With the season of gift giving in sight, you may be looking at all the deals on tech and gear and wondering what to get to uplift your virtual presence to the next level. If you are looking for tech to help make your presentation more professional or gear to help you look better online, this blog is for you!
There are two main ingredients our visual production crew say you need to make yourself look good on the screen. The first is a good camera and the second is lighting. These two things go hand in hand. They are so closely related, in fact, that it may not be your camera’s fault you look blurry or too dark on screen. In-home lighting was never created to be bright enough (or at the right angle) to be the main source for a camera.
If you are looking for a quick way to improve your looks online, invest in a light. The best light is that which mimics natural light; in other words, pure white. Most home lights are “soft white” which, with the paint on your walls acting as a reflector, can turn yellow or another unflattering shade.
A standing circular light is popular among social media influencers, but any bright white LED light can do the trick. If you are not interested in using your phone to do video conferences or are not ready to dedicate floor space to a light, we suggest something like the Lume Cube or a clip on LED light with a flexible neck. The reason is lighting shifts through the day and you may need to adjust the light accordingly.
Always be sure the lighting is facing you from behind the camera and that it is never brighter behind you than in front (i.e. windows behind you). Otherwise you’ll appear dark on camera. And while appearing in the shadows may work well for Draculia, it doesn’t look good on everyone else!
If your new lighting isn’t doing the trick or you still appear fuzzy on your video conferences, it may be time to upgrade your camera. Laptops may have built-in cameras, but they may not be the best quality. With updated displays, even web cameras from a few years ago are well out of date with graphic displays of newer screens. If you find your cell phone produces better videos than your web camera, it’s time to upgrade.
Zoom has 9 recommendations when it comes to cameras, depending on your wishes, needs and room size. If you are planning a video in a conference room, plan to spend more. Wide angles, motion detecting, and even sound capabilities are included in these high tech, high resolution cameras. For professional use in a personal setting, such as a home office we recommend the Yealink UVC30 which provides 4K capabilities while maintaining a price point under $500. Logitech also has some great options such as the BCC950 or the Pro Personal Video Collaboration Kit.
Our production team can also include a rental kit mailed directly to your door (with event planning services) if your needs are specific to one event only. Just call 1.800.366.0603 to talk to our event coordinator for more information.
Now that you are looking good, you want to make sure your audio matches. All those good looks won’t add up to much if your not heard. Using your built-in audio may leave a lot of background noise and even pickup audio from your conference, event or meeting. That means a lot of feedback and unflattering echoes. A simple fix is a earbud headset with a mic. Slick and easily hidden, they are also portable for when the video conference goes to a voice only mode. If you want the best, the Blue Yeti is where it is at.
If you are looking for a super polished, made-for-TV look for your video conference, you may be looking for a studio rather than film at home. While some production teams can come to your home and bring gear to make a mobile studio, your best bet is to go into a permanent studio to film. The space is designed specifically for filming and capturing audio, so you know you’ll get that Hollywood experience as well as the good looks to go with it. We have a database of film studios in major cities around the world so you can be sure to find one near you.
To ensure you’re seen at your best, we can also arrange for a makeup and hair artist to prepare you for the big screen (or many smaller ones!). We also arrange catering and transportation so you feel and look your best. Our set designers will work with your company to create a perfect stage for your star speaker. Just let us know what you are looking for and we will make your vision a reality.
Take the first step in making a wrap of your next video conference with the DIY at-home film using the best technology and gear or have our event planner arrange for star treatment. However you communicate, we are here to support you with solutions that meet the challenges of remote work life.
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