Okay, gather ’round y’all. I have some very very very faves and a lot of experience with being on camera… and I’m 50 now so I get gear that makes me look amazing so I don’t spend the broadcast noticing the quality of my neck skin or that freckle that seems to have merged with another freckle. 😉 #NoDistractions

Bonnie Gillespie's livestream setup 2020
Click to enbiggen.

In the above photo, lemme go left to right, omitting fun things like my first gen iPad and keyboard dock. LOL I put my laptop over here (a MacBook) so I have an additional screen and resources should I need ’em while streaming. I can also use a USB hub (behind the mic in this photo) to hook these cameras (one or both) to broadcast through the MacBook, should I need it + the studio machine (an iMac with 72gb ram).

The overhead camera (for shooting my hands on pages writing in worksheets and other things I need to demo in realtime that aren’t screenshares) is a Logitech C920 HD Pro and it’s actually gorgeous for shooting the face as well; we just wanted to go even more gorgeous there, and I needed a second camera.

The main camera is a Logitech Brio Ultra HD. Gorgeous. EVERY livestream, I get comments about how sharp the shot is and how great I look. These comments are consistent no matter how I’m feeling… that’s a good camera! 😉

The external mic is an AT2020 USB and we’ve used this (and its brothers, a team of AT2020s) since our first season podcasting with an in-house crew days in 2011. As you can see from the shot, I’m right up against a window and that window faces the beachward street, so there’s traffic and this mic is cardioid, so I never have a problem with sound spilling over unless it’s a firetruck right out in front, headed to save the day.

The light panel is probably my very favorite thing. I learned about it while watching a vid that thrills me to my core, explaining why ring lights are to be avoided at all costs. It’s a Yongnuo YN300 Air Pro LED panel light that operates off rechargeable battery power. My main lightsource of course is the sun, which I diffuse with a sheer-ish curtain. When I need to fill light from beneath as it gets later in the day, this baby does the job beautifully.

2021 update: I have a new favorite fill light (you can see it pictured above my monitor in this Instagram post — along with my kickass framed poster from Grown Ass Woman and my Fortuna statue) and it’s the DigiPower LED, available here.

Here’s how the DigiPower LED is connected, mounted, charged up, etc. (click any thumbnail to enbiggen).

DigiPower rests above monitor DigiPower mounted on swing arm DigiPower charge port DigiPower hover shot

Also, an aside on why I say, all caps, AVOID THE RING LIGHT AT ALL COSTS: Okay. Maybe that’s a hair too dramatic. 😉 Of course people use the ring light all the time and it’s NBD, but if your brand is anything other than perfect, polished, influencer-with-eyelash-extensions and flattering filters vibe, ring lights send an incongruent brand message and create a very bizarre “you’re not a real person” orb around your pupils.

I HAVE seen ring lights work when pointed AWAY from the person’s face, but so many people use them as forward-facing light sources positioned RIGHT on the plane of the face that it’s comical, from both a Hollywood lighting perspective and a psychological messaging perspective.

Okay, back to the photo: The little box over to the right is our video and audio switcher and it’s an Elgato Stream Deck. This allows me to toggle between cameras, change audio source, share screen, add lower-thirds, etc. without having to fumble around on my screen with my mouse while losing my eyeline for the camera. I have presets in that deck and just hit the keys with my right hand out of the shot and BOOM, we’re building a SHOW, honey!

Finally, as an update to my 2019 post about using Restream, we now use OBS + Restream instead of Ecamm + Restream. Of course, Ecamm Pro has just rolled out some ahMAYzing new features so this could change… but for now, we’re enjoying this combo and we’ll be optimizing for the next month or so as we prep for our busiest broadcasting season (the last six weeks of the year).

I know this is a LOT, but I like to be complete. 😉 I’m sure that’ll help someone! Happy to answer questions. I looooove geeking out about this kind of tech!

Yes, I still use a mousepad from the ’90s even though the mouse is optical because… well, just because! 😉

Bonnie Gillespie autographed the internet

Enoughness is an inside job… and sometimes you need a guide to find your way there. Let Bonnie Gillespie get you started.

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