Face Time: A Guide to Simple Three-Point Interview Lighting

Whether you’re shooting for broadcast, documentary, narrative, or reality television, how you light an interview helps create the tone it telegraphs to your audience. Even before your subject has uttered a word, lighting can help provide context. Basic three-point lighting is, as the term implies, a technique you can accomplish with three sources of light. In the examples below, I’m using a three-light kit to get through the basics. For extra credit, I’ll add fourth and fifth lights for some added texture and nuance. Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need actual lights to achieve three-point lighting — you can accomplish the same thing with the sun, some diffusion, and a reflector. The key is just being able to control the relative strengths and the position of each point of light.

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