Thanks to Covid-19, we are spending a lot more time on video calls for both work and our family/social lives. I’m going to share some quick tips for how to look your best in these online calls! You can also apply this knowledge for taking selfies, family photos, or sharing on Insta stories.
Great lighting makes the biggest difference! Notice the position of the chair and computer in the photo above. When you are choosing the spot in your home to set up for your video chat, you should position yourself near a window. Position yourself so that your whole face is facing the open window. Its preferable to choose a window that doesn’t get too much direct sunlight. You can check this by looking for the lines cast on the floor. If the window just produces a glow, that is a great option and you can sit within a few feet of the window. If the window is producing harsh shadow lines on the floor, you will need to either choose a different window or move back several feet so that the light isn’t too bright.
The photos below were taken only seconds apart on an iPhone self-facing camera, and haven’t been edited in any way. The first was taken in my kitchen, with indoor, overhead lights shining down on my face. The overhead lights cast shadows on your face and that aren’t the most flattering. The second photo was taken with my back to the window. There is a distracting, bright light behind me, and my face is completely in shadows. In the third photo, I simply turned around so that I was facing the natural light streaming in through the window. There were no shadows on my face, and the soft, natural light is much more flattering. In this photo I turned off the overhead lights and lamps and only the window was illuminating my face. This shot was taken when I was sitting in my chair exactly as it is positioned in the photo at the top of this post.
If your calls are scheduled after the sun has set, try to use a room with the most light coming from multiple directions to illuminate your face the best. Turn on every light and lamp in the room, and position yourself close to a light source that hits the front of your face.
One other important factor is the height of your computer! Use a pillow, notebook, or box to try to position your computer or phone so that is level with your face for the best angle.
I hope this helps as we navigate this new work of online conference calls and video chats!
Molly is a family, newborn, and brand photographer based in Cumming, Georgia, and serving the Atlanta area.
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Molly is a Greenville, SC newborn photographer who photographs families in the Upstate. She is known for capturing joy with a classic southern style. Photo sessions with Molly turn family memories into artwork for your home and for generations to come.