The COVID pandemic we find ourselves plunged into has pretty much grounded the world we know to a halt. Globally, tens of millions are working from home as part of our social distancing climate. Sitting in front of a webcam for hours is now the new normal – for both business meetings and sharing a ‘quarantini’ during virtual happy hours.
Zoom, Skype and other social platforms have taken over our daily lives as we know it, including job interviews, work meetings, dinner parties, weddings etc – and many of us are left wondering how to look as good on the internet as we do in person. That means learning how to flatter and enhance our look and home office space on our colleagues screens, the importance of a tidy living room is paramount!, it’s not just about vanity, it’s about creating an impression as the viewers on the other end tend to make snap judgments, unfortunately, about you as a person.
The portrait frame – focus on your face.
The importance of make up. Professional youtubers recommend applying a tinted moisturiser with minimal or better still without any micro glitter to your face before booting up your video meeting. As it’s not a full-on foundation it doesn’t look like you are wearing a full on face of makeup, and of course it doesn’t give you that Sweaty-Betty look, which I’m sure we all agree is definitely a No No. You can use a lightly colored lip balm to make your lips look more moisturized, or lipstick to look fully in style. The eyes usually don’t need a lot of makeup as the camera tends to make them look darker, but our eyebrows need to be tidy and in shape. Of course don’t forget about the hair. Whether your hair is styled to one side, up or fully down, it needs to look in good condition.
Many people are afraid of front-facing light. But experts insist that this light is the best. It evenly accentuates and brightens your skin and features, giving you a clear, flattering, movie-star-like quality. Set up your computer in front of a window, and importantly, make sure that the light is hitting your face straight-on.
All cameras capture better-looking video when there’s a good light source, and webcams are no exception. When selecting a place to record, avoid locations with low light or too much backlighting. Poor lighting may leave your video looking washed out, or worse, may leave you looking like a shadowy figure.
It’s one of the cardinal rules in camerawork: keep the camera eye-level or higher and avoid very low angles at all costs.
You want to ensure that your computer is at least a little elevated so that you eliminate the double-chin effect. You can easily give your laptop some lift by stacking everyday household items underneath it.
Know what you’ll look like
Practice With Your Webcam Setup and do a Test Video.
Especially if you’re recording in a new location, or with new equipment, it’s always a good idea to record a test video or two — not only to make sure your setup is giving you the look and sound quality you want, but also to practice presenting in front of a video camera. Whilst you may be perfectly comfortable presenting in front of a classroom, you may feel different the first time you record yourself teaching on video.
Look Behind You!
Even though you’ve made yourself the center of attention in your webcam video, you still need to be observant of what’s behind you. Your audience will notice every little thing and it can easily distract their attention from your presentation. Keep the background simple by avoiding anything that looks busy or cluttered….choosing a plain wall as your backdrop is often best.
Video Meetings vs. Real Life Meetings
The rules about what to wear to a virtual meeting differs somewhat than that for an in-real-life meeting, However the basic rule remains the same, such as dressing for the audience you’ll be speaking with. It would be weird if you were holding a yoga class and were dressed in a suit. And equally as weird if you were meeting with a potential investor but dressed in a ripped sweatshirt. The same rules apply in the virtual meeting world.
But then there are other rules that many of us have never even considered, until now…
The A to Z Outfit Rules for Video Meetings
..Steer clear of patterns, stripes, and plaids. Small patterns can create a moire effect on video which makes make things look like a funhouse mirror.
..Avoid solid white next to the face. White is brighter on camera and can wash out your face.
..Opt for solid, bold colors. They translate better on “film”. And give your complexion some va va voom!
..Keep jewellery muted. In other words no heavy stacks of bracelets that jingle every time you move your arm.
..Simple jewellery or one statement piece (either necklace or earrings) can add some interest without distraction.
..Fitted clothing works better than oversized ones on video. As someone that loves her tops slouchy, it’s a hard truth – on video slouchy looks sloppy.
..Lastly you can generally wear what you want from the waist down, UNLESS you might need to stand up, then choose real pants instead of sweats.
Other Rules and Tips
Check your hair, teeth, and makeup before a video meeting – the quality of high definition cameras on our phones and laptops will allow all to be seen.
As its a total portrait look, the main focus will be on your face and hands, so wearing delicate interesting jewellery is the best way to style up your web camera look.
A blouse with a beautiful collar, a necklace, earrings and rings can create your image for any online situation. It doesn’t matter if your session is for business or it’s a friends meeting, jewellery will perfectly create the style you want. Hair laid on one side will open your ears, so curate them with stacking combinations of gold and diamond earrings, which will sparkle delicately and beautifully,… your hands with which you gesticulate can be decorated with a ring or two.
This is our new world, an era of web conferencing, so make the most of it and create your own individual look, with luxury fine jewellery.
Here are some ear-style choice ideas we created for you to pick up for your next webcam meeting: