I’ve been shooting corporate interviews for a few years.
I’ve learned what works, and what doesn’t. And while leveling up your skills will take time and practice, knowing a few quick tips will make your interviews look more professional.
These aren’t “rules”, but rather suggestions for folks that have limited experience and just need some quick tips. I wish someone would have taught me this stuff years ago. So, you’re welcome! Haha.
Here we go, 5 tips:
1. Shoot Into The Shadows
There should be contrast on your subject’s face - one side brighter than the other. The shadow side of the face should be closest to the camera.
This creates more depth in the image and more contrast between the bright side of the face and the background. If you shoot into the brighter side of the face, your main light (or key light) will be splashing light on the background. Bright face and bright background = no depth.
2. Don’t Shoot Windows
Ok, I realize the still above has a window in the shot. But I positioned the interview so that the building in the background wasn't too bright. It adds dimension, without blowing out the background.
You want your talent (the person on camera) to be the brightest part of the image, not the background. If you’re shooting out a bright window, it’s gonna be hard to balance the levels without a ton of lights.
Also, windows have reflections that are hard to avoid and require more time to block.
So, here’s what you should do…
Use the daylight coming from the windows to light your subject (unless it’s harsh direct sunlight). And keep all windows out of the shot!
3. Use a 2 Light Set-up
If you’re shooting into the shadows and not shooting windows, a 2 light set-up should be all you need.
Use a key light and a back light. It creates a “light sandwich” and any time you go from light to dark to light to dark in the frame is a good thing. It gives the image more depth and interest.
The last thing you want is a flat image.
4. Avoid Conference Rooms
Conference rooms are typically surrounded by windows and white walls. We now know why windows can suck, but white walls are reflecting light everywhere making it hard to control and shape the light.
So that means- no light sandwich for you my hungry friend.
Shoot into common areas and tell the employees to “shut the hell up and get to work!”. Only kidding. But seriously, do it.
5. Shoot 4K
Shooting 4K gives you flexibility when editing. You can crop the picture and have a fake “B cam” to cut to.
Managing a 2 camera operation is more complicated and isn’t needed for most interviews. So shoot 4K and get the framing exactly how you want it.
To wrap it up…
How can you tell an amateur from a professional? An amateur will shoot blown out windows and there will be no depth in the image.
Use these 5 tips to level-up your skills:
- Shoot into the shadows.
- Don’t shoot windows.
- Use a two light set-up.
- Avoid conference rooms.
- Shoot 4K.
Make your next corporate interview look professional. Then we can all sit back and eat our light sandwiches.