Looking good on Zoom @50plus.


Are you ready for your close up?

For many of us staying in contact with friends, families and colleagues in lockdown means video calling. Whether it's Zoom, WhatsApp or one of the other video calling services we are on display in a way few of us have experienced before.


Are you ready for the world to see you through your phone/laptop/tablets camera lens? Or like me do you see yourself on zoom and OMG who the hell is that? And I don't mean that in a good way.

Ok so we're not all suddenly going to look like Brad Pitt but here are four tips to help you look better on zoom:





1. Lighting


Every photographer knows getting the lighting right is the first step to taking a good photograph. The same is true if you want to look good on a Zoom call.


Want to avoid looking washed out on that video feed or having your face in shadow while you're speaking on that conference call? Well, sort out the lighting before you make the call.

  • If you're in a room with a window and plenty of natural light, make sure you position yourself so that you're facing the window head-on when you make a Zoom call. With any luck, you'll be bathed in natural light whilst making your call and looking good.

  • If you're in a room with no (limited) natural light, set up desk lamps behind your laptop or tablet. These lamps will provide the illumination you need without blinding the other people on the call. It's best to have two additional lamps at 10:00 and 2:00 angled toward your face—not behind your computer.

  • Note: Smaller lamps work best for this and if you're going to be doing a lot of Zoom calling think about investing in a ring lamp. They are relatively cheap and will provide you with a consistent light source that will help you look good on camera.


2. Positioning.

Fed up with showing a double chin every time you're on a Zoom call? Unhappy that people are looking up your nostrils whilst you're speaking to them?


Well, it's time to move your computer/phone and get that camera position right.


To reduce that double chin, and stop people looking up your nose make sure your camera, (whether it's on your phone, laptop or tablet) is in line with your eyes. This can be achieved by buying an appropriate stand or using whatever you have to hand (a stack of books maybe) to raise your device.

Note: Using a stack of books, that's at your own risk. I don't want anyone writing in telling me their laptop slipped and broke.


3. Background.

Want people to focus on you and what you're saying, rather than the room you're in? Sit in front of a plain background. I know it's not always possible but where you can try and frame yourself in front of a plain white wall with minimal art, or something simple, like a bookcase. You're going to look more professional and nothing is going to distract your audience from you and what you're saying.

Perspective

Ever been on a Zoom call and thought "I know I've put on a few pounds but wow I didn't know my face was that fat!" Well friends, you may be suffering from what I've heard called wide-angle face or what I call fat face!



Almost all smartphone cameras and webcams are wide-angle, so if you sit too close your face will be distorted.

Step back from the camera, the distortion will be reduced and you'll look better. If you do take a step back and you still have a fat head, well maybe you have put on a few pounds, and that's going to take more than a change of location to resolve.

OK so now you know how to look good on Zoom. Give it a go, shock the grandkids show them how to do it.


Author JG.


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