I don’t know about you, but I don’t like how my webcam usually portrays me… sometimes it feels unflattering, right? How many of you relate? Your live videos seem unusable and you are not satisfied with your Face-to-Face interview, BeLive.tv, Zoom Recording, video podcast recording through Skype and other platforms.
Is your lighting poor, do you look like a silhouette, because you do not have proper lighting, or you may be too bright? Overexposed? Maybe your face is too far from the webcam so, yes, of course, we see up your nostrils, not the best look usually. Want to know how you can fix these issues while recording webcam videos? Who wouldn’t?
First off, focus on your content instead of your looks, webcams are not the most flattering cameras, even if you have a decent one like me, the Logitech c920. I like it, I don’t use it much though for professional recordings at all. On camera confidence, learn how to look and sound good on webcam with these 5 tips.
1) Make sure you are eye level with your webcam
This gets rid of the nostril view, that also is an unflattering angle and some may say, “OMG look at my double chin”, I know I have. Seriously, start by stacking your computer onto something stable that will lift up your monitor or laptop. Even use some books, most people have those lying around.
2) It is all about the Frame
Don’t be super close to the webcam, that can through off the camera sensor with your lighting, we want to see your face, not just a fragment of it. Make sure you don’t cut your head off in the frame, leave some “Headroom” which is a term we use all the time in professional video production. I personally do not like the partial cut off head look. Keep yourself about an arm’s length away from your webcam – this gives you room if you talk to your hand as well.
3) Natural Light – Face a window or a light source
If you don’t have any light kits available, it is best to get a natural source from a window in front of you. This brings natural light that the webcam sensors can help adjust on your face. Or invest a good DIVA ring light, LED mobile light, or even a small smartphone ring light. If you use your office light, be aware of weird color tones, but it may work. If you don’t have a light in front of you, any room overhead light will most likely give you raccoon eyes or shadows under your eyes. Place your light source right behind your webcam facing you. Lighting is key, and I am always about having a light source, end of story.
4) Brand your background
Don’t distract others will too much going on in a cluttered background. I know rooms can get messy, hey my desk is messy as I type this! But when I produce videos, I make sure they look crisp and clear and match my brand or the vibe or story I am about to share. Keep it professional. White backdrops or walls can be really bland, and wash you out on camera. Keep that in mind, but also think you don’t want something like a strobe light flashing behind you either. Keep the focus on you, but add a splash of color or branded props.
5) Your audience must hear you!
Get a lavalier, an earbud headset, or a professional mic that you use for audio recordings to use along with webcam recordings as well. You need a quieter space or at least try to keep your surroundings quieter, shut the office door if you have one, sometimes background noise is unstoppable. But at least try to contain it best by not using the external computer mic, you will pick up too much background noise. The noise removals in post-production do not always work the best. So get your sound right from the get-go. Even do a test recording ahead of time. Simply plug in headphones with your microphone give it run.
Have questions? Leave a comment.
-Tamara With The Camera