How 4 Lighting Styles Affect the Mood of Your Video

If you thought lighting for your video was just an “on/off” switch to make your subject or scene visible to the viewer, think again!

Lighting, when used strategically, can be an effective storytelling tact to help you enhance the mood of your message. Below, Maxwell returns for his advice on four prime ways you can use lighting to help better communicate your story.

1.   Natural/Available Light

Natural or available light is when you use the lighting that the set provides. In other words, if it’s a sunny day and you’re out shooting in the park, your shot will appear sunny, bright, and unfiltered. Similarly, if you’re shooting in windowless room, the available light will likely be dim and perhaps shadowy.

The Effect?

Natural or available light lends more authenticity to the actual scene you’re capturing because it isn’t doctored-up or filtered.

2.   Flat Light

Unlike natural or available light, flat lighting a room requires additional lighting equipment to create a uniform, well-lit glow. Think bright light, no shadows, and no contrast.

The Effect?

It eliminates any unwanted drama and provides an even, easily viewable subject and scene.

3.   Hard Light

Hard light is basically the opposite of flat light. There’s shadows, deep contrast, and darker light.

The Effect?

The shadows created by hard light help add an air of mystery or intensity, firing up the drama.

4.   Beauty Style Light

If you’re looking to highlight the natural good looks of your subject, beauty style lighting is what you’re after. Beauty style is created by using bright light that is then diffused to soften the overall look.

The Effect?

It eliminates any harsh or unflattering lighting to enhance your subject’s best features.

The best way to establish which lighting will work best for your video? Experiment. Take a few shots in different lighting and see how it changes the mood of the scene.

These are just a few ways you can use lighting to change the mood of your video. Got others you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below! To keep the light on all things video, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Tips for the Script

The script is what drives your video’s arc and overall message. It’s what drives home the points that matter. Which is why it’s so important to create thoughtfully before you start shooting.

Use these tricks to craft smarter, more effective scripts that sound genuine, not forced, and will better engage your target audiences.

1.   Be Authentic

Remember what you’re writing for. What are your brand values and positioning?

Don’t try to be something you’re not. Today’s audiences will see right through it and quickly thumb past the content you worked so hard to get them to notice.

2.   Know Your Audience

Remember who you’re writing to. Who are they? How do they talk?

Use words that are familiar to their everyday vocabulary. Choose a style that helps your audience feel like they’re engaging with a peer, not a corporation.

3.   Avoid Jargon

Remember to use it sparingly. When is jargon absolutely necessary? Where can you replace it with simpler, easy-to-digest language? 

Talking too much like a tech or sales person will turn your audience off. Plain, conversational language is not only easier to understand but also comes across as more sincere and lacking ulterior motives.


Crafting a stronger, smarter script gives your VidMob editor the best-possible quality content to work with that is on-brand and in line with your communications strategy.



3 Types of Clips You’ll Want for Your Next Travel Video

As the winter chill begins to spread and grow across much of the northern hemisphere, so too will the number grow of those traveling to indulge in or escape it. Because, whether travelers are hitting the slopes or chasing the sun, winter is always a popular time to getaway—which means it’s also a popular time to take some great video to remember your trip by!

If you’ve got an upcoming trip in the books, we’ve got a few noteworthy trends in Travel video that you can capture and recreate to make your vacation as memorable as the pro’s:

  • Bird’s Eye Views: Soaring shots of the landscape help provide a framework and context for your trip—it places viewers in the grander space of the environment. And it’s got an amazing “wow” affect.

How to Get It: Invest in a drone. They were all the craze at this year’s CES and there’s good reason for it; the resulting footage these cameras can capture is simply breathtaking. Think overhead shots of snowboarding down a mountain, hiking in a rainforest, or boating in the bay.

  • Action Shots: This footage really helps bring a user into the thick of your adventures so they feel that they’re living the events of the trip just as you did—snorkeling, on the slopes, or chasing waterfalls.

How to Get It: While some tech exists for waterproofing cameras and mobile devices, we think the best way to capture these shots is with a GoPro. These cameras are rugged and built to endure the elements. Plus, they easily attach to the tip of your surfboard, ski helmet, or fishing pole.

  • Personal Points of View: Similar to the footage you could capture with a GoPro, having that personal perspective helps bring a viewer directly into the world of your vacation—so whether it’s a close up of your friend enjoying hot chocolate in the lodge, your feet in the sand, or the breeze blowing in the treetops, capturing the smaller, more sensory moments help bring your trip to life.

How to Get It: Capture these moments with whatever you’ve got on hand, which is likely your mobile phone. Considering iPhones now have 4k camera, shooting high-quality footage is easier than ever. And if you’re an active user on mobile-first video platforms like Snapchat or Periscope, save what you share so you can use it later on in your video.

And who knows, with all this amazing travel footage you’ll capture and create with VidMob, you might just be the inspiration for someone else’s next big trip! To get your travel video started, download the app here and then check out here or here for tips and inspiration on making your next video.

Don’t forget to follow us, @VidMob, on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for the latest tips, tricks, and trends in video.

Tips from the Editor: Shooting Great Footage

As we prep for launch, we thought we’d help you get ready too with a few videography tips for shooting top quality footage. So want to know the greatest way to make the most of your VidMob experience? Start by giving your editors the best possible video content! Below are the top tips straight from our editors on how to capture professional video with your smartphone.

If you’re shooting for Snapchat or other vertically-favored social feeds, stay vertical. Shooting horizontally will force your audience to flip their phones in order to view your content in full (read: annoying!). But if you’re looking forward to showing off your videos on devices other than your phone—like on YouTube or on a TV or computer screen—vertical won’t look nearly as polished.

No Zoom!

Zooming significantly decreases the quality of the video’s image. Just like when you zoom while taking a photo, the image gets grainy and looks far less sharp than if you had just cropped the photo post-shot. Same with video. So if you’re hoping for a zoomed-in shot, simply mention it in your editor notes. That way your editor can maintain the quality of the content while still getting the shot you hoped for!


Unless you’re a Blair Witch Project super fan (unlikely!), stabilizing your smartphone will do wonders for your video quality. It will prevent image distortion which provides greater clarity and, of course, a better final product. So, if you’re not into the fancy, professional accessories available for stabilizing (although this one looks pretty awesome), then be sure to take advantage of flat surfaces when available. Or do your best to keep that hand steady.


Okay, this is a lot easier said than done. We understand. But if you have the choice, shooting in areas that have little to no background noise will help improve the sound quality so those moments come in as crystal clear as possible. Other ways to help get better sound? Invest in an accessory microphone or to get as close as you can to the subject. The only exception to this would be when you actually want background noise—like the sound of a stadium erupting after a touchdown or to show off a really fun party.


Lenses, spotlights, drones, sliders, GoPros, etc. are all super bennies as far as our editors are concerned. So if you’re feeling fancy, look into some of these upgrades to take your average smartphone to a professional camera.


What other tips do you take advantage of to shoot the best possible video? We’d love to hear from you—share with us on Twitter or comment below!