How to look good on camera

You can’t forbid being beautiful, but the cameras often become an obstacle on the way to an attractive image on the interlocutor’s screen. Of course, the task of an English teacher is not to win the Miss Skype Chat 2022 beauty contest, but you must agree: a pretty reflection on the screen inspires additional confidence and lifts the mood during the lesson.

Photo by Gustavo Fring

If you remember that scientists and psychologists have long relied on an attractive appearance in winning trust and attention (read: How to look good in pictures), then there is a good reason to work on the quality of the picture. Let’s get started?

Let there be light!

You don’t have to read all the other rules (we’re just kidding – they’re also useful). Just the right lighting is a necessary and sufficient condition for attractiveness in front of the camera. Remember the advice from professional photographers, YouTube, and Instagram bloggers: “catch the light.”

Position the light in front of you – ideally right in the middle and slightly above eye level (at the level of the hairline). Use a lamp with a height-and angle-adjustable holder.

Turn down the overhead light – otherwise, you’ll get shadows under your eyes. Be careful with the sidelight: the play of shadows on your face may not flatter you. If the conversation takes place during the day, and the sun is shining brightly outside, then close the window with curtains or cover the blinds.

There should be no light behind you, either natural (light from the window) or artificial (light from the lamp). That’s right, do not sit with your back to the window during the day and to the included floor lamp in the evening. Otherwise, your face will fall into shadow and become an indistinct mask.

Correct location of the camera

Position the laptop with the built-in camera so that it is at eye level or slightly higher (but not above the hairline!). This way you can avoid the situation when the other person will – without meaning to look into your nostrils or admire the second chin.

A properly positioned webcam will also not disturb the natural proportions of your face: the chin will not look heavy, and the nose will not look large. It’s easy to lift your webcam: just put a stack of books under your laptop.

Optimal distance

Adjust the distance from your face to the camera (laptop screen) so that there is a small amount of space (“air”)on the screen between the top of your head and the top border of the screen. At the same time, the shoulders should fit in the frame – remember monuments-busts.

Don’t get too close. First, it creates a sense of awkwardness in the other person, as if you are violating their personal space. Secondly, your facial features are distorted, the nose becomes large.

A “clean” background that is flattering

A correct background that doesn’t draw attention to itself will not only allow the student to concentrate on learning tasks but also create a good frame for you. Imagine taking a selfie for Instagram. What can flatter the complexion less than a mountain of dirty dishes or colorful “grandmother’s” wallpaper?

The background can be flattering if it is contrasted. If you have dark hair, you need light background wallpaper. If you are a blonde, then dark furniture in the background will accentuate your facial features.

Clothing that doesn’t “make noise”  

Do not wear something colorful, printed, with a complex cut. All this will distract attention from the face, which is the basis of your charm on the screen. Avoid the orange color in your clothes, the black and white version also does not look very good on camera. A solid top with a rich shade is optimal (better than a natural one).

Before the video stream, select a set that is convenient for you. If the clothes are uncomfortable, or the posture is uncomfortable, then the discomfort will be reflected on your face. Facial expressions like “I feel a little uneasy” have not yet graced anyone.

And of course, a jacket, blouse or T-shirt should not merge in color with the background wall. The “talking head” will look a little strange.

On-screen makeup

The camera “eats” some of the makeup. Therefore, if you put on makeup, as usual, you will look unpainted (which in itself is not bad – if that is your goal). If you think that on-screen makeup won’t hurt, make it a little brighter than you’re used to.

Don’t overuse your tone: contrary to popular belief, “layered” makeup catches your eye on the camera. Less tone is better, and more light is better. But the powder must be mattifying.

Remember all the life hacks to freshen your face: remove bruises under the eyes with concealer, highlight the T-zone with a highlighter, add mother-of-pearl shadows to the inner corners of the eyes. Accentuate the relief of your face with blush or a sculpting kit.

In eye makeup, it is better to avoid smokey eyes – otherwise, you can turn into a panda on the computer screen of the interlocutor. Choose classic or low-key arrows. In any case, it is better to tint your eyelashes.

A good hairstyle for a webcam is loose hair. They create a kind of frame around the face, emphasize its features. But if you want to look stricter, then collect your hair from behind. (This, by the way, will add to the age: sometimes it doesn’t hurt, right?)

Direct view

If possible, look at the camera more often than at the screen (you’ll have to get used to this). Eye-to-eye contact is invaluable when the overall attractiveness of the face is at stake.

Mona Lisa’s Smile

We rarely pay attention to how we look when we’re serious. With age, the corners of the lips and eyes drop, the face becomes at best sad, at worst-a little angry. So do not completely relax your facial muscles, smile more often on the camera.

No background programs

If possible, turn off Wi-Fi during a Skype meeting and communicate “via cable”. Because of Wi-Fi, there is a speech delay of 1.5-2 seconds, and it looks a little strange. The quality of the “picture” also suffers.

Close unnecessary and unused programs at the “moment of X”. It is advisable to clean the computer’s RAM or even restart it before the meeting, to make sure that background programs do not waste memory resources, and, therefore, the image will not slow down.

High-quality camera

Built-in laptop webcams are a kind of compromise: both convenient and not too bad. If you want to raise the image quality to a new level, get an external webcam with a tripod (stand). It has a higher image transmission quality, and you can also play with the settings (it is useful to add the amount of white light).

Control shot snapshot

If it’s important to you how you look in front of the camera (you’ve read this far, so it’s important), then be sure to check it out in advance. For example, take a selfie on your webcam or chat on Skype with a friend, and in conversation ask her honest opinion about how you look.