Zoom meetings have become a regular part of work-from-home routines, so you’ve probably faced the challenge of how to look good on video calls. Using a few clever tricks, you can instantly give those gloomy Zoom chats — and yourself — a virtual facelift.
Find your light
Home offices are often makeshift spaces that may not have ideal camera-friendly lighting. What feels like a comfortable amount of light in the room can seem like near or total darkness on-screen.
Keep your face well-lit by positioning your light source just behind your camera. If a bright window isn’t available, use several strategically placed table lamps. Your monitor is also a potential source of light, so increase the screen brightness if you’re still in the shadows.
Change your location
While lying on the sofa with your laptop might boost your work productivity, it doesn’t offer the most flattering camera angles. Try switching to a table in a quiet, clutter-free space for a more professional appearance. Check your webcam preview for stray, distracting objects in the background and hide them.
Instead of sitting in front of a blank wall, show some personality and flair with a carefully curated bookshelf or experiment with hanging gallery-style Framed Prints of your favorite scenic photographs or family memories behind you.
Choose from Zoom’s built-in selection of virtual backgrounds or upload your own custom photos to digitally disguise your office or bedroom.
Adjust your camera
If you’ve ever opened your iPhone camera in selfie mode and accidentally caught a glimpse up your own nose, you know that camera angles are important. Although it’s tricky to hold your signature selfie pose for the duration of a Zoom meeting, you can set up your webcam to capture your best side.
Place your webcam at eye level so you’re not looking down into it. If necessary, raise your monitor or laptop on an elevated surface like a stack of hardcover books or invest in a laptop stand. Stay clearly in view when participating in a call by centering yourself within the frame. When possible, try to sit at least an arm’s length distance from the camera.
Dress to impress
Traded your pinstripe suits for PJs while working from home? Ease back into work-appropriate attire by putting on a solid color shirt before hopping on Zoom. Avoid busy patterns that might be distracting or cause a moiré effect on the screen.
Filters aren’t just for photographs — use built-in “touch-up” filters on Zoom to smooth blemishes and soften skin tone.
Upgrade your equipment
If you’re regularly delivering presentations or hosting virtual public events, turn your home office into a broadcast-quality studio with such high-tech items as an LED lighting kit and a Blue Yeti microphone. With an HDMI cable and capture card, your DSLR can also act as a high-end webcam.
Simple upgrades, such as wireless earbuds with a built-in mic and a USB ring light, can vastly improve basic video calls and webinars.
With these easy Zoom lighting tips and camera hints, you’ll be the envy of all your coworkers!