Do you take selfies or videos for your business? Make sure you watch your angles! Here are a few tips to show you how quickly you can improve your photos and videos, even your Zoom meeting recordings!
Camera angles are really important for good photos!
The following refer to the above photos from left to right. Note the images are cropped from their original size.
The left image shows when you shoot your camera from below it’s unflattering. The bad look is particularly emphasised if you look up, as you can see in the left photo. You also get a lot of ceiling in the photo which just looks a bit odd.
Watch your laptop webcam position when using Zoom and Teams
Please note shooting from below is a common problem when using your webcam particularly on Zoom, Teams or screencasting. This is the view you’ll get when you use your laptop webcam sitting directly on your desk. The webcam will be at your chin level or lower. You may need to buy a separate webcam or prop up the laptop to a better height. A laptop riser does the job well (grab yourself a wireless keyboard and mouse too). This would also have the benefit of improving your workstation ergonomics.
Avoid being too close to the camera
The middle photo is better. It’s shot at eye level, and looking at the camera lens, but the camera is too close. When you shoot too close with a phone or laptop camera (or a wide-angle lens) you’ll tend to get your nose, chin and forehead disproportionately large as they’re much closer to the camera.
Shoot from eye level or slightly higher
The final photo is a big improvement. It’s shot with the camera slightly above so it’s the most flattering not to capture double chins we may have acquired sitting at home too long! It’s also shot at a more suitable distance but still handheld, in this case at arms’ length, removing facial distortions allowing for a more natural photo. Do remember though, you’ll have more background in the shot so watch what’s in the background. Make sure nothing is coming out of your head! Check if using selfie mode any words are the correct way around (you may be able to select a mirror image setting in your phone camera).
Use a tripod where possible
Ideally take photos on a tripod with a self-timer to minimise camera shake. This is especially important when shooting videos. If you’re not moving around on purpose, please use a tripod. There’s little more annoying than unnecessary camera shaking in a video (apart from poor audio!!).
Final quick photo tip – get your lighting right
You may realise I have front lighting from my monitor as well as a strong right side light and weaker afternoon light. The front lighting helps to separate me from the background. However, there is too much light coming from my right. To fix that I could move the side light further away from me, adjust the brightness down, move the light to my left side, add a light to my left or put up a reflector on that side. Alternatively, I could reposition myself or rearrange the room to face the natural window light.
Hopefully you can use some of these tips for better photos, videos and even Zooms! You may find it gives you a quick confidence booster too! These improved photos and videos may be used on your blogs, website and socials! Happy shooting!