You’re a videographer or photographer learning more about what goes into lighting a shot. You know it takes years to become a skilled filmmaker, but maybe you want quality images and well-lit footage fast. The ring light can enhance the quality of light in your images and this post explores some reasons why you should consider it. So, what is a ring light? And why do so many content creators and filmmakers, rely on it?

Ring Light Photography and Videography

Defining the ring light

Originally used for medical purposes, the ring light has now been discovered to assist in many more creative endeavors. So what is it, and how can you use it for your own projects?

Ring Light Definition

What is a ring light?

ring light is a circular light that fits around a camera’s lens or is large enough to shoot through it. 

A ring light provides illumination with little shadow because the origin of the light is very close to the optical axis of the lens. It is commonly described as the glamour or beauty light.

The ring lights main purpose is to cast an even light onto the subject. This reduces shadows in the face and minimizes blemishes, while illuminating the eyes. This is why ring lights are commonly used in portraits, glamour shots, or even videography capturing only one subject.

Common uses for ring lights

  • Portraits — minimizes wrinkles and blemishes
  • YouTube — reduces shadow, evenly lights face
  • Glamour shots — even light works well with makeup

Watch the video below to see why using one these can enhance your image quality. 

Learn the benefits of using a ring light

Now that you know the point of this piece of equipment, let's dive a little deeper into the benefits.


What is a ring light used for?

The main function of the ring light is to lessen shadow and diffuse light evenly on the subject. Because of its ability to distribute light so evenly, it is great for close-up shots, whether photography or video. 

Emphasize Detail

Ring lights emphasize detail and hide shadows simply by their inherent circular design. The soft light hides wrinkles and blemishes making it perfect for portraits and even make-up tutorials.

Video Shoots

For the same reason as above, capturing such balanced light produces a halo around the subject, and illuminates features bringing a professional-level and cinematic look to the shot. YouTubers often use ring lights because they’re inexpensive and can enhance their facial features throughout the entire video. 

Macro Photography

Get up close and personal with the ring light for macro work. Use a lens ring light to capture a more front focused light.

Color Effects

The white bulbs inside of a ring light can be switched out for various color bulbs in order to generate different effects. Mess around with this. This is especially useful for cinematography.


How to capture catchlights

As we've seen, ring lights are not only versatile, they provide opportunities for dynamic and classy images. These benefits include catchlights — that little glimmer we see reflected in the eyes. Now that you're up to speed on ring lights, let's take a closer look at how they can help make the eyes POP with depth and texture.

Up Next: Capturing catchlights →
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  • Alyssa Maio is a screenwriter from New Jersey, now living in Los Angeles. She works as a copywriter here at StudioBinder.

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