Looking good on camera doesn’t have to cost a lot. It doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t require a lot of time. As we move into the hybrid world of in-person and virtual meetings, those who take a few extra steps to look good will stand out.
There are a few things that separate people with fabulous video presence and those without it:
• Good lighting
• Clear sound
• Flattering angles
• Great energy
Having a clear image requires good, balanced lighting. To accomplish this, make sure you avoid sitting in front of large windows (which causes shadows) and use a ring light if possible. Ring lights come in a variety of sizes for all budgets.
The Socialite is a tiny light that’s best-suited for cell phones but can help you in a pinch on a laptop too. At the time of this post, it is $14.99 on Amazon.
A 12-inch ring light will give you more coverage and flexibility regarding color (aka temperature). A light like this will allow you to make your image warmer or cooler using a dimmer. It also comes with a tripod and a remote. It’s currently $49.99 on Amazon.
Finally, the Neewer 18-inch ring light is probably the best light for a home studio set-up. It costs more than the previous two because it’s brighter and has even more flexibility. It’s not necessary, however, if you’re on a budget and just want a little enhancement. It’s currently $69.00 on Amazon.
I’ve owned all three of these lights at some point.
For most people and general meetings, a good pair of earbuds with a mic will do. The cost for earbuds can start as low as $10.
If you plan to produce pre-recorded content for conferences or courses, a lavalier mic is better. These are the mics that clip to your shirt and can be wired or wireless. I’ve used mics by Audio-technica and Boya without issue. The cost for these mics can begin at around $30.
NOTE: not all mics work with all phones and cameras – even if it has a 3.5mm jack and looks like it should. Be sure to make sure the mic you purchase is compatible with the phone or camera you plan to use.
Whether seated or standing, make sure your camera is at eye level for the most flattering look. Having the lens too low gives your audience a view of your nostrils, and too high is just awkward.
Smiling, having enthusiasm, and confidence will make you look and sound better on video. They cost you nothing and only require a bit of practice if you’re an introvert. Honestly, 𝐈 𝐚𝐦 𝐚 𝐡𝐢𝐠𝐡-𝐟𝐮𝐧𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐭, so if I can get comfortable in front of the camera, I’m sure you can, too. (I just had to force myself to do it every day for a few weeks! 🙃😄)