Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ways to look better while video chatting

Video chatting is so commonplace these days that even dogs know how to do it. But with the rise of live conferencing and Skype interviews, there is also a need to look halfway decent on a webcam, which is no easy feat.

To help guide you, Yahoo Tech has consulted YouTube makeup artist Michelle Phan, who rose to Internet superstardom by filming beauty tutorials on her laptop. Hundreds of clips, her own makeup brand, and over 6.3 million subscribers later, she’s the poster girl for looking good on the Internet.

Whether you’re preparing for a cross-country interview, Skyping with your long-distance boo, or FaceTiming your grams, these tips will keep you looking your best onscreen. Get ready for your closeup:

1.  Lighting matters. Wherever you are – the corner of a coffee shop, a library, your apartment – it’s important to find the best source of light possible. The last thing you want to do, however, is sit directly under a giant fluorescent lamp. That creates shadows under your eyes that can make you look tired or, god forbid, older. As Phan tells Yahoo Tech: “You don’t want it directly on you; rather, keep your light source diffused. Instead of opening a window, you should have a sheer curtain in front of the window to diffuse the light.” That and try to gravitate toward warmer hues. Rarely does anyone look good beneath the harsh beams of an industrial-strength lamp.

2.  Angling can be your best friend or worst enemy. Our default position for most smartphones is to hold them below our faces at all times, as if we were checking email or playing Candy Crush. And even compact laptops tend be positioned below our faces.
But that angling can indirectly make you look like you have a double chin. Or even worse, show off the insides of your nostrils.

Phan recommends that you “keep the laptop or device directly in front of you at eye level. Also, don’t position the camera too close, but make sure it is far enough away to reduce the fisheye lens effect.”

If you want to get serious about it, skip the webcam altogether and connect a separate camera to your laptop, propped up by a tripod or stand.

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