With video conferencing, vlogging, and even appearing on TV via remote link on the rise, looking good on webcam is increasingly important. But so many people get it wrong. Experts, politicians, YouTubers, even models and style experts can end up looking terrible on webcams.
So, how does one look good for a webcam? Simply, make the most of what you’ve got. Learn how by following these tips to get you looking your best for the camera.
13 Ways You Can Look Better on Your Webcam
Looking good when on a video chat is vital. While one or two people you’re close to might not mind you looking a mess, this isn’t usually the case.
Here are 13 things you can do to look better on webcam calls and recordings:
- Use a good quality webcam
- Sound great with a decent microphone
- Look presentable with clothes and makeup
- Have a tidy background
- Don’t get too close or too far away
- Light from the front, not behind
- Look at the camera, not the screen
- Look up at the webcam, not down
- Don’t move around too much
- Establish a dedicated space for webcam recordings and chats
- Rehearse to improve your confidence
- Check the results with a friend
- Be yourself
With so much to consider, let’s explore these tips in detail so you can look good on a webcam today.
1. Look Good With a Quality Webcam
Using a cheap webcam will leave you with sub-par results. If you’re serious about looking good, get a decent external webcam.
Leave plenty of time between hooking it up and using it. Take the time to test it, preferably with the chat software or video recording app you’re using. This gives you the opportunity to make any adjustments to the set up.
2. Improve Webcam Audio with a Good Mic
Built-in mics on laptops, some desktops, and webcams are typically mediocre. To sound good on webcam, it’s smarter to use a dedicated microphone. A great selection of dedicated microphones is available. Adding one to your setup will improve your overall presentation and complement the quality of your new webcam.
A good option is the Blue Snowball iCE, a USB microphone that works with desktop and laptop computers.
Not sure how to install a mic? Check these no-hassle ways to connect a microphone to your PC
3. Look Good on Webcam: Make Yourself Presentable
Presentation is key to looking good on a webcam. It doesn’t matter if you’re working from home for a video chat or being interviewed on TV.
Just be sure to get out of your pyjamas into some more suitable attire. You might be at home, but first impressions count, and pyjamas say, “I just got up.”
Take the time to prepare your hair and teeth. Sort out stray hair, floss and brush your teeth, and have if necessary. If you need makeup, leave plenty of time to apply it. This is particularly important with high definition video.
For clothing, rely on darker tones. Bright clothes can be off-putting and play havoc with lighting. Keep it muted.
4. Check Your Background on Webcam
A plain white wall is boring, but piles of junk are both distracting and unpleasant. See what you can do to create a pleasant background with no mess and very few visual distractions.
If this isn’t possible, some webcam apps can blur your background. For example, Skype features a background blurring tool that you can toggle for video calls. Other webcam apps include similar tools.
You might also try a webcam background that attaches to your chair.
These come in grey, blue, and green for chromakey use. This means you can set a different background, although in most cases this is only suitable for post-production. But if you’re using your webcam for recording videos to upload to YouTube, this is an ideal background cheat.
5. Get the Distance Right
A distracting element for any webcam conversation is a subject that is too far away—or too close!
It’s best to maintain a static distance with your webcam. A good rule of thumb is to keep the camera about an arm’s length from you.
6. Light From the Front and Look Great
If it’s at all possible to relocate the lights before you use a webcam, then do so. Too much light from behind will dim you out completely.
Try to shine light on yourself from the front, preferably from slightly above. If there’s a window in the room, try to face that as natural light from the window is best.
It’s difficult to avoid glare and washout but try out a few different positions to get the best results. If you don’t have a handy window or lamp, consider using an external monitor behind your webcam. Just bring up something very white on-screen and turn up the brightness.
A phone or tablet computer can also help here. You can also buy desktop lamps for improved video call lighting.
These devices are affordable and ideal for indoor video on a PC webcam or mobile device.
7. Remember to Look at the Camera
All too often, especially during webcam chats, the image of the person you’re speaking to can distract you. The result is you’re looking slightly away from the camera, rather than at it.
So, remember to look at the camera. You can help yourself here with a few tricks:
- Point a sticky note with an arrow at your camera
- Move your chat window as close to the camera as possible
- Write prompts on a stick note and place it next to the camera
Looking down when you’re supposed to be looking at the webcam can be disconcerting for the viewer. Take a moment to practice this with your device’s webcam app.
8. Use the Best Webcam Angle: Look Up at the Camera
A slight change in camera positioning could make a world of difference. This is particularly important whether you’re vlogging, appearing on TV, or attending an online job interview.
Looking up shows you in the best possible light. If you’ve worked on the other presentation aspects, ignoring this tip could ruin your hard work so far.
In short, when you’re looking down at a camera, you’re giving yourself a double chin. If that wasn’t bad enough, looking down can also and show off your nose hairs.
Looking up is far more flattering. Position the webcam to suit; if you’re using a laptop, place it on a few books for elevation.
9. Minimise Your Motion, and Don’t Lean In
Moving around too much on a webcam can cause problems. First, too much motion can be distracting. Second, it can cause pixilation of the video stream, resulting in a drop in quality. Keep as still as possible so the focus remains on what you’re saying.
Meanwhile, be careful not to lean back or forward. Leaning back too far will distract the viewer and result in them losing attention; leaning in can be intimidating.
10. Set Up A Dedicated Webcam Space
If you’re using your webcam often, you may want to set up your space, so you have a decent background. This includes maintaining front lighting and keeping your webcam at a good height.
Ensure you keep your webcam equipment, comb, decent shirt, and basic makeup ready, too. Be prepared and you’ll be able to jump into webcam chats at short notice and look as good as possible.
11. Be Confident on Webcam: Rehearse!
Knowing what you’re going to say boosts confidence and will help to make a good impression.
If you’re having a meeting, make sure you know the main points you need to get across. Need statistics or other data to hand? Make sure you have it ready before your webcam chat starts, just as you would for an in-person meeting.
If you’re doing a show, make notes and practise just like you would for any public presentation.
12. Check the Results With A Friend
If you’re unsure about your set-up, arrange a Skype chat with a trusted friend and ask for their opinion. They should be able to help you spot any problems with how you look, lighting, background, and how you sound.
Do this ahead of time so there is opportunity to make the necessary changes before your webcam call or recording.
13. Be Yourself
A desire to look good can easily lead to copying and imitating other people. Don’t!
Just be yourself and stay calm. If you’ve followed all the steps so far, you should be confident that you look your best and are prepared to be on camera. So, just keep smiling and stay cool.
Use These Tips to Look Good on Your Webcam
Whether you’re making vlogs, video calls, joining video conferencing sessions for work, or appearing as a guest on network or online TV, the tips listed here can help you look good on a webcam.
First impressions count: don’t let yourself down by being untidy, unprepared, and uncertain. Need a webcam in a pinch? You could record your vlog or make the video call on your phone. If you must use a PC, here’s how to use your Android phone as a webcam
for your computer.