Secrets to Looking Good on a Video Call
Since sitting in front of a webcam is the new norm, I'm going to let you in on the secrets to looking your best on a video call, even if you are still in your PJs! It really can detract from what you are saying if viewers are more focussed on looking at the state of your living room behind... Yet it doesn't take much to show yourself in your best light on every call, whether it is a meeting with your boss, a virtual dinner party, a chat with Grandma or a 'quarantini' with friends.
Lighting is Everything
Lighting is key when it comes to knocking years off your age. It really can make a huge difference, brightening your skin and making your eyes sparkle. Your light source should be directly in front of you. Lighting behind you will turn you into a silhouette and won't show you at your professional best.
The easiest light is window light if you are video calling in the daytime. Place your desk directly in front of the window, not to the side, even if it means rearranging your furniture.
If this isn't possible or you are calling after dark, an artificial light source such as a ring light is great. (You can buy these quite cheaply on Amazon). These are daylight balanced lights on an adjustable stand. Place them directly in front of you with the light source slightly higher than chin level and adjust the brightness to give you the best effect. Your skin should look the colour of your actual skin so make sure it isn't too bright.
If you don't have a handy window or an artificial light source, at best stay away from lights directly above you as these cast the most unflattering shadows.
Position your Camera
Always make sure your camera is at eye level, if not a little higher. Cameras below eye level can give you a double chin and viewers will also see the contents of your nostrils which isn't ideal! Prop your laptop up on books if necessary or you can buy laptop stands online.
Prepare your Background
Before the call, turn your camera on and check your position. Check the light, the height of your camera and check for anything distracting behind you. If you are in front of a bookcase, check for any embarrassing books. Do you really want your boss to see the Karma Sutra on your shelf behind? Nosey viewers will always check out what is behind you! Move the basket of dirty washing or anything distracting in the background. You don't want a plant growing from your head. You want to present yourself in your best light, even if your house does look like someone has thrown a grenade in, fake it! If you want all the focus on you, then use a plain wall background behind.
Make up on, hair done but what to wear? It is best to wear one colour and stay away from busy patterns which can detract from your face. Try to avoid colours the same colour as your background as you don't want to look like a floating head. Off the shoulder styles are not advised, ladies, unless you want to look like you are sitting naked! And remember, viewers only see your top half so by all means, keep your pyjama bottoms and slippers on...
Make sure all other noise distractions are turned off. Mute your phone, turn off the TV and radio, give the children something to entertain themselves, and move the dog to another room. Who wants to see the dog licking it's nether regions during an important video call (yep, been there!)
And lastly, remember to talk to the actual camera on your computer (not to your own beautiful image)
to connect with your viewers.
I'd love to hear any video call fails (we've all been there!) Leave a comment below to make us smile....
So Happy Video Calling & Stay Safe!