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Twins? Wut? I’m not sure what is happening with Jerry here but we’re totally using this pic to talk about backgrounds. If your podcast background looks like a cave at Yellowstone, let’s get to work. Designing a video podcast set can be both exciting and challenging. A well-designed set can help you establish your brand, captivate your audience, and create a professional look and feel for your podcast. So here are some tips to help you design a video podcast set that will make your podcast stand out. First, consider the purpose and tone of your podcast. Will it be a serious hard hitting fact based show, a coaching or a cooking program or something in between? This will help you determine the overall look and feel of your set. You can use props, lighting, and color schemes to create the desired ambiance. Look at how much space you have and determine how you will be lighting your beautiful face – then go from there.

What Should (And Shouldn’t) Go In The Background

Is my background on brand? Should your book or dog be in the shot? Do you need plants? Whatever is to the right or left of your “talking head” shot will be seen on screen. Sit in your chair (or stand) and turn on your video and snap a few pics. Does your background reflect your business brand? Pro Tip: Avoid backgrounds with windows (they’ll wash you out), beds (too personal) and bathrooms (ew).
If you have glasses, consider contacts OR adjust the lights (while on camera) to see where the reflection is coming from as it hits your glasses. You’ll likely fall in love with a 3 point lighting plan with eye glasses. – Candy 
If you are looking for a wall color, whites are easy to light, blues flatter most skin tones and while black is trendy and moody – watch out for dark colors, as they will absorb the most light. As you look at your background, consider your podcast set up. Do you need to move your desk? If so, remember, you will have to save room for light stands and a microphone to place somewhere on your set.

How To Design A Video Podcast Set

Decide this first: Sitting or Standing? Pro-Tip: Do you fidget? Sit. Stay. Good Host. Is your recording energy too low? Stand up. Next, think about the entire layout of your set. Make sure that it is comfortable for you and that you have easy access to your microphones and other equipment.  Find out what works for you. Years of mic technique have taught me that I need to stand because I talk with my hands like a crazy person and I tend to dramatically move. So your girl needs space.

If you are hosting a video podcast in a co-working space or renting a studio, consider investing in mic flags with your logo or bringing a logoed coffee up or two on recording days. These little set accents are easy to get, portable and quickly brand a generic set. Incorporate your logo or other brand elements into the design of your set will help establish your brand identity and make your podcast more recognizable to viewers.

How To Set Up Your Lighting

Lighting is another important aspect of video podcast set design. Good lighting can make you look great and create the right mood for your show. Honestly, we could talk lighting for days, but to keep it simple…

Basically, light your face first, then consider using soft lights or spotlights to highlight key elements of your set – this can be done in your brand colors if you want. You can paint a wall a neutral white color and use LED’s to change the entire wall into whatever color you want. You may have to play around with the shadows to see what works with your specific shot.

What About A Guest’s Background?

In person, you can control that your guest set up is the same or similar background as yours. But considering that most guests are virtual – sorry, it’s a roll of the dice. If you have a regular co-host who is not in the room IRL, please make sure their set up is equal in quality to yours. Why? When one background is lit & branded correctly and you are both shown on screen next to each other, the one that’s not ends up looking really unprofessional.

“I’m here in this great pro quality room…now let’s bring on Carrie in the cave…”

That look doesn’t bode well for building your authority.

If you need to be mobile to interview people, you might want to invest in a small portable background. Think semi-mobile setups like conventions, events, expos.

Here’s a little trick; when I couldn’t set up the BIG background in time for an interview or a venue or schedule suddenly changed with a celebrity…

(Now? In the kitchen? Instead of 3 hours from now in the hotel suite? Great.)

Many times, we just did a white backdrop with a colored light reflection. You can do this in under 10 minutes! Pick up a large White Photography Light Diffuser Panel (Amazon link) and grab a color changing LED light (Amazon link). Place your diffuser panel behind your subject, pick a color and go. These can be set up on tripods or even taped to a wall.

My oops the green-room is on fire so we have to do the interview in the port-a-potty (with country star Luke Bryan) is still the best backdrop ever.

Designing a video podcast set can be a fun and creative process. By considering the purpose and tone of your podcast, the layout of your set, lighting, and branding, you can create a visually appealing and professional-looking set that will help your podcast stand out from the crowd.


  • Candy Harper

    With a whopping 25 years of professional broadcast experience under her baseball hat, she’s seen it all – from breaking news to fighting with celebrities to heartwarming stories that stay with you. When she’s not behind the mic, you can find her embracing her creative side for global entrepreneurs as a freelance creative director, bringing visions to life with a splash of flair and a touch of magic. Her current joy is dragging her tiny humans to far off corners of the world for “educational” purposes.

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