Nearly every computer has a built-in webcam that can be used to record and stream video over the internet. Even if your computer lacks a built-in camera, it’s easy to attach an external webcam so you can make video calls.
How to look good on a webcam
But looking good on a webcam can be a challenge. From solving poor positioning to fixing lighting problems, our five simple tips will help you to look your best when using a webcam.
TIP 1: Adjust your webcam’s exposure setting
Make sure that your webcam exposure setting suits the lighting in the room that you’re in. From the Start screen in Windows 8.1, open the Camera app. You should be able to see your webcam full screen. Right-click anywhere on the app screen to see a navigation bar at the bottom. Click Exposure and move the slider to adjust the brightness of the image. When the slider is moved down, the darkness increases. Move the slider up, the light increases.
TIP 2: Light source
Avoid using your computer screen as a light source. Instead switch on the room’s overhead light or use a desk light. Don’t direct a lamp straight at your face though as too strong a light can blanch the image onscreen, making it difficult for your face to be seen. Aim for soft, diffuse light whenever possible.
TIP 3: Whiten up
Wearing a white top or shirt can help improve your webcast. It will help your webcam’s auto white balance/auto-exposure achieve a good white balance and colour exposure.
TIP 4: Location, location, location
Webcam lenses are typically not as good quality as those found in camcorders so it’s important to position the camera so you’re nicely framed at all times. If the camera is too low, your audience will be forced to see up your nose or if it’s too high they’ll be watching the top of your head.
Position yourself directly in front of the webcam making sure that the camera lens is as close to your eye level as possible. Sit fairly close to the webcam but not so close that your face fills the entire screen and looks distorted.
TIP 5: Watch your background
Keep the background behind you simple, avoiding distracting patterns and movement. Consider buying a collapsible background disk from a photographic supplier to provide a suitably plain background for your webcast.