DIY Video Lighting Tips: A Tour of My Faux-Pro Studio

DIY Lighting Tips
Ever wonder how people get those nice crisp white backgrounds in their (talking head-style) videos?

ME TOO. So I googled and YouTubed and asked my photog buddies, and through less trial + error than you might think, I finally figured it out.

For years now I’ve used this DIY video setup in various spots including my garage, our old bedroom, the gameroom at my parents’ house in Texas…and now at our “new” house (that we moved into six months ago ;)).

With just a bit of tweaking, I get the same clean result each + every time.

I’m doing some new recordings this week, so while I’ve got it set up, I’m inviting you on a tour to show you exactly how it works.

(I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how simple it is.)

Disclaimer: Said tour is the result of two Facebook live videos I recorded while walking around holding my phone after 11pm one night. It’s a little Blair Witchy, but HEY – it does the trick.

In this video, you’ll see:

  • The exact setup I use to get a crisp white background for my ACAC videos
  • How you can use everyday items (baby blanket, floor lamp, ladder) to create your studio
  • How to avoid “hot spots” (the distracting yellowy spots you see in the corners of otherwise white videos)
  • My go-to DSLR setting – even though I’m NOT a photographer by any stretch
  • The two key “extra” purchases I recommend to avoid losing momentum when you’re on a roll
  • Super-important *don’t forget to* tips that will help you maximize efficiency while recording
  • Oh…and the brand of my go-to lip gloss

Click below to join me for the tour:

Click here to watch directly on YouTube.


Don’t use “I don’t have my faux-pro studio set up yet!” as an excuse not to get your message out there.

That is NOT the point of this post.

Sometimes I record videos with no makeup. Sometimes in my garage. Usually by a window.

It’s your message + connection that matter most.

No fancy pants (or pseudo fancy pants) setup will make up for a wildly disorganized and/or insincere message.

That said, some times and some projects call for a little extra effort (like The ACAC Beyond-the-Site Workshop Series I’m prepping at the moment :)).

Pairing a clear, sincere message with a clean, crisp visual will make a memorable impact on your customers. #fact


If you’re like me, you don’t want suggestions and options. You just want to know exactly what to get and exactly how to use it. Period. (Oh, how I love that about you.)

That’s why I’ve included all the details here, links included. (NOTE: Many of these are affiliate links, so if you make a purchase through one of them, Amazon will send me a little referral bonus. Thanks for that!)

Here’s a quick rundown of the all the equipment I currently use in my faux-pro studio:

I set up three lights to light the back drop – two tall, one short, like I have pictured here. Then I have two lights on either side of me – between me and the actual camera – one on the left, one on the right. Camera’s on the tripod with the screen flipped toward me so that I can carefully slink backwards and make sure my whole dome is in the frame.

Click here for even more behind-the-scenes details + pics of my humble first (hot spotty garage) attempts.

And click BELOW to see what the finished product looks like (in the form of one of 20 micro-lessons included in ACAC Prep School!):



In the comments below, tell me:

  1. What other video-related Qs does this bring up for you? (Happy to fill in the gaps where I can!)
  2. Got any DIY lighting tips of your own? Sharing is caring. Spill the beans.

And above (below?) all, remember: When it comes to great video, sunlight, a phone camera, and a clear message shared with sincerity can work wonders. The rest is just eye candy.

To making it work,

P.S. If you liked this post, I’d GREATLY appreciate it if you’d use the buttons below to share it with your buddies. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel if you’d like to see new videos before I’ve had time to turn them into blog posts ;)

Convo Copy Cheat Sheet



  1. Jules

    This is SOOOO timely Nikki. I just shot the first video for my online course and it looks TRAGIC! And now I know why……. Amazon here I come! Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

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