How To Make Your Live Stream Look Great

Live streams are quickly rising in popularity. Audiences love hanging out with their favorite creators in real time. While you can utilize platforms like Instagram Live and Twitch, lots of creators have been going live right from their channels.

YouTube Live even archives your live streams so you can upload them like any other video. Therefore, you want your live stream to look as high-quality as a regular video. Here’s how to make your live stream look great.

Ensure you’re using a high-quality camera.

Streaming from your laptop’s built-in webcam might be convenient, but it doesn’t guarantee a high-quality picture. The videos captured by webcams are often grainy with bad audio. Your smartphone camera is a viable option, and you can easily stream from YouTube Live on mobile.

Alternatively, you can actually use the DLR you film your videos with to live stream. By using your DSLR, you can ensure a high-quality picture, which your viewers will certainly appreciate. Follow the tutorial below to setup your DSLR to go live.

Stage a simple background beforehand.

Before you go live, you need to decide where you’ll be broadcasting from. You don’t have to go live from your filming space, but you should still stage your background beforehand. Start by choosing a place in your house that’s quiet and well-lit, such as a bedroom or living room.

Next, ensure the background won’t be too busy. You want the audience to be able to focus on you. Remove any distracting wall hangings, decorations, etc. Then, pad the area with extra cushions, throw pillows, and even a rug for sound absorption.

To further improve the look of your live stream, add some depth. Don’t position yourself right up against a wall; rather, put a few feet of distance between yourself and the wall behind you. For example, when the Merrell Twins did a “get ready with me” live stream,” they went live from a place in their house they wouldn’t usually film in. However, the plain wall was perfect for a low-key live stream.

Frame your shot as if you were filming a video.

Oftentimes, when a creator goes live, they make the mistake of holding the phone or camera  they’re streaming from in their hand. This results in a shaky shot, which can distract and disorient a viewer. Instead, you should use a tripod or prop your device against something.

Before you go live, remember to frame your shot. Make it look like you’re about to film a video. Check your focus as well. This will prevent you from having to make adjustments while you’re live.

Gaming vlogger Clare Siobhan usually films her videos with her computer in the shot, but she doesn’t always need her computer for live streams. For example, for this Q-and-A live stream, she framed her shot so that she was the only thing in focus.

Use your filming lights.

Just like with a regular video, your live stream will look better if it’s well-lit. You can start by choosing a time of day when the room you’re going live from has good natural lighting. Positioning yourself next to a window is an easy way to improve your stream’s lighting.

However, going live in the middle of the day isn’t always viable. If you’re streaming later in the day or at night, you can utilize artificial sources of light. Move the lights you use when you film videos to the space you’re going to broadcast from. Set them up so that your shot is bright and inviting, not cast in shadows.

While you might be using the same light sources, lighting a live stream will be a bit different from lighting a typical video. Follow the tutorial below to learn how to properly light your next live stream.

The key to making your live stream look great is treating it like a regular video. Frame your shot, simplify your background, and light it well so that the stream will be upload-worthy when you’re done.

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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.

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