4 Tips for Lighting for IMAG and Live Streaming


If you have ever lit something for a camera, you know that the cameras see things way differently than the way we see them with our eyes. When lighting for IMAG, there are a few simple things that will help you take your video from good to great.

At Revolution Church, when it comes to lighting in the room vs IMAG/Live Stream, the room comes first. This is with no disrespect to the people watching online or on screens in the building, but the priority is for the majority. However, there are some simple things you can do to make both look good.

1. See What Your Cameras See

One thing that has really helped us stay consistent in our lighting for IMAG is by having a multi-view feed of our cameras from the switcher feed up to a monitor by the lighting console. This can help during programming and rehearsals for the lighting operator to see what the cameras are seeing along with what is going on in the room. For example, some shades of reds may appear darker on video than shades of blue.

2. Get Your Looks Solid in the Room First

…and then tweak what you can without sacrificing the vibe you have created in the room. Many times for us this comes down to adjusting what we call “white lighting” (our front, sides and top fresnel’s and ellipsoidal’s). Sometimes our looks can be just how we want them in the room but it is too dark for our cameras and they just can’t open the iris enough so we will bump up our whites by a couple percent until we find a good balance. Also back/top light on your speaker / front line singers and musicians makes all the difference on camera.

This lighting is what helps people have separation and pop off the background. Sometimes you can get away with enough backlight already from your programmed designs that adding a back light would not help that much on camera but rather destroy the look in the room.

Back/top lighting is what helps people have separation and pop off the background. @RevProductionGA Click To Tweet
3. Adjust Your “White Lighting” Accordingly 

Sometimes we can leave a rehearsal with all of our front lighting looking great and come Sunday morning, depending on what people are wearing, it can change almost 8-10% in intensity. If a person wore a darker outfit for a rehearsal and shows up in a white shirt, they are going to naturally look brighter on camera. Using one of the camera feeds from the multi-view, adjust the white lighting until you have consistency across all cameras and people. Don’t  have one person brighter or darker than another unless it’s intentional. You may not notice it just by looking, but a small difference in adjustment will make a big difference for IMAG.

Side Note…make sure to white balance your cameras regularly. We had an AWB (Auto White Balance) button get hit on accident in a service that override the current WB preset…so it never hurts to build a time to regularly white balance your cameras.

4. Work with your Video Team

Lastly, but probably most important is to work with your video team to help get the perfect balance of the best lighting for the room and on camera. Even the best lighting can come across bad on IMAG if your Video Team doesn’t understand the direction and feeling of what you are trying to accomplish. If they do not already, have your video switcher and camera operators see the lighting in the room to get a perspective of what is going on before they ever get behind a camera or switcher.

Hopefully by doing some of these things, you can have more consistent and better lighting for your IMAG and in your room.

About the Author_02

Author Photo - Brian Damerow

Media Director
Revolution Church | Canton, GA

Brian has served as the Media Director at Revolution Church in Canton, Georgia since 2012. He oversees all production throughout the church and leads a team of over 70 volunteers in the areas of audio, video, lighting, stage design, photography and more. He also helps produce media content for their worship services. Brian has been a Front-of-House Audio Engineer for over 10 years. He graduated from Texas State University with a degree in Business Management. He has been married to his wife Paige for almost three years and are expecting their first baby girl in the coming months. Brian loves playing golf, the drums, and watching The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.