Follow these 9 tips to improve the look and sound of your next video meeting or remote shoot.
If you spend much of your day on video calls, it's a great idea to invest into looking and sounding your best. Improving the quality of your video and audio will make you more understandable, professional, and present.
This blog post will explore the filmmaking ideas and techniques you should know to take control of your image and rock your next video call. Note: As an Amazon Associate, Filmkraft earns from qualifying purchases. If you click on the links and make a purchase, we may earn a small commission at no added cost to you.
It only takes a few small changes to get much better audio and video results. Simple things like sitting in front of a big light source, keeping the camera at eye level, and using headphones will instantly be a game-changer. Follow these nine steps to look and sound better right away:
Take a moment to consider the height of your camera. A good rule of thumb is to keep the webcam at eye-level, since filming yourself from below can look unflattering. You want to avoid the infamous up-the-nostril shot.
If you're using a laptop and it is too low on your desk, you can prop it up using some large books. For a more permanent solution, consider purchasing a stand such as this one by Rain Design. We use it in our office and love it. There's also a cheaper model by Soundance that is very well rated.
With a webcam, on the other hand, you may need to get a rig, such as this one for certain Logitech models.
Now that the camera is at eye level, let's find the right shot size.
If you're too close to the lens, you may look distorted or awkward. If you're too far, you will appear less present and sound will suffer.
Try to frame up a medium close-up (chest up) to a medium shot (waist up).
The next step is to get great lighting. This will create a more pleasant and natural image, reduce digital noise, and make your skin look vibrant.
Here's what you can do to improve lighting without shopping for more stuff:
To raise your lighting game to the next level, we recommend that you invest in video lighting equipment. For our own remote videography projects, we use the Aputure Amaron MC. If you're looking for the distinct ring light look, try the ESDDI PLV-R432 Ring Light.
Choosing the way you style your background is also an important part of taking control of your image.
Do you want your background to be simple and draw attention to your face? Or, does showing the space behind you contribute to the way you would like to represent yourself?
In most cases, we recommend making the background as simple as possible. Remove excess clutter or distracting patterns, and try to avoid objects that may stick out from behind your head.
If you are sitting next to a wall, try to separate yourself from it to create some depth in the shot.
If you aren't getting the image quality you desire, your webcam might be a bottleneck. Some great options that could boost your image quality are the Logitech C920 or Razer Kiyo, which is part webcam, part ring light!
For the best image quality possible, you can use your DSLR as a webcam. If you're brave enough to go this route, beware, setup may be difficult!
Now that we've nailed image quality, let's focus on audio, which is just as important. There are a few simple steps you can take to improve your sound right away:
If you want to take your audio to the next level, purchase a professional microphone. We recommend this super economic podcast microphone. For an iPhone microphone, we use the amazing little Shure MV88.
Be sure to configure and test your new mic!
We think an extra reminder can't hurt. During conference calls, mute your microphone to avoid echoes and noise.
If you are experiencing poor quality, drop offs, or delays, call your internet company and ask about faster internet speeds. Having a speedy connection will also allow you to benefit from certain professional-grade features, such as Zoom's High Fidelity Music Mode or HD recording.
Capitalize on the unique features that Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, or Facetime have to offer. Zoom, for example, has the following awesome capabilities:
By following the recommendations above, you should be looking and sounding better on your next Zoom, Facetime, Google Meet, or Skype call.
Filmkraft is a video production company in NYC. In our blog, Filmkraft Guides, we explore everything from video ads best practices on social media to how to cast the right talent in your next TV commercial. Subscribe to Guides in the footer below!