As a video professional, I shoot a lot of interviews. Traditionally, interview shoots follow a pretty standard formula. You put your subject in front of the camera, make sure the lens is in line with the eyes, balance key and fill lights to the desired ratio and get your color temperatures dialed in, throw in some kick and maybe a splash of light on the background, mic ‘em up and BOOM you’ve got a shot.
Repeating this action over and over with different subjects, you get pretty good at figuring out what works and how to get it done quickly, but one thing you should never do is turn your mind off to what’s in front of you. Remember that every client, subject, and location has its own unique character, and it’s your job to extract that and communicate it to an audience in a way that they will remember. Be open and receptive to what’s going on. Don’t be afraid to bend (or maybe even break?) a rule if you feel it would give your work the extra push it needs.
When it comes to working in the creative field, staying engaged is everything. When you stop challenging yourself and accept the standard practice as the only option, you invite boredom into your routine. And guess what, when you’re bored, so is everyone who sees your work. Adding a little bit of love and excitement on your end makes all the difference in the quality and character of your output. So if you think high contrast lighting is the way to go, or if you want the camera low to make your subject seem larger than life, go for it! Just be sure you are serving the subject and the content by doing so.
Check out this article for some great videos on the fundamentals of lighting to get you started: