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How To Enhance Your Appearance for Online Meetings

Simone Jonker worked in NTD Inspired for two years. She wrote light articles and inspiring stories.
Published: March 8, 2022
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A good angle for the camera is one of the most effective ways to enhance your appearance when making a video call. Image: (Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels)

To be frank… Video calls for all types of interactions aren’t going away soon. Whether it’s a catch-up chat with a friend, an interview, or an important meeting, many people who utilize video conferencing are concerned about how they appear. If you have to deal with networking and interviews on a daily basis, you may wish to enhance your appearance.

To make a good  impression, it’s important to show that you’re comfortable in your own skin. Another factor that impacts how well you come across is how trustworthy you seem. It is therefore important to cultivate a body language that is firm, open, and confident. One can follow many of the same techniques that photographers and filmmakers have employed for decades to help you create a positive impression on-screen.

Tips for professional webcam appearance:

  • Dress in business attire that is also comfortable.
  • Choose a classic look! Minimal makeup and tidy hairstyles exude elegance. The most pleasing colors for computer cameras are neutrals, pastels, and cool blues and greens.
  • A watch and gold hoop earrings are timeless. Avoid crowded patterns that may appear blurry on video
  • Make sure your background is clean.

 A broad light source

Choose a calm, clean location to create your setting. The larger the light source, the softer and more appealing the light seems on your subject. Pick a window that doesn’t get direct sunlight. A broad light source will minimize shadows on your face, especially around the nose and eyes.

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Choose a large room with a window that will not get direct sunlight. (Image: Elle Hughes via Pexels)

At the same time, one should be mindful of posture. When sitting, keep your back straight against the chair’s back. Another approach to improve your posture and demonstrate you have calm energy is to rest your hands on your desk, you may link your fingers together or cross your hands over each other. 

If you’re chatting outside, find a spot in the shade and try to keep as much of your background out of the direct sun as possible. Even lighting across the entire screen will give you the most consistent and aesthetically pleasing look. 

For daytime chats inside, if you are using a lamp be sure not to place it directly in front of your face, as it might cause an unwelcome lighting effect, such as splotchy skin or shadows under the eyes. Aim the light at a white or slightly off-white wall. A wall light source softens and enhances your features.

Remember to keep eye contact when engaging in conversation. Use your camera instead of the video screen and look straight into your webcam whenever possible. This is a great way to simulate engaging eye contact.

Face the Light

Facing your light source will smooth out your face and fill in texture, making any forehead lines or bags below your eyes less conspicuous. Angled light is undesirable, as it causes uneven shadowing.  

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Open all your blinds and allow in natural light. Be sure to face the brightest light source. (Image: Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels)

Tip: Open a white image or Word document on your external monitor or laptop and utilize that as a light source on your face if you don’t have a good forward-facing light source.

Keep to one light color

As long as the lighting is consistent across the whole scene, it doesn’t really matter what color light you use to feed the camera. If your face is illuminated by both natural light and incandescent light bulbs, you may appear sickly or unnatural.

For nighttime chats, artificial light must be used. Turn your screen brightness down unless it is your main source of illumination. The light from your screen is unlikely to match the ambient light in your room.

A clean camera lens

Camera lenses are surprisingly resistant to dust and grime. However, A little layer of dirt on your camera may scatter light and generate unwanted halos and smudges.

Wipe the glass in front of your webcam before the call. If you have lens wipes, use them, but a clean cloth will generally suffice. This includes video chatting on your phone.

Avoid using backlight

During the day, windows are great when you are facing them but they can be a real pain when they’re in the background. Too much light is liable to enter the camera lens, causing light rays to bounce around inside the lens barrel and generate a flare. The scene will be awful, causing your face to appear off color and highlighting any smudges on your lens.

Camera at eye level

The angle of the camera is also an important factor to consider. The camera is usually in our laptop, which we normally keep on our lap or on the counter. A low angle is a bad idea. We need to raise the laptop to a comfortable height such that the camera is at or above our eye level. A laptop stand, a box, or a stack of books could be used to do this. This position which will make your face and surroundings look better.

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Your smile will be dazzling on camera when you are cheerful and stress-free. (Image: ANTONI SHKRABA via Pexels)

Be sure to be courteous towards those with whom you are in contact. Make the effort to learn more about your friends and coworkers. Gradually, with time and experience, one will begin to feel more comfortable in video communication.

Don’t go too close to your computer screen

Laptop microphones can pick up your voice even if you’re not immediately in front of it. Alternatively invest in a headset. If you get too near to a webcam or a selfie camera it can distort the image. Your shoulders and chest should be clearly seen in the final image. This way, your face will not be distorted by the camera and you won’t seem out of place among the other participants of the chat. According to psychologists, w can learn a lot about a person’s personality simply by listening to them, so keep your voice under check.

Lighting equipment

There are plenty of lighting options. If your portrait is excessively bright, you can use a professional light diffuser or construct your own with wax paper or tissue paper. Light diffusers help decrease lighting strength or reflect light for better fill and balance.

“Daylight” light bulbs offer bright and natural-looking lighting. Ring lights for webcams are popular for vloggers and models for a naturally balanced light source. 

The best (and simplest) choice is to photograph in natural light. Alternatively, a lamp with a shade carefully positioned near the face will help soften the glare; but it depends on the effect you want.

Take time before going live to evaluate your webcam and lighting configuration. Make adjustments to your lighting using an application such as Photo Booth on your Macbook.

Finally, take a deep breath and simply be yourself!