More people are now working from home than ever and a big chunk of this work centers around video, be it live video like calls and zoom meetings or recorded, like webinars and presentations. On top of that, with all the restrictions now in place regarding freedom of movement due to the pandemic, many of us rely entirely on video calls to stay in touch with friends and loved ones. Whether you use Zoom, Webex, Teams, Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime or some other video communication tool or platform, there are some easy rules to follow and things you can do that will help you look and sound better in any situation involving video.


1. First and foremost, watch out for backlighting to avoid looking like a shadow. You’ve probably seen many people standing in front of a bright window or even an operating television set but this is not what you want to do. You want your viewers to be able to see you clearly and by having a bright source of light behind you, you get the opposite result.
2. Use one light source centered above your camera or even better two light sources on the sides. Ideal positioning is at a 45′ angle above you and at 45′ on each side.
3. You can go for a cinematic look using a single light source on the side but you will probably need a reflector on the opposite side to reduce contrast and cut down on harsh shadows on your face. An easy way to achieve this is to stand between a window and a white wall. By moving closer to the window or the wall you can adjust the contrast between the bright and dark side. Move closer to the wall if you want more even, less contrasty light or closer to the window for the opposite effect.
4. Aim for softer light. If your source is natural light like a window try placing a semi-transparent curtain or even a white bedsheet in front of it to diffuse the light. If you use an artificial source you can use anything from a cheap chinese paper lantern to expensive softboxes to soften your light. If you want to spare the expense of a light modifier, a great solution to soften your light is to bounce it off a wall. This works best with white or light gray walls.
5. With digital cameras it is important to keep your light color consistent. If you use more than a single light source then aim for the same color temp on all lights and avoid mixing warm and cold lights.
6. Avoid bright overhead light as it will create unflattering shadows on your face. However, overhead light can be used to light your environment and lower overall contrast in your scene, as long as it is behind where you are positioned so it doesn’t cast light to your face directly.


1. Isolate yourself as much as possible. Microphones are susceptible to pick up ambient noise from your environment and this is something you do not want. Kids playing, dogs barking or cars accelerating in the background have a degrading effect to your audio quality and can disorient your viewers.
2. Get as close to your audio recording device as possible and speak directly to it. That way you help cut down even more on background and ambient noise. If using a laptop, get it closer to your face. Better yet, use an external microphone, like a cheap lavalier mic, shotgun mic or podcast mic. Even the headset microphone that comes with most modern mobile phones will sound a lot better than the one built into your devices, the reason being its placement in close proximity to your mouth.
3. Use headphones to avoid audio feedback, specially if you are using the onboard microphone of your laptop or mobile phone.


1. Raise the camera to eye level or slightly above. When you position your laptop or phone on your desk the camera is placed in a way to look up your chin and nose, which is not the most flattering angle. You can use a box or a stack of books to raise it or use an external camera. Raising your camera slightly above eye level and shooting down on your subject is a well known photographer’s trick that produces a slimming effect, giving you a much better look.
2. Look into the camera instead of your screen when you speak. That way you give your audience the impression you are actually talking to them and it will be easier to hold their attention.


1. Walk around and find an interesting spot in your house. If it’s well lit, that’s an added bonus.
2. Check your background and try to keep visual noise to a minimum. Remove any clutter such as laundry, kid’s toys, sport gear etc. and make it nice, neat, tidy and professional.
3. Look out for and remove any items which might contain personal or sensitive information.
4. Try to maintain some distance between you and the background to add a nice sense of depth to your environment.
5. Use practical lights to add a degree of warmth to your scene. Be careful not to overdo it, you don’t want your practicals to be stronger than your key light.
6. Add some interesting props but remember to keep everything tidy. A plant or a picture frame should do the job.

We are here to help. If you need tips or advice on your specific situation, leave a comment bellow or contact FlyHigh today for a free brainstorming session. Alternatively you can also join our Discord community by using this invite link.