Today is definitely the generation of the filtered selfies and photo-shopped profile pictures. So what happens when you need or want to video chat, in real time, without convenient access to unlimited re-takes and handy filters, how can we put our best face forward?
When it comes to the way we run our life and business in today’s social media generation, FaceTime, Skype, and pretty much all video chat services are always in use and in high demand. Not only are we in the age of keeping in touch with friends and family through video chat, many companies use video conferencing for professional interviews, team meetings and even client interviews..
For me personally video chat plays a huge roll in my everyday correspondence with both personal and professional contacts. And being that I am human, I have always felt a little more than awkward and self-conscious on video chat as opposed to meeting in person. So through trial and error in my search to always feel the most secure and comfortable in life, I have played around with a few tips, tricks, and techniques in order to find the key elements you can strategically manipulate in order to look your best on video chat! Your appearance matters, but you also want your environment to be aesthetically pleasing as well.
As we have already discussed you can not turn to flattering filters for video chats, but you can manipulate with great lighting! A pretty general rule in video chatting, picture taking and basic life is that fluorescent lightning is probably the most unflattering light known to man and can cast some creepy shadows and terrible angles. Natural light is always going to showcase you in a more appealing way, whenever possible go for the back drop of a natural light source. Even when using natural light you will find that you still need more illumination to come across professionally and clear.
Once I was finally using a webcam light I was floored by how great my complexion looked online. There are many options on the market and having tried out my share, I can easily say hands down that the Chatlight works the best for my needs thus far. It was developed in a professional photo studio by professionals to make you look beautifully bright. It delivers! Some benefits of using Chatlight for your lightning needs would be for starters, the LED light lasts over 50,000 hours and up to 90 minutes on a single charge, it fits perfectly on any smartphone, tablet or laptop and most desktop computers, it can be plugged in to a standard wall outlet or any USB port and recharges in only 15 minutes, and most importantly you determine Chatlight’s brightness by the flip of a switch depending on how much light you need to look your best.
Dress For Success & Powder Your Nose
You want to still look like you in your on-screen image, being your usual professional self, with a few minor tweaks to get you ready for your close-up is the best route for appearance. If you do not usually wear foundation I would recommend a light dusting of foundation or powder just to give your skin a nice even tone. Mascara is a women’s best friend! The camera can wash you out so if you are going to be video chatting, maybe throw on a little powder, mascara and some lip-stain so your face can pop a bit on screen. Your goal is to find a good contrast in color, which can be diminished by the camera, which is why I recommend just a little more makeup than you might wear in real life.
The advice I would give our male counterparts would be to make sure you are fresh faced and hair is not disheveled, men are more naturally good looking and can get way with maybe some oil blotting papers and a hand through the hair. Lucky!
Now that we have the makeup down your best options for wardrobe when on screen would be to stick with solid and bold colors and try to avoid busy patterns and prints. Also, no Mr. T jewelry either, keep it classy and simple. Right before you dial in, be sure to check your your teeth for any leftover lunch and the nostrils for any new friends. You never want to be that guy!
We’ve come a long way baby!
Position Position Position
There is nothing worse than an unflattering camera angle, and in my never ending search for the prefect selfie, I have found that if you are looking down into the camera at the wrong angle, your face will give the illusion of being bigger than it really is. Bigger is never better when it comes to the size of our face. Positioning the camera at or right above above eye level will always provide the most flattering angle. Another trick in the book is to slightly tilt your chin down while keeping your eyes up. This keeps your face slim, perky and is the best angle for video chatting. You also never want to come across as a giant talking head, or floating at the bottom of the background. It’s best to get your upper body in the frame, just the shoulders and upper torso is enough.
The most important tip I can give you is to pay attention to your eye contact! Many times we can get distracted by that little image of ourselves and will attempt to look at ourselves, to try to see how we look.. This is a no-no! Look directly at the camera as often as possible, or at least at the other persons face in the screen. Do not get distracted by yourself!
Ambiance & Background
Think simple, clean and minimal. A nice piece of art on the wall behind you or an organized book shelf will always frame your video better than the distractions of a messy room, kitchen, or office. Always try to avoid clutter and pay extra attention to remove any items that may require an embarrassing explanation if seen by your mother or boss. Definitely don’t be that guy!
I use Skype all day in my business affairs, luckily the majority of the time I can get by with Skype Audio, but there are times that I have to turn on the charm and smile for the camera. Facetime, for me is more of a personal tool for contacting loved ones. It’s perfect for catching up, hanging out, joking around, and staying in touch with just a click. As great as it is to hear a voice, it’s even better to see the face that goes with it. Both services provide a personal touch and can help you take collaboration to another level by sharing screens and creating together. You can send photos and files of any size and keep the ideas flowing.
We live in a high tech world and we must do all we can to keep up in the most fashionable way possible!