streaming}, I’m going to list microphones based upon the task you need them to perform, okay?  That should make it a little easier for you to figure out what you need!

 

Recording or Broadcasting Video on Your Phone

This little lapel microphone does a great job and only costs $15! Woot woot! It records your audio with your video onto your phone, all in one file – so no editing needed!  Just remember: if you’ve got a newer iPhone, you’ll also need an adaptor {since they’ve removed the microphone jack}!

Recording Video & Audio on Your DSLR

I record my audio separately using a Zoom recorder. This produces great sound, BUT will need to be synced with your video in an editing program, such as iMovie. I can show you some tricks to make it super easy {just email me at Cyrissa@immersephotography.com}! If I can figure this out, you can too!  I use a slightly nicer lapel microphone, just keep in mind, this one will NOT work on your smartphone!

Recording Video & Audio on Your Computer

use “Quicktime” to make this happen and record my screen.  When I started, I had a cheap webcam, but the colors and exposure {brightness/darkness} were always off – especially if there was a window behind me. I upgraded my webcam for around $60 and have loved it!

In terms of a microphone, this Yeti microphone that I just bought is BLOWING MY MIND! For around $100, it’s been super easy to use {USB plug-in} and records you audio with the video – so no editing needed!  I originally had a Yeti “Snowball” {made by the same company} and wasn’t nearly as impressed with the sound. For a little bit more, you can get a MUCH better mic!  If you wanna get super fancy, you can also put your mic on a boom stand {which is what I do} to reduce any extra noise from bumping your desk, etc.

Recording a Podcast or Audio Only

Again, I’m going to suggest the Zoom Recorder as above!  This little recorder is super convenient, takes AA batteries and can go anywhere! It’s been all over the country with me!  You’ll have to upload your audio into iTunes to share it {you’ll have to convert the file to an .mp3} OR, if it’s for a private audience, you can load it into a different hosting program.  Just be sure to grab a microphone since it doesn’t come with one!

 

Grab Your Mic & Lighting for Live Video Streaming!

Here’s the thing…you don’t need any of these items to hop on live video. For reals girl…you just need your beautiful, sparkly face and some good content to get started. But, for those of you who’ve been live streaming for a while now and want to put together the perfect lighting for live streaming, this is a totally affordable way to do that. The lighting, plus being able to go hands free, will give your streams and videos a more professional, polished look. They will also make hopping on live super easy and quick. I keep my tripod, light and mount set-up all the time. So, when I am ready to go live, I just pop my phone in thelighting and sound for live video streaming mount, turn on my light and start shooting. No more fumbling around, finding the perfect spot with enough light to not look like a weird shadowing blob. Nope, just me, my sparkly, calm, cool, collected face and some helpful tips and tricks to help you rock social media for your biz.

If I can do it {and if my dog thinks he’s got what it takes to do it}, girlfriend, you can too!

Now, a little disclaimer… some of these things are affiliate links, so if it bothers you that I might earn enough to make a Starbucks run from your purchase, then you can search for these items another way. I won’t be offended my little glitter-bug.

Second disclaimer… Don’t get mad at me for making you spend money. I’m just the messenger. But… you know you want all this stuff. So, when you break down and buy it all… just use the hashtag #cyrissamademebuyit… you’ll be in good company, my little unicorn.

I know this can all be super overwhelming, and even with the right gear, it can be really nerve-wracking to go live!  I’d love to help you feel a little bit more confident!  Grab your FREE copy of my Live-Streaming Planning Guide and let’s make your live videos amazing, shall we?!?!?  I’ll see you, my sweet friend, in class!

immerse workshops cyrissa sparkle society

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5 Comments

  1. Great tips Cyrissa! Thank you for the list – it’s hard to know what’s good and what’s not out there in Amazon-land. 🙂 Right now I really just need something to set my phone on and maybe a light, but I’ll be saving this post to refer back to later for the other things. 🙂

  2. Oh my goodness! I am so thankful for this information. You just helped me complete my Christmas wish list without having to do all the research for myself. Thank you so much, Carissa! Sparkly hugs are coming your way.

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