How Do You Look Good On Camera?

It is not easy to look good on camera.

No time has this been more noticeable then during the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic.  It has caused a seismic business shift that may not go away as the virus does. 

Working online, for many people, has become the new normal and it has its benefits.  There is no need for a morning or evening commute; this helps both the wallet and the environment.  It allows you to live anywhere while still doing the work you love.  It has also helped to improve family dynamics and allow people to spend more time with loved ones during the week.

Then there is the other side of the coin.  Presenting yourself online is not the same as presenting yourself in person.  When you started out in your career you inevitably did some sort of training on how to put together a presentable image.  If not, then you need to give me a call.  You learned about the proper dress, image, and messaging for your industry.  If your current image serves you well and contributes to your success, then why not put it on camera?  Because there is a good chance it will not translate through a camera lens.

We have all heard the phrase the camera adds ten pounds; however, the camera also takes away facial features.  It can distort fabric patterns and colors in clothing.  Not to mention the advancements in technology that we all feel pressure to master so that our online presentations can be the best.

In a perfect world our on-camera image would not matter and everyone would be taken seriously in professional presentations regardless of their appearance.  However, the harsh reality is this. Your viewers care about how you look on camera and when it is off they can become more fixated on that than the presentation they have logged on to see.

If all of this is giving you hives never fear, here are some basic tips for improving your on-camera look.

  • Camera test everything beforehand.  Hold any problematic item of clothing or jewelry up to your phone camera lens and hit record.  Move the item around.  Does it distort or shine too much?  Does the pattern look weird or move to the eye?  Does the color change or look off?  Make sure you camera test in the similar light setting you will have during your video call.  If the answer to any of the questions is yes then eliminate it from your on-camera wardrobe.
  • Pay attention to your background.  A very common mistake in video call planning is not considering your background when planning your clothing.  Make sure that the color of the clothes does not clash or blend in with the background.  Make sure there is nothing reflective behind you.  Also, camera test background items to make sure they do not distort on camera.
  • Learn smart contouring for makeup.  The camera lens can deduct about 25% of your facial features so learning some basic contouring techniques can improve your image.  However, you want to make sure that it is not overdone.  The best way to achieve this is to apply your makeup in front of your phone camera.  That’s right, makeup should be camera tested too.  By seeing how it shows up as you are applying it you will know how much is too little and how much is too dramatic. 

If this is a struggle you have been dealing with and you feel at a loss of what it means for you check out my latest training series How To Look Good on Camera: A Styling Series for Professionals.