If you have a Joe Cocker song now ringing in your ears, be assured: I love you! But I digress… This one’s about owning webcam/video calls.
I’m pretty positive that you, dear Adventurer, know how to look your best on pictures. On avatars. Or on passport photos. How to look awake/alert and friendly even without smiling.
But quite a few people shun Facetime and Skype only because they think they’ll look pale, sick, bland – or ridiculously distorted.
Thankfully, there are a few very simple steps to take to look your best on any webcam, including Skype and Co. Whether it’s a business call, a job interview, or a chat with mum – check off the following list and get ready for the compliments!
My lovely Vampire Paper Doll assistant will help me model for the visuals.
Make sure that the positioning of your webcam is not too low (aka not in your lap, otherwise: helloooo, multiple chins) and not too high (silly look) – aim for eye level.Try not to sit too close unless you like hearing “what big nose you have” on a regular basis. Experiment a little to see what works best for you. (And read how to do it at #5.)
This one is important: get good lighting. You must imperatively face the light. Try to avoid a lighting that will cause your webcam to overexpose; but don’t sit in a darkened room with your laptop being the only light either.The main light has to come from the front. While natural light from a window is awesome, artificial light will do the trick as well. If you are lucky to have several adjustable spots (fancy!), look if you can get four different lights, like in a professional photo studio.One light lights up your face, another lights up the background, and two more light up your face from left and right to eliminate shadows. Beauty light, yaaaay!
Most webcams have the tendency to give you a blue-ish or grey-ish complexion. Low definition webcams will make a face without makeup look blurry, dull, and near featureless; unforgiving HD webcams are more likely to exagerate every flaw while stealing every bit of colour. So do wear makeup to even out your skin tone and enhance your best features. Check your “Skype look” in advance (#5) and find what works best for you; then stick with it.Gentlemen, as you presumably won’t dust yourself with banana powder, try to choose a light, sunny, slightly golden/yellow backdrop instead – think blond wood (more neutral) or sunset atmosphere (warm and sunny). The diffused light will create a favourable colour, the good lighting (#2) together with a good backdrop will not cause your webcam to overexpose: Skype complexion perk unlocked!
No great, warm, inviting background possible? Wear a nice, warm, bold colour (no patterns though).
A super easy hack for avoiding unfavourable The Walking Dead colours: place a piece of white paper in front of you to diminish the blue/green light your screen is casting. Instant win!
Once your lighting is set, and your makeup and/or styling is done AKA the colour problem is fixed, let’s see if we can improve that unfortunate pile of stuff behind your back.
It seems that a portable/movable screen is a good idea for pro calls. Plain white, maybe even a dry erase board for your telcos?If you need a more lifestyle-savvy setting, I suggest you choose a corner of your office or home with the most beautiful wallpaper – or, if at home, just DIY such a corner using a sturdy screen and a few select accessories. (Think five-star hotel settings!) Offices totally should reconsider their telepresence rooms. White on white, really?
By the way, I quite like
the super simple trick this beautiful lady is using: wrapping paper as backdrop. Did you say cheap and cheerful? Yes, please!
Call>Video>Video Settings (PC)
allows you to have a proper look at your gorgeous self in advance. Sweet!
Have you read my post on the most attractive complexion? Because it sort of matches the sunny theme here.