With Zoom calls now being a part of our daily lives, it’s understandable if you still feel daunted by the thought of being seen on video with your work colleagues, friends or family. Whether it’s a virtual dinner party or a job interview, we are all wondering how to look our best via our webcams.
Here are three tips to help you look better and feel more confident on video:
Finding the right light is the most important step.
Front-facing natural lighting is the best as it evenly accentuates and brightens your skin and features, giving you a clear, flattering, movie-star like quality. Place your laptop in front of a big window and make sure the light is hitting your face straight on.
Try to avoid any backlight as this will make the camera focus on the light behind you and will automatically turn your face dark and grainy.
If you have curtains or blinds that cover your window but still let light through this is perfect, as it will mellow and soften the bright light making it more flattering. If you don’t have a window, you could invest in a professional ring light or to make it easier, place a lamp directly in front of you behind your laptop with the light hitting just above your eye-line.
Lightbulbs with cooler tones will give you a more natural effect and won’t give you that ‘oompa loompa’ orange glow!
One of the cardinal rules of camerawork is to keep the camera eye-level or higher, so do yourself a favour and avoid low angles at all costs.
Find a surface where you can elevate your laptop. Place your laptop on a make-shift tripod using books, boxes etc to make your laptop camera slightly above your eye level.
To make it even more flattering, tilt your screen forward slightly and put a cushion on your chair so you are leaning forward a bit. This way the proportions will look a lot better and your face will be the focal point of the frame.
Distance between you and your camera is also important, when your laptop is very close to you everything starts to get distorted, however if your laptop is further away, the distortion disappears and becomes a lot more flattering.
You want people to be focusing on your face, not on what’s behind you. So it’s best to minimise all distractions and keep your background plain and simple.
After you have decided on your perfect lighting, your laptop position and angle, take a look at what is visible behind you in the frame and make some adjustments where necessary. This might involve just a bit of cleaning and organising to make sure your background doesn’t look messy and distracting to others.