How To Look Great on Stream and in Your Clips
We explore a number of key things to consider when looking your best on stream and in your clips.
Wed Dec 07 2022
4 min read
As a content creator, it’s imperative that you always put your best foot forward, whether on stream or your short-form clips. You never know who may be watching or tuning in! In addition to equipment, there are a number of key things to consider when looking your best on stream and in your clips.
Lighting is possibly the most important element to consider when setting up your stream. Think about how important lighting is when taking a normal photograph. You’ve probably noticed that photos where the sun is behind you come out way worse - these pictures are backlit. You’ve also likely noticed that pictures taken around sunset and sunrise come out the best - that’s because the lighting is softest at this time. These exact same principles also apply to streaming.
When considering your lighting set up at home, ensure that there is no lighting source behind you, whether it be a window or a light. You do not want light emanating from behind you towards the camera. This makes it difficult to see your face and features.
Overhead lighting may also present a problem. If the overhead light is too harsh, it might create shadows on your face.
Aim to build your setup with soft, natural light coming from in front of you and behind the camera. You want the light sources to emanate towards you - illuminating your face and your features.
Ring lights or key lights are a worthy investment to consider. These devices create the kind of soft, natural light that makes you look best on your streams and in your clips.
Camera Placement and Angle
Proper camera positioning, placement, and angle is essential to look great on stream and in your clips. Consider taking a selfie - how differently do you look when your phone camera is angled from underneath you versus above you? An upward angle is not flattering!
Place your camera at eye level or slightly above eye level. To do this, you can set your camera on top of your monitor or use an adjustable tripod to get the ideal height. Ensure that your camera is never below eye level.
Background and Setting
If you aren’t using a green screen, make sure to check your background before you go live or start filming. An untidy or unkempt room will give your viewers the wrong impression of you. No one wants to see a messy room, pile of laundry, or other debris.
If you don’t have a green screen, a plain wall or a wall with neatly considered and arranged shelves looks best.
If you do want to go the green screen route, we recommend the Elgato Green Screen. This collapsible screen gives you a picture perfect background in any setting. You won't even have to clean your room now!
Behavioral Skills - Posture and Eye Contact
When you’re having a conversation with someone IRL - do you feel better when they’re standing up straight and looking at you, making eye contact, or when they’re slouched over with downcast eyes, looking at the ground?
Good posture and eye contact are essential here. Pretend that the camera is someone you’re talking with IRL. Make eye contact with the camera to make eye contact with your audience. Doing this makes your audience feel noticed and viewed by you. Instead of watching yourself talk on your computer screen, look and speak directly to the camera.
Don’t hunch or slouch over - sit up straight. Sitting up straight and with strong posture makes you come across as confident and professional.
Lastly, be confident, personable, and enthusiastic when looking at the camera. Make sure to smile - smiling relaxes you and will allow your audience to form a deeper connection with you.
Health and Personal Appearance
The camera may pick up things you might notice about yourself when you look in the mirror. Are you tired? Do you have bags under your eyes? Did you wash your face today? Sweat and oil on your skin may be picked up by the camera, along with enlarged pores. Take care of yourself, both for your own health and to present best on stream. This means ensuring you get enough sleep and taking good care of your skin.
From an appearance perspective, wearing the right clothes is important, but especially if you’re using a green screen. It should go without saying, but don’t wear green if you’re using a green screen! Furthermore, it’s a best practice to avoid loud patterns and to avoid wearing any reflective material.
It’s simple - but a better camera will make your stream look better, your clips look better, and you look better. Consider purchasing a good webcam, or alternatively, configure your smartphone as your stream camera. Odds are your smartphone’s camera is much better than your existing computers’.
Here are some cameras we like:
Three words: practice makes perfect. It truly does - practicing allows you to test out your equipment, lighting, and background, and allows you to make any changes before your audience is watching. After finalizing your setup, record yourself as you would on stream and review the video. How do you look? How is the lighting? Do you come across as poised and confident?
Furthermore, practicing gives you experience and confidence for the real deal, and as we discussed above, confidence is key.
By taking the above steps you’ll look fantastic on stream and on your clips in no time.
Captured some great content? Check out this guide on how to optimize your thumbnail.
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