Tips From Your Photographer When Connecting Feels So Important
Apr 24, 2020 | By: Virginia L. S. Freire Photography
We are all living in a world of video conferences and chats right now and are trying to keep things looking professional while putting on our best self, at least from the waist up. But have you ever sat yourself down in front of your tablet or your computer and thought something was all wrong? That despite your business-best top and your freshly coiffed hair, you still look somewhat grim with sunken eyes and tinted skin? Here are a few quick tips based on my experience as a photographer to help you improve your video conferencing image.
Sit by a window and side-light your face. Diffused window light is one of the best light sources in town. Avoid direct sunlight by hanging a white sheet or closing a diffused white fabric curtain during those hours when the sun is shining straight in.
Try not to backlight. Keep your light source (window or lamp) off towards the side of your face or at least around the front. A light in the back, a much brighter background, or even a window behind you will make your camera expose for that background making you a dark shadowy silhouette against a much lighter area.
Avoid lights from above. Fixtures and lights overhead will create large shadows under your eyes making you look like you haven't slept in weeks.
Keep your light soft. Try to avoid direct and harsh light sources. Something as simple as aiming a bedside lamp at a white (or neutral color) wall can bounce a softer light on to you, instead of directing its harsh focused light on your face creating hot spots and hard shadows.
Position your camera angle higher instead of lower. Let them see your eyes, not up your nose. A slightly higher angle is more flattering and if you can position your camera close to eye level, you will reduce distortion in the rest of your face. It's as easy as raising your laptop or tablet up on a stack of books and keeping your screen at as straight an angle as possible.
Consider your background. Clear clutter, position books that will inspire you or your video partner, and if all else fails, bring in a tapestry, photograph, or piece of art that can hang behind you and hide anything that might be a distraction or present the wrong image.
Want more thoughts about your particular space? Send me a message and we can find a time to chat by phone quickly or do a quick video chat to help strategize. While I can't create your photograph these days, it would make me so happy to help you tell your best story while you are working (or simply cocktailing) from home.