I love my job. I’m a lucky, lucky girl.
One of the things that goes along with it is the occasional video interview, which requires a bit of prep work. Besides having to shower that morning and get any notes I might need in order, I like to prep my desk areas so that the lighting and sound are optimal. Here’s a little peek (click play story…it’s interactive!):
Even if you don’t do interviews regularly, you probably video chat with friends and family now and again (and if you don’t, you should! There are plenty of free services like Google+ Hangouts and Skype- it’s fun!). Feel a bit camera shy because you don’t like how you look on your computer monitor? Never fear! You don’t need a fancy set-up…there are a few tricks of the photography trade that I’d love to share with you.
1. You want your main light source to come from behind your computer/webcam, but just off to the side a bit (like at 1-2 o’clock). Maybe this is a big open window, or your brightest floor lamp, etc. Don’t use the computer monitor as your main light source; it gives your face a blue tint.
2.) Supplement that main light with a second, softer light (at about 1o or 11 o’clock). The intent is to eliminate any harsh shadows from your main light, so play with how far away each of these two lights are from you to get the perfect balance.
3.) Don’t have any lights coming from behind you from any angle.* They will eliminate your cheekbones and other good features, while making your cheeks look puffy and creating bags under your eyes that might not even be there. (*UNLESS it is directly behind you, creating a “halo” light glinting off your hair. This can be a gorgeous effect but is tricky to achieve, and if you’re moving around while talking it can work against you. Be careful!)
4.) Mess with your webcam angle; one of the biggest complaints about video chats is that people’s faces can be distorted by a wonky angle. Of course, you can use this to your advantage as well. Play around a bit to find that angle that shows your best features…usually a bit elevated.
5.) Turn around, look behind you. Throw that pile of laundry on your bed onto the floor (nobody can see it down there!), fix that crooked lampshade, make sure there isn’t a candlestick or something that’s going to look like it’s jutting out of your head comically.
Play around with these tips, and you’ll soon be pinging all of your friends and family, asking to video chat to show off your gorgeous self!