3 Tips to Sharpen Your Image on a Video Call

March 26, 2020

Video chats over Zoom, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, Skype, and other platforms have grown commonplace as the nation follows shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders from their local governments in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, you may find yourself making more appearances over video to stay connected to your clients and peers.

In a recent article at The New York Times, design professionals weigh in on how to create a professional image over a webcam. Here are three of their recommendations.

1. Keep a neutral backdrop. For example, a console table with a lamp and a couple of books lying on it could suffice, or try just a vase of flowers in the background. “Find a place in the home that has the most neutral wall background,” Lauren Rottet, an interior designer with offices in Houston, Los Angeles, and New York, told The New York Times. She recommends planting yourself in front of a wall in light gray, light blue, off-white, darker blue, or beige. But try to avoid orange, yellow, or red walls, as well as any patterns behind you, she suggests.

2. Watch your acoustics. Choose a room with carpeting and window treatments, which can help absorb sound better than a room with hardwoods or tile. Those harder flooring options can cause your voice and conversations to echo.

3. Find your best light. Don’t sit directly under a light source, as they tend to cast unflattering shadows on your face. Instead, position yourself about two feet opposite a lamp or window, Rottet told The New York Times. Don’t let that light source be seen on the camera, but have it in front of you or beside you, Rottet suggests. If you wanted to invest in lighting, consider a ring light or similar LED lamps for your computer or phone.

Get more webcam tips at The New York Times.

How to Look Your Best on a Webcam,” The New York Times (March 25, 2020)