Last week I touched on a few adjustments you can make in order to allow this sudden work from home, thing, to go a bit smoother. Now that you have a few ideas, let’s talk backdrop. For those of you who don’t utilize video conferencing with colleagues, this may not apply. However, you might pick up a tip or two for those virtual get together’s.
First tip: know where your webcam is located. (Yours truly didn’t bother checking, and the results were baffling to me.) I bought a new laptop a few months ago and didn’t realize the built in webcam was located at the bottom of the screen instead of the top (like my last one). Oops! Made for a rather humorous virtual new home tour with family this past weekend. For those of you who don’t know me, unless it’s my camera gear, I’m not that tech savvy. For everyone else, I happen to love my keyboard! Yeah… keep laughing! On a serious note, sit where you intend to and turn on your webcam. You might need to adjust the height. (A stack of books works great.) If that’s the case, and you’re using the built in webcam on your laptop, consider having a wireless mouse and keyboard handy, makes things easier.
Secondly, make sure you’re properly in frame. We’ve all seen (alright, done) those awkward, too close to the screen adjustments. Much like my keyboard, no one really wants to get up close and personal with your nose. On the other hand, don’t be too far away either. If you’re clear across the room, the people in the video conference might as well be looking at your photo while you’re on speakerphone. We’re aiming for close, but not too close!
Lastly, now that you’ve made those adjustments, look at your background. That vase of flowers behind you may be beautiful but, if all people see is a flower or two sprouting from your head, you might want to move it to the side. If you have the option of being in front of a bookcase, or a single large scale piece of art with a plant on the side for visual interest, great. If you’ll be in front of your windows, close the blinds and turn on your lights. The light could overpower the sensor and you could end up looking like a silhouette. Dramatic as that sounds, your weekly office meeting probably doesn’t call for such flair.
I hope these help, I for one will be stacking several books under my laptop before our weekly happy hour! Bonus tip, which is more personal preference. When it comes to Fido or Mittens taking the stage, let them. It will probably make one or two people smile. Hint, hint to those of you I’ll see on Sunday!
Owner, Plumb Pixel Photography
The Right Angle Matters