Photo Tip Tuesday

Photo Tip Tuesday – Video calls

Since the coronavirus outbreak caused many people to work from home, the workforce has turned to Zoom, Hangouts, Skype, FaceTime and other programs to conduct meeting for work & school. If you are working from home and want to look your best during your video calls, check out these tips to elevate your web chats.

Appearance
Although you may be tempted to roll straight out of bed, make sure you comb your hair, shave your face or apply your makeup and think strategically about your clothing. Wearing a really busy patterned outfit may distract the other participants, but a solid color will compliment you. Also make sure to steer clear of shirts that are bright white or dark black because they may look like a blob on camera without additional lighting.

Lighting
On many video calls, participants have half of their face shaded. Try placing a lamp near your face for even, steady lighting. Also, try to avoid sitting with your back to a window since the camera will expose for the light and create a silhouette. If you face the window, you will have a softer light.

Background
You’ll want people focusing on what you’re saying, not on what’s behind you, so try to avoid busy distractions in the background. Many people like to be photographed in front of a bookshelf, blank walls or a wall with simple art hanging.

Perspective
Cameras on smartphones and webcams are typically wide-angle. If you get too close to the lens, you will look distorted. To avoid this, simply create a little more distance between you and the camera.

Eye Level
hen positioning the camera, don’t have the webcam looking up at you (unless you want all the participants to stare up your nose). Eye to eye contact is the best connection, so look at that camera straight-on. If you need to elevate your webcam, stack some books under your laptop until you see the webcam in your direct eyeline. If you need to do this with you phone, try purchasing a cellphone holder.

Sound
When determining your prime locations, make sure you are not too far away or the microphone won’t pick up your voice. It may also help to mute the microphone when listening to other speak (especially if they are doing a presentation). For improved audio, try a lapel microphone that you can easily clip to your clothing and connects directly into the microphone jack of your laptop.

Camera
If the quality of your webcam is less than desired (even after increasing the video quality), you can use your DSLR as a webcam. Using a software program, such as Sparkocam, allows you to transform most Canon & Nikon DSLR cameras into webcam. There’s also options to replace a green background with a selected background image in real time, show your desktop screen and broadcast what is going on at the desktop through the webcam and more.

With a cure for COVID-19 at least several months away, online meetings will be the new normal for the foreseeable future. Hopefully, these tips will help you improve your skills & maybe even give you employee of the month!

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