I'm going to start shooting videos of myself in a small room in my apartment, using a DSLR camera and a simple three-point lighting kit. I'll mostly record guitar lessons, so the camera angle and lighting setup is important and have to be consistent throughout my videos. But I only own this one camera, and I can't leave it positioned in my room for that long (the same goes for my lighting) before I need to use it elsewhere.

So what's the best way to ensure that I always set my rig up the same way? Maybe I'm overlooking some obvious things?

(...and yes, I'm talking about recording video here, but I think that's irrelevant to the question.)

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    I think you also could try to ask this question over at Video Production. – Yao Bo Lu Apr 24 '14 at 6:33
  • If this is deemed off-topic here, it is pre-cleared for video production migration. Additionally, there are concerns specific to video here that don't fit on this site, so it really should be migrated. – AJ Henderson Apr 24 '14 at 14:09
  • I have similar problems with my zero space home studio for still photography..... – Please Read My Profile Apr 24 '14 at 15:15
  • @mattdm - yeah, but you don't have concerns about shot consistency as you move from one scene to another. The concerns for video are specific to video even if they partially overlap with photography. – AJ Henderson Apr 25 '14 at 14:35

This is what is known as continuity and on professional films, there is generally one or more people whose sole job is to document and check continuity of shots. (The continuity or script supervisor.)

The first thing to know is that as long as you are close, most people aren't going to notice very subtle differences in position as long as you shoot one scene at a time and don't try revisiting the same scene from the same angle.

If you do need to re-shoot a portion of a scene, use similar lighting and subject positioning, but change the camera angle intentionally. When you cut between them, it will feel like simply adjusting to a second camera and nobody will notice minor changes in lighting due to the difference in angle. If you try getting the exact same camera angle and fail, then that will be more noticeable.

As for keeping positioning of lights and subject roughly consistent, take photos of the setup, mark light and subject positions with masking tape if you can. Take measurements of lighting height. Possibly place marks on the center target locations for the lights as well if possible. This gives you position and direction of the lights.

The photos give you an idea how modifiers were configured. Referencing other footage from the previous shoot and/or photos of you while filming will give you details about clothing, hair style, body position, etc to make sure that it appears to be one continuous shoot rather than two separate ones.

You may also want to consider blocking windows or shooting on days with similar weather conditions at roughly the same time to ensure similar external lighting conditions as well if that is a factor.


One way you could achieve this is to mark the spots of where your tripod, and light stand are located in the room, using something like tape.

And maybe use a marker pen or something similar to mark the positions on the stands.

In addition it can be an idea to to take a photo of your setup with a phone, to remember what is where and so on.

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