4 Quick Tips for Looking Great on Camera

4 Quick Tips for Looking Great on Camera

People still get nervous in front of a camera—even today, when everyone seems to have a camera-enabled smartphone in their hand.

It’s easier to shed your nerves if you know you look fantastic on camera, but what’s the best way to do that? Read on for our four tips. 

How to Look Your Best

Whether you’re advising someone on how to plan their look or preparing for a photoshoot yourself, there are a lot of things to bear in mind. What can you do to make sure your subject looks great on camera time and time again? 

1. Wear Sensible Clothing

Choosing what to wear sounds simple—we do it every day. However, picking your clothes for the camera carries some extra decision points.

You want to choose clothing that lets you breathe and move, but you also want to make sure that your clothing is on-brand and sets the right tone for the message that you are delivering. If you’re going on camera to represent a formal company and you want to convey a sense of authority, shorts and a loose-fitting T-shirt probably aren’t the best choice.

It’s also a good idea to avoid overly busy patterns, and if you’re going to be filming in front of a green screen, make sure not to wear anything green.

2. To Make Up or Not to Make Up

Whether or not to wear makeup is a choice best left to the individual; they should do whatever makes them most comfortable. Plenty of people prefer to go without, but when done right, it can make a video subject feel more comfortable and confident.

If your subjects do wear makeup, it’s best to exercise restraint when applying it. Actors who perform on stage often need to apply their makeup heavily for it to be visible to their audience, but when shooting video, less is often more.

Your subject’s makeup should not distract from the video’s intended message. It should resemble the makeup that they wear every day.

3. Master that Camera Angle

It’s easier to shoot video or capture still shots when you’re working above the eye-line of your subject. With a camera angle under your subject’s eye-line, you run the risk of exaggerating their least favorite features (like a double chin), producing less flattering footage and making your subject self-conscious. Find your subject’s best side by starting at or above the eye-line.

4. Position Your Subject Appropriately

Don’t turn your subjects into raccoons. Overhead lighting will shade their eyes and cast sharp shadows across their faces.

Light your subject from the front, just above eye level. If you’re shooting somewhere with overhead lights, consider turning them off for a softer shot. 

Consider the background that your subject will be standing against. If you’re using a backdrop, choose neutral colors that will complement your subject’s features and clothing. With other backgrounds, you can consider softening the focus and muting the background so that attention focuses on your subjects—and not whatever is going on behind them.

The Bottom Line

Looking good on camera often comes down to common sense and preparation. Subjects should dress well and be comfortable enough to be themselves. As a photographer, you should consider the background of your shot, and you should consider how you will produce photos or videos that match your brand and reinforce your message. Follow these four basic tips and you’ll save time and capture great footage with no need for reshoots.

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