OK, you’re ready to shine on video—that’s fantastic! Video is essential for both business and personal branding  as evidenced by the rise of video on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

However, there’s definitely a right way and a wrong way to go about all this. If you’re not diligent and selective in the manner in which you prepare your set and yourself, your efforts will fall flat and you may hurt your brand.

Never fear, though! We’re here today with a wide-ranging examination of how to look good on camera. From equipment positioning to lighting preferences, you’ll find everything you need below.


1. Consider Your Brand

Who’s your target audience? You need to distinctly understand who you hope to speak with before you know how to appear and act on camera. For example, you likely don’t want to be buttoned up in a suit and tie if you’re speaking to 18-24 year olds. Use your target demographic and brand considerations to inform your wardrobe and demeanor choices going forward.

2. Choose Clothing Carefully

Sure, you want to be yourself, but don’t go too zany with your clothing choices—solid colors are a far better investment than crazy patterns. The reason? “Loud” shirts can be distracting to any audience, young or old. Also, steer clear of shirts with huge, colorful logos. Oh, and don’t forget to break out the iron prior to filming!

3. Bring the Energy

If you’re not energetic, how will your audience buy-in to your message?

Hint: they won’t. And the thing about the camera is it can make people who seem acceptably energetic in real-life come off as uninspired on video. To combat this, try to be the “biggest,” brightest version of yourself you can be. Don’t change who you are, but accentuate the pleasant aspects of your personality as you film.

4. Maintain Eye Contact

It may seem counterintuitive to stare at a piece of equipment, but be sure to maintain eye contact with the camera. It may help to imagine the camera as a friend or family member that you’re directly speaking to. Don’t let your eyes roam about the room!

5. Keep the Camera Elevated

Regardless of your height, you’ll want to position the camera lens slightly above your eye line as opposed to dead even. This type of shot will avoid a double chin and emphasize your eyes. Win-win.

6. Watch Your Lighting

It’s critical to fuss over lighting. Bad shadows can ruin a shoot no matter how much else you get right. Firstly, ensure you aren’t directly beneath any unnatural lighting. Secondly, check for any unflattering shadows on your face and adjust both your location and the camera’s as necessary. And if you’re placing your own lights, ensure they are slightly in front of the camera and a bit above the eye line.

7. Pick Backgrounds Carefully

Did you know the color of your background can sink your shoot? Well, it can!

Brighter colors (red, for instance) can reflect color, disturbing the way the camera registers your skin tone. If you’re using an artificial backdrop, make sure it’s a solid, “cool” or neutral color like gray or blue. If you’re not using your own backdrop, ensure the background isn’t too distracting.

8. Keep Water At Hand

Finally, one last tip: Dry lips are a no-no, so keep yourself hydrated between takes! You’ll feel better and so will your viewers.

To watch these tips in action, watch these nominee videos EditMate created for BostInno and DCInno’s Coolest Company Competitions. See if you can count how many of our tips the on-camera talent followed:

See more examples on our Video Channel 😉

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