Are you unhappy with how pictures of you have been coming out lately? Learn how to look better on camera with some simple tricks.
From Instagram, to Facebook, TikTok, and all other forms of current social media, it’s hard to avoid being on camera these days. When the pandemic sent everyone home and to their computers, video became the only way many people could have any type of face-to-face communication with people outside of their household. With being on camera came a learning curve in appearing your best – both your setting and appearance. Here, we’ve got the tools you need to improve your on-camera set up.
1. Good Lighting
It’s not possible to overstate how important lighting is. Photographers aim for the “golden hour” and restaurants aim for dim lighting to make them more romantic. When you’re trying to sell your home, natural light is your best friend.
Being on video is no exception. When on live streaming video or virtual calls, lighting and quality can make you appear more professional.
Overhead lighting tends to create dark shadows on your face and lighting that’s behind you will make it difficult to see your face and features. Opt for natural lighting that is in front of you (you want to face the light). You can also invest in a ring light to get soft, flattering lighting that will wow your viewers.
2. Find a Good Angle
How many times have you turned your phone camera on and not realized that it’s facing you? Like most people, you were probably surprised at that angle. An upward angle often doesn’t look flattering. And, no one wants to see nostrils.
Instead of an upward angle, place your camera slightly above eye level. You can mount it on your computer screen, get a stand for your phone, or simply set your phone on a tripod and use a stack of books or other items to reach the perfect height.
3. Take Care of Your Skin
The camera tends to pick up things that you might not notice when you look in the mirror, such as enlarged pores, acne, wrinkles, and oily skin. Make sure you are taking good care of your skin, using matte makeup that will not make your face look shiny, and blotting any sweat or oil before you go on camera.
4. Wear the Right Makeup
For those that are doing more of production level live stream, if you don’t want to go for a full face of makeup, a tinted moisturizer, a tinted primer, or BB cream are options that give you some coverage, even out your skin tone, and brighten up your skin without feeling heavy on your face. Whatever you choose, make sure it is a matte finish.
Although a dewy look may look great in person, on camera it can look like sweat or oil on your face. While makeup off-screen is used to enhance your look, on-camera makeup is used for that purpose but also to fix any distortions that the camera causes.
If you want to change up your background or add in a background that coincides with what you are live streaming about, you can opt for a green screen. When you see meteorologists forecasting the weather on TV, they aren’t actually standing in front of a giant map or graphics. Instead, they are in front of a green screen and then the graphics are added later. This allows the graphics to change quickly and also allows you to add in whatever background you choose.
The reason that the screen is green (or sometimes blue) is that it’s easier to separate a human subject from a solid-color background when the background is a color not found in our skin tones, such as green or blue.
5. Wear the Right Clothes
Wearing the right clothes is extremely important during live streaming, but especially if you are using a green screen or blue screen. Do not wear blue or green, or you will simply blend into the background.
Some other tips for what to wear on camera include:
Avoid loud patterns, such as bold stripes, plaids, or florals
Don’t wear anything that is shiny or reflects lights (e.g., sequins)
Avoid shiny jewelry, as it can catch the light or make noises while you are filming
Stick to colors in the medium range, such as maroon, dark gray, purple, etc. (green and blue are ok if you aren’t using a green or blue screen)
Make sure you know what can be seen on video, especially if you decide to wear comfortable bottoms that you don’t want to be seen on camera
Consider a collar (it’s a natural place to clip a lapel mic, if necessary, and elongates your neck and polishes your look)
Beyond those general tips, you should also be aware of your background when choosing your colors. Avoid something that is the same color as your background, or you’ll blend in. Choose a saturated color that contrasts with the color of your background to make sure you can be seen.
Don’t choose something that you’ll be uncomfortable in or fiddling with during the live stream. If you aren’t comfortable, viewers are going to be able to see that. Test your outfit ahead of time and avoid wearing anything brand new that might end up bothering you while you are trying to record.
6. Focus on Your Posture and Eye Contact
To look good on camera, you also need to think about your posture, body positioning, and eye contact. You already know where to place the camera to get the best angle, but you also need to make sure you use good posture, especially if you are sitting while you are filming.
Eye contact is important as well. Make eye contact with the camera (and audience, even though you can’t see them), just as you would in a face-to-face conversation. Instead of watching yourself talking, look directly into the camera.
Smiling while you talk will convey enthusiasm to your audience and make it easier to keep them engaged.
7. Look Behind You
You may be surprised at how many things your camera picks up in the background while you are filming. If you aren’t using a green screen or another background, make sure you check what the camera can see before you go live or start filming. If you’re filming in your bedroom, for example, viewers don’t want to see your messy nightstand, a pile of laundry, or an unmade bed.
A plain wall behind you is your best option if you don’t have a screen.
8. Do a Dry Run
Before you go live or before you start recording a video, do a dry run. This allows you to test all of your equipment and lighting and gives you the opportunity to tweak things before anyone is watching. You can also check your hair, makeup, and outfit and adjust as needed.
9. Use Your Cell Phone
Cell phone cameras are far and away better than the webcam on your laptop or the external webcam you attach to your desktop. Only the newest and most high-end laptops have good cameras. Most of them aren’t good in low light conditions, distort the camera, and just aren’t very good (there’s a reason why external cameras are so cheap).
Do yourself and your viewers a favor and use your smartphone camera instead.
Use These Tips for How to Look Better on Camera to Wow Your Viewers
If you want to know how to look better on camera, it’s all about angles and lighting. Take the time to plan your outfit and setup, pay attention to the lighting, and tweak the camera angle, where you position yourself, and how you look on camera.
If you want to take your live streams to the next level, Shoflo offers an all-in-one platform to stream your event. You can schedule a demo easily online and sign-up for a free 14-day trial for Shoflo Products.