Hair Light -senior portrait example

Illuminate Yourself!


Light from behind is one of the tricks of a pro that you can use in you home or small office to really stand out!

(I considered the title “You Need a Headlight!” — which do you think is better?)

Since 2007, when I picked up my first DSLR camera, I’ve been learning how to work with light. Creating good lighting for a video production or a photo shoot is a blend of art and science. In a small office or home studio the existing light—room light, window light, direct sun—is usually a factor. I love to help people fix their lighting so they love their office environment and look great on camera too!

Here are my links to couple of lights I love and how to use them in your office!
(affiliate links to products I love, that will help you create the office you love!)

Over-the-shoulder lamps

Also called a “Hair Light” by pros, a lamp like this is positioned above and slightly behind you, so it doesn’t shine on your face (watch the nose and forehead when you lean back in your chair!). What you get is a defined light halo on your head and/or shoulders that creates visual depth, separating you from your background and making you look sharp, and intelligent! Position the light just out of view of the camera for the best effect.

This is a time where you like the light to be smaller and a little more harsh in appearance because it’s creating a line, or a stroke of light around your silhouette from behind.

daylight bulb in a small office floor lamp. Great for separation from background!Silver metal floor lamp from Dot & Bo. A perfect hair light!
Small floor lamp with daylight bulb.
This is a great hair light for a small office.
Best Recommendation for a Hair Light!
This great looking floor lamp can can help create separation from behind or above, sitting or standing. Perfect with a daylight bulb or toned bulb for a brand effect!

Try it out!

On camera, you can just hold a flashlight (phone flash) over your head and behind, and see how the light falls to separate you from the background!

Hair Light -senior portrait example
This senior portrait illustrates separation from the background with a strong hair light. I used the natural bounce of light off of a gray cement wall in this shot. Printers Alley, Nashvile, TN – copyright © Daniel Crandall 2019

How to Look Good on Video!

Brand Video, Leadership Development

You are doing more and more webinar conferences and meetings online now—

Are you happy about your presence on camera?

This is the way of the world today—online—if you have a job in business or tech anyway!

But clearly there is a steep learning curve to this “video conference” thing! Not everyone. knows how to use the camera, and set themselves up for success in a video call.

Great! I can help you look brilliant with little or no investment in new gear!

I’ve been delivering this training to teams of leaders and entrepreneurs for the last year every other month, but now it’s available to you too!

Basically, with a group of attendees we go through what it takes to present yourself well online in a webinar, video call or any kind of home office video system really.

What does it take to look good in a webinar?

  • LIGHT – People need to see you, but you don’t need to get studio lights. And you don’t have to deal with fluctuating window light or looking green or pale. Those are common problems, but I’ll show you why and how to get around them.
  • CAMERA – Your webcam might not be the best, but you don’t have to invest in top tech to get a great look on Zoom! The camera behaves a certain way, and there are a few things you can do to convince it to make you look good! Really!!
  • ACTION – It matters how you sit and position yourself on camera, what you do, and more importantly, it matters WHY you position yourself or behave in certain ways on camera! You can build trust quickly, set peoples mind at ease, or loose trust altogether on a call and I’ll show you how!

(Hmm.. that’s a good slogan for this training: Light, Camera, Action! I wonder if I can trademark that… – jk!)

Let me help you look good, sound good, feel good and impress your audience, without ugly studio lights and ring lights. without big bulky microphone booms—And if you like the studio and mic boom, feel free, it’s a brand look that’s not for everyone. They work, but…

You know there is something better! You can simply be brilliant on your home video and still have a great looking office space without all the gear.

No need for a studio in your home, or a movie production quality camera.

You’ve got the technology to do this right in your home.
So join the class and learn how!

Join the class and stop sitting in the dark!

Daniel Crandall, marketing director with NolensvilleBrands

Webinar Pro Setup!

Brand Video

Look Like a Pro On Your Webinar Video!

As a photographer and Video Producer, I get asked a lot about giving webinars and a better, more professional brand experience in online conferences and meetings.

Culturally a lot of us haven’t caught up yet, but how you look on webcam is sort of like how you dress for work int he morning. People can’t really see that stain on your shirt, or. even know if you are wearing anything below the frame.

But what we forget is that people DO still judge you based on a first impression – and that is based on your appearance!

Your Webcam Matters!

Built-in webcams are almost always sub standard. Yes, even if you own a Mac, your built-in webcam is not professional grade. If you have a good phone, that can be great to use – until you need a larger screen, or a desktop stand.

The right solution is a good webcam.

Without changing much at all in your setup, a good camera simply gives you a sharper appearance, greater control, and even adapts to difficult lighting better.

I Highly recommend Logitech Webcams!

Yes, I do get a small affiliate fee from Adorama if you buy one of these. BUT that’s not why I recommend them. There are plenty of other webcams available, that I could recommend too. The beauty of Logitech is two-fold:

  1. First they make you look better than other cameras.
    In my experience with lots of cameras, lens quality matters! and when you pay for a Logitech, the lens you get is just superior—and the world can see it. And as a photographer I know how the difference in lens quality makes a huge difference in your final image, quality of light, and true sharpness of image.
  2. Second, they give you control!
    Mostly I recommend Logitech because of the FREE software provided. The Logitech software is available as a FREE download, but only works with Logitech cams. It is superior to whatever else you might find out there – and everything else will cost you a monthly subscription now! [Future rant about everything going subscription goes here!]. Logitech has a long history of maintaining great support for their products with updated drivers and control software that give you the power over your high quality Logitech device. From light and dark controls to cropping and zooming, you will be happy you got a Logitech cam!

Above are the Logitech Webcams I recommend at Adorama Cameras
(affiliate links)

Compare with other cameras that cost $10 to $20 less, but then you will end up paying for software to improve the camera. There is another great hack I’ve found, if you don’t want to buy a new camera. It’s the best independent software I’ve found, called Camo Studio. Even the free version will allow you to hook up an old iPhone as your webcam (through an app called Reincubate Camo that you install on the iPhone), It has powerful features to control the iPhone or other webcams you may own, but to get the great features… you guessed it… you have to subscribe.

So the FREE software that controls a Logitech camera is simply better because you paid for it with your device! Get a Logitech camera. You’ll be happy you did!


LIGHT—because you want to look human on your webcam!

When it comes to lights, you have lighting in your office anyway, right? Below are some links to the style of lighting I recommend.

Here is why updating your office lighting can help!

The the large, square white lampshade gives the most flattering effect on your face, softening shadows, especially with the right kind of light bulbs of course…

The bulbs, while they are a little more expensive than your average LED bulbs, they are powerful like a 100 watt bulb, but also full-spectrum and daylight color, and dimmable (not all LED lights can be dimmed).

And the colored light? That’s just my recommendation for a creative addition you can use as a hair-light, or you can add a little brand color to your background… Get creative!

So, the bottom line is…

  • You need a webcam with good control (Logitech).
  • You need a large light source or multiple light sources, bright, wide, and close to you to avoid harsh shadows.
  • And you need lightbulbs that will make you look alive, are bright, and dimmable!

I’m available to help you set up your webcam in your home or office, or help you build a studio for frequent shooting.

Now you can Webcam like a pro!

Daniel RG Crandall

Daniel Crandall, marketing director with NolensvilleBrands
Daniel RG Crandall, Small Business Coach and Contract Marketing Director

Desktop office lamps with a wide flat shade will create flattering light with softer shadows. Two or more bulbs allow you to be in control.

Floor or table lamps can easily be moved and redirected to create perfect accents as your second light, over the shoulder or hair light.

Matching LED bulbs installed will help make you look great! And you can add an accent color bulb to reinforce your brand color.