GOOD LIGHTING IS ESSENTIAL. CUSTOMERS NEVER STAY IN A POORLY LIT ROOM.
IT MAKES YOUR CAMERA LOOK GRAINY AND YOUR SKIN LOOK BAD!
WHEN STARTING OUT YOU CAN USE WHAT EVER LIGHTING YOU CAN FIND AND BUY
BETTER LIGHTS AS YOU GROW.
You need 2 bright lamps. put the lamp next to your camera source; about a foot or two away. Keep that lamp pretty much even with your camera, meaning at about the same height.
The other lamp should be directly behind your camera. No special light bulbs are needed; 100 watts works fine. If you have a bright over head/ceiling light that’s a bonus. With the ceiling light you can get away with not having the side lamp, but you really must have a bright one right behind your camera no matter what.
To clarify: you should have 2-3 light sources. The most important one being directly behind your camera. Plus a bright overhead light and/or another parallel lamp a couple of feet from your camera.
Experiment a bit and see how you look. It almost never works out to put a light behind you.
You need to be able to read what the customers are typing so don’t have the computer too far from you. You’ll want your camera close enough to be adjusted easily during a show.
Practice with it. Find out what positions are comfortable, flattering, and allow for simple adjustments.
You can expect good result with even the cheapest of web cameras. Most web cameras can be set on AUTOMATIC. I recommend you use this setting. You will need three light sources for the best results. A lamp with a reflector is recommended. You may have one clamped on your headboard for reading at night or the three-headed kind that you have probably seen if not already own.
Set up your first light and put it in front of the you (slightly to one side) and high as possible at a 45o angle looking down. See the diagram below.
This is the KEY or MAIN light. You are now lit. Hurrah!
But you still seem to have heavy shadows on the opposite side of your face. Set another light making this one more diffuse by reflecting it off a wall, a reflector or by putting a scrim (basically a grille) in front of it. This is the FILL light and helps soften the shadows See the diagram and note the light is not aimed directly at you.
You can also add a light above and behind the subject to add a slight corona (ie. white line) around you that helps to separate you from the background. This is called the BACK light. Usually an existing overhead or table lamp will be adequate unless it is fluorescent
If you’re like most people, your computer is in your bedroom or den. A good general light fixture to use can be found at a local store. You can get all three for under $50 total from Kmart, Home Depot, Walmart or similar stores (from Walmart website). Chances are you may already have a at least one lamp like this somewhere in your house. You can toy with the direction of the lamps, different type bulbs and different wattages and turning on 1, 2 or all three. This versatility will eventually give you the results you desire. Just keep making changes until you look like you want others to see you
COMMON MISTAKES ARE:
To have the KEY light too close.
To not reflect the FILL light.
To have too close or too bright a BACK light.
You’re Almost There:
If you are doing close-up shots with your webcam, you may find you will need to have a different set-up. This can usually be accomplished by moving the MAIN lamp closer or further as needed. Remember to eliminate shadows and dark spots. Too much light can cause you to be “washed out” and be just as bad.
Depending on the size of the room, you may find you don’t really need as much light as you thought. Generally the bigger the room, the more lighting is needed and smaller rooms require less lighting. If you have acquired the lamps mentioned earlier, you have a capacity of just over 1/2 a kilowatt of lighting. Even by professional standards this is more than adequate for most home computer set-ups.
Ask for Par 38 Halogen bulbs in the 45-50 watt range). You will want to have at least one of these type of bulbs in your KEY and Fill Lights (from Home Depot website). These bulbs cost $4-6 a piece and will generally last a long time if you use them only when needed. You can use the “3 for a dollar” bulbs that you get at Dollar Tree in the other sockets. Stay away from “soft lights” and “coA little about light bulbs. Without getting too technical, let me just say you want to use the type of bulbs called flood or spot lights (The ones that get hot. Ask for Par 38 Halogen bulbs in the 45-50 watt range). You will want to have at least one of these type of bulbs in your KEY and Fill Lights (from Home Depot website). These bulbs cost $4-6 a piece and will generally last a long time if you use them only when needed. You can use the “3 for a dollar” bulbs that you get at Dollar
Tree in the other sockets. Stay away from “soft lights” and “colored lights”, and by no means use fluorescent.
A little about light bulbs. Without getting too technical, let me just say you want to use the type of bulbs called flood or spot lights (The ones that
Lighting is the most important thing to a cam model. It can make or break your shot. Always have your lighting coming from behind the cam and never pointing into the cam. The more light you can be in the brighter your screen will look to attract more customers. Your customers are visual, that’s why they’re here. Use great lighting and attract more traffic and for longer.
The biggest mistake people make when starting out as a cam model: poor lighting. In addition to having an great webcam, proper lighting is important not only so your audience can see you, but also to accentuate your features and really make your assets pop on screen. If you’ve ever seen a cam model “glowing” onscreen, with a clear, beautiful skin tone, that comes from quality lighting.
Some cam models spend hundreds of dollars on top-of-the-line lighting, while others choose to keep it simple by using affordable shop lights from places like Lowes, Home Depot, or another hardware store. Regardless of whether or not you opt for a fancy set-up, there are some essential principles and rules you should be aware of when it comes to your cam model lighting. Let’s start with the basics of how to arrange your lights for maximum effect.
THREE POINT LIGHTING
One of the best ways to arrange your lights is a set-up known as three-point lighting. Three-point lighting involves the use of three bright lights positioned at various angles, as illustrated by the below image. The three lights are called the key light, the fill light, and the back light, and they each serve different purposes to highlight your cam model frame.
KEY LIGHT – The key light is your main light. Generally, the key light is set to the highest intensity and has the greatest influence on your surroundings’ appearance. You should place the key light in front of and diagonal to where you’ll be sitting so that one side of you is well lit and the other has a shadow. Place the light high enough that it shines down on you from about a 45-degree angle. For your key light, consider using at least a 300-watt equivalent compact fluorescent bulb placed atop a stand with a photographic white umbrella or other material in front of the light to diffuse it.
FILL LIGHT – The fill light is your secondary light, located opposite your key light. The purpose of the fill light is to fill the shadows on the side of the room not illuminated by your key light. Usually, you want your fill light to be softer and dimmer than the key light, which you can accomplish by moving the mount back or increasing the diffusion. However, you can use the same type of bulb and photographic white umbrella for your fill light as you did for your key light.
BACK LIGHT – The back light is the one that’s placed behind the model and lights up the room from the rear. Unlike the key and fill lights, the back light’s purpose is to give definition and subtly highlight the outlines of the cam model’s figure. This helps prevent you from blending into the background and gives your fans a more three-dimensional experience.
Keep in mind that, although three-point lighting is common in the cam model industry, you can probably get away with using two or even one light depending on where you’re streaming, the degree of natural light, etc. If you do end up using only one light, make sure it’s arranged as the key light for maximum exposure.