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Home / Tips and Tricks / This will make you look better while zooming (and other video calling apps)

This will make you look better while zooming (and other video calling apps)



  Portraits of the author in different lighting situations.

More professional (and more personal) interactions are taking place through Zoom and other video calling apps, and it doesn't look like this will change anytime soon. As with a face-to-face meeting or date, it's important to look great on video calls. How to work for your webcam:

Finding better lighting

In a professional broadcasting studio, the cameras don't make people look good ̵

1; it's the lighting. It doesn't matter how much money producers put in expensive lenses, they can't make anyone presentable when the lighting is terrible. This also applies to at home.

Now we do not advocate that you save your life savings in a studio lighting with 10,000 lumens. However, you can choose a place in your house for video calls with good lighting.

You want to avoid skylights because they cast strange shadows and lights on your face. They also tend to affect the overall balance.

  A man in the shade due to poor lighting.
An example of poor lighting. Don't look at my shiny forehead!

The backlight is also bad. They appear dark and shady against a background that is too light. Compensating with a light in front of you doesn't help much either.

  A man in the shade due to poor backlighting.
Backlighting is not a strong view for me – or for anyone.

What you? Looking for a place with nice, even front lighting. The easiest place to find it is in front of a large window.

  A man who is clearly visible and well lit thanks to the front lighting.
It looks much better in front of a window.

This is one of the best "photography hacks" to look good whether you're taking a selfie or doing a professional presentation. Simply find the largest and brightest window in your house and place it in front of it. You look better than anyone when you call!

CONNECTION: How to take better photos in your home (no flash required)

Raise your camera [19659004] Nobody looks best from below his chin above, but that's probably where your laptop's webcam is. Computer manufacturers value small things like practicality and price compared to their appearance in front of the camera.

In order to look optimal, your webcam should be at eye level (or just above). That's how people usually see you personally and that's what they unconsciously expect.

  A man at eye level.
Look at how much better my jaw looks with the camera at eye level.

To get If you keep your camera at eye level, you can invest in a laptop stand or go to the old school and stack some books under it. When using your smartphone, support it with everything you have on hand or get a small tripod.

You may also want an external keyboard and mouse if you need your computer while you are on a call.

Look into the camera (and dim your screen).

Eye contact is of enormous importance in western culture. We are suspicious of people who don't care for it or who can constantly look away. Unfortunately, it is impossible to make real eye contact when setting up video calls. When you look at someone's eyes on the screen, that person sees that you are looking down.

  Man looks head-on.
Look at this friendly guy; he wouldn't sell you timeshare.

While you can't keep it up all the time when you present or talk a lot, you want to create the illusion that you're looking at your audience. So look directly at your webcam as often as possible. It's hard to do this with all the distractions on the screen, but here are some things you can do:

  • Hide or minimize the preview of you: I use mine as a mirror and I know that i am not alone It is easy to check your hair.
  • Dim your screen: Try this unless you absolutely need to see them all. It is more useful to create the illusion that you are looking at people than to actually look at someone.

Test your internet connection

 A pixelated image.

Video chats require a relatively fast, very stable internet connection. It doesn't matter how good you look on your webcam if your WiFi can only send a pixelated Splodge.

Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, and all other video calling apps dynamically adjust the quality of the video to send and receive to maintain the connection. This means that you can connect even if you have a slow connection. You just don't look very good.

Zoom's minimum system requirements give you a good idea of ​​the specifications required: [19659030] For one-to-one calls: 1.8Mbps up / down is required to send and receive 1080p HD video.

  • For group calls: 2.5Mbps up / down is required to receive 1080p HD video. 3.0Mbps up / down is required to send 1080p HD video.
  • To check the speed of your internet connection, go to Speedtest. If you receive less than 3.0 Mbit / s, you cannot send high quality videos. Even if your connection is 3.5 or 4.0 Mbps, it will likely be so low that problems sometimes arise.

    It's great if you have a fast internet connection! If not, there are a few steps you can take to speed up the call. First, ask all other users on the network to stop (take a break from Netflix, kids!). Use a device with wired Ethernet.

    If you're still not connected with these tips quickly enough, you can try a few other tips.

    CONNECTION: How to Speed ​​Up Your Internet Connection

    Use Your Best Camera

      A photo of a man taken with a DSLR camera.
    A better camera makes you look better.

    The webcam on many laptops is well, mediocre – especially if you compare it with the forward-facing cameras of modern smartphones. The 12MP TrueDepth camera on iPhone 11 is worlds better than the 720p FaceTime camera on a brand new 16-inch MacBook Pro. If you use an iPhone as a webcam, you are guaranteed to get a better looking video than on your MacBook.

    Of course, it's easiest to use your laptop only, especially for professional calls. However, if you have the opportunity, it is worth spending a few moments to support your smartphone at eye level and connect it for charging. Not only do you look better when you call, you can also use your computer when needed.

    If you really want to look incredible and have a DSLR camera, you can improve things even further and use it as a webcam. It takes a bit of setup and not all cameras can do it, but the gain is huge.

    CONNECTION: Using a digital camera as a webcam

    Next and Zoom!

    It is not very expensive to look much better on video calls. Whether you're using Zoom, FaceTime, Google Meet, Skype, Slack, Microsoft Teams, or any of the myriad other video chat apps, you can make sure you always look good.

    Just sort your lighting situation, prop your best camera at eye level and look at it, and you're good to go!


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