1. Pick Your Background
Choose a spot that doesn’t have a lot going on behind you. A bookshelf, blank wall or a beautiful piece of art creates a great canvas and won't distract as much from the main attraction of the call — you!
The space doesn’t have to be perfect. Even if you don’t have a simple backdrop, just make sure it’s tidied up a bit. And if you don’t want to use any space in your home as a backdrop, depending on what video app you’re using, you can upload a virtual background. For example, Zoom has a virtual background feature where you can upload photos to use. Feel like calling in from the beach? Upload your fave sandy spot.
2. Set the Lighting
Front-facing natural light is often the best. Set up your video-calling space in front of a window, and make sure the sun hits your face. This brightens up your skin and makes your eyes pop. Try to avoid having light that comes from behind and shines into the camera. You’ll look more like a silhouette, and the people you’re chatting with won’t be able to see you very well.
No natural light? No problem. Put a small lamp behind your computer. Then, place it diagonally on either side of you. This creates the illusion of natural light while still helping to make you look great.
3. Place the Camera
Position your camera at or just above eye level, and move slightly further away from it. You can use books, boxes or other sturdy objects to elevate the camera. By doing this, it'll help give you more flattering angles. You can even use this technique to prop up your phone or tablet. This way, you can be hands-free, and your arms won't get tired from holding your phone for the whole call.
4. Think About Sound
Have a quiet area with minimal background noise. It’ll be easier for you to hear anyone on the call and for them to hear you. You can even use headphones that have a built-in microphone (like the ones used for your smartphone) to help make hearing better.
Also, silencing your phone or sounds on your device will eliminate distracting notification dings and rings during your call. Don't worry: it won't silence the audio of your call. That's what the mute button is for, and all video-chat apps have one.
5. Check Yourself Out
Ok, you've picked your background, set the lighting, avoided low camera angle placement and checked your sound. Now, it's time to check yourself out! You can do a test run on certain video-chat apps before you join a call. A video preview will pop-up, and you can tweak to your liking.
When it comes to clothing, think bold, solid colors. Keep jewelry simple, so it doesn't divert any attention from your face. And if you’re someone who likes to wear makeup, curling your eyelashes with a bit mascara and defining your eyebrows can create a more alert and awake look. Top it off with a punch of lip color (matte or gloss), and you’ll bring your whole look together.
As a bonus, certain apps let you apply a filter. Some give you dog ears, and others will put your camera to a softer focus (think movie star quality). See if the app you use has one and experiment!
These tips are just to get you started. You don't have to be perfect for the first time. Remember, the goal of your video chat is to connect with friends and family, and they'll love you no matter what angle your camera is positioned in. Happy chatting!
Note: The following is shared for informational purposes only. We are not infectious disease experts and you should consult with trusted, independent, reputable sources before acting on any content on this website, especially if you have a medical condition or are at increased risk for contracting COVID-19. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical or health advice. Never disregard professional medical or health advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on our site.
FaceTime is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. Zoom is a registered trademark of Zoom Video Communications, Inc. Skype is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation, Inc.
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