Producing professional videos can be a work of art, but it can also be a lot of work. So many elements go into production to create the perfect project. 

What are some of the most important aspects of creating a great video? We will give you the answer: great camera work, perfect sound, and pre-planned, project-specific lighting (and a great crew). 

Let’s dig deeper into lighting, though. How are professionally produced videos lit? Let’s be clear, each project is different, but here are some good starting points for each project.

Three-point lighting:

Three-point lighting is a standard method used in most video productions, dating back to early video projects, even 100 years ago. Before lighting instruments, the sun was the only light bright enough for early film cameras to be able to capture moving images (an interesting history snippet for you).

Back to how we use three-point lighting today:

Three-point lighting is exactly what it sounds like. Using three different lights in different positions, the production crew can illuminate the camera’s subject (such as a person) however desired while also controlling (or eliminating) the shading and shadows produced by direct lighting. 

Three different types of lights go into three-point lighting. 

Key Light

The key light focuses directly on the subject and serves as its principal illuminator; more than anything else, the strength, color, and angle of the key determine the shot’s overall lighting design.

Fill Light

The fill light shines on the subject but from a side angle relative to the key light and is often placed at a lower position than the key light (about at the level of the subject’s face). The fill light’s job is simple: eliminate shadows created by the key light. 

Back Light

The backlight also shines on the subject but from behind. It generally serves to separate the subject from the background and highlight contours.

Lighting is one of the very important things to consider when working with photography and videography. There are many more techniques beyond what has been described here. Do your research and learn what works best for your project and budget.

Edit House Productions is here to help. We offer a fully finished studio (and lights) available to rent, a full sound studio, and a complete editing suite to make producing and editing your videos, sound, or music production as easy as possible. 


James Blackburn

James Blackburn

James Blackburn has been working for Edit House Productions, LLC, for over five years, assisting in various video productions. He has over 17 years of experience on both sides of the camera. James has always loved film; he’s worked on over 200 movies and TV shows as an actor and behind the scenes. He has also won 3 Rocky Mountain Regional Emmy Awards for videography and editing.

Here at Edit House Productions, James Blackburn assists with productions, setting up and tearing down equipment, writing scripts, monitoring sound, creating graphics, and editing video content. His experience and enthusiasm bring much value to the Edit House Productions Team.

He has been in a happy relationship with his significant other, Karen, for 27 years, and they have one cat named Magic.

When he isn’t working, he also loves outdoor adventures, spending time with family and friends, and is a long-time member of the New Mexico Gunfighters Association. You can see James as a Gunfighter in the Queen Latifah movie, “End of the Road.”

He also has a YouTube channel with almost 1,000 videos called the James Blackburn Experience that follows his life on various adventures.