Tips for proper video call lighting
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Tips for proper video call lighting

29th March 2021
By Tom Ladle

If you’ve ever checked your webcam reflection and you’ve seen yourself shaded in darkness or appeared obscenely bright then your lighting is off. A crucial element to turning on your webcam is so that people can see you (shock!). You don’t want to be known as the shadow figure or someone who just doesn’t bother to show their face. So, we’re here to offer some very simple tips for proper video call lighting so that you can whip on your webcam with confidence and have more productive video calls.

Tip #1: Natural light is your friend

Starting off simple, but for good lighting for webcam, you’ll need a good light source. The key here is to use a light source that illuminates you from the front, not the back. What we mean is if you have lots of natural light in your home then have it shining in front of your face, not in the background. Light from behind will conceal your face, making you look like some sort of light ghost. It will also put a strain on everyone else, helplessly squinting trying to see your face.

Tip #2: Artificial light is also your friend

If you don’t have lots of natural light in your room, then you can always use desk lamps for webcam lighting. Just make sure you find a good balance; you don’t want too much light on one area of your face. This will throw off the rest of your face and create unnecessary shadows. We’d recommend using a desk lamp to light your face straight on. Although don’t go overboard, there is such a thing as too much light.

Long story short, make sure your face is evenly lit.

Tip #3: Be aware of backgrounds

As well as using incorrect lighting, you can also distract from yourself with your background. If you’ve got wacky wallpaper or a brightly lit background in general, then you’re bringing people’s attention away from the forefront (you) to the party going on behind you. Try to choose a location where your background is plain and not littered with distractions.

Tip #4: Experiment with what works best

If you’ve had a few video calls and your lighting is off, don’t just accept this as your fate. Experiment with the light sources and equipment you have. Fortunately finding a decent lighting set up for your home office isn’t rocket science. You don’t have to know all the avant-garde tricks that film directors know, just lighting that lights your whole face evenly. If you find using one method doesn’t create the desired effect, then try another.

Tip #5: Think about investing in lighting accessories

If you do a quick Google search for best webcam lighting, you’ll see a host of useful accessories to turn your home office into a mini film studio. As mentioned, if you don’t have somewhere with lots of natural light then accessories like these could be a big help.

If you’re not interested in buying accessories, then you can always upgrade your webcam. A lot of the better external webcams have the tech to help address low light and to balance out light in general. Have a look here for a list of best webcams of 2021.

Hopefully, this has helped you understand that improving your appearance on camera doesn’t require tonnes of effort. With some quick fixes, you can ensure you’ve got fantastic video call lighting and no longer have to worry about how visible you are on camera!

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