In this post I’ll run through some quick tips for how to maximise the quality of your webcam videos.
We’ll be using these videos to share with your audience, so it will make them a lot more watchable if we can get the videos looking and sounding good.
By following these tips you’ll look more professional, more in control, and more flattering. It’s the equivalent of dressing and grooming well, and making a good impression.
Good Webcam Lighting
Make the most of natural light: sit facing a window if possible. Add additional lighting if you have it. Or you can buy some cheap LED lights. You can even put a white image on your computer to add more light. Soft, indirect lighting is best. Not too bright and not too dark. Try to light the background if you can. Avoid filming with a window or bright light behind you. That will cause a dark image.
Improve Zoom audio quality
Try to use an external microphone if possible. A headset, or a podcast microphone is goods. The built in mic on the webcam or computer is not great, but it you have to use it, that’s ok. Just try to get the microphone as close as possible to the source of the sound (your mouth). This will reduce hiss or background noise.
Get your framing right
Avoid leaving too much room at the top of the frame above your head. This looks odd, and doesn’t make the most of the frame available. At the same time, don’t frame it up so that your head is touching the frame which also doesn’t look right. A good guide is, if you drew a horizontal line along the top third of the frame, it would intersect with your eyes.
Composition means everything that people see in the frame. So, think about what people can see in the background. And what that it says about you. Try to make it look interesting, but not too busy. Make it look neat. Perhaps add something personal. And be careful you don’t have something directly behind you so it look like it’s pointing out of your head.
Try to set up your webcam so that it is at eye level. This is the most flattering angle. If the camera is too high it makes you look small in the frame. And if it’s too low it can be a bit unflattering.
Try to look directly into the camera as much as possible. This helps to create engagement, connection, intimacy – and mimic a natural conversation. Sometimes it can be tempting to watch yourself on the scree while you’re recording. Try to resist this temptation, and just look directly into the camera.
Quiet on the set
This is a filmmaking term. And something that the assistant director calls out before filming starts. Now, you’re sharing your house or office with other other people. So you may need to ask them in a nicer way. Not always easy. But let people know. And also so they don’t burst in. Like some funny videos:
Ryan Spanger is one of Melbourne’s most respected and sought-after video production professionals. Ryan founded Dream Engine in 2002, and specialises in helping medium to large corporates, government departments, and the non-proﬁt sector to connect with their audience more effectively by using video.