"We should Skype!" Have you ever heard those words and cringed because you just don't look good on Skype? We're not all super confident on camera, especially when it's a webcam. Something about the way it blows up your face to fill the whole screen is just so ... ugh, the worst. But if you want to talk with someone you love and see their face -- yay, the best of technology! -- you've gotta do it.
It doesn't have to be painful. You just need a few camera tricks, the kind anyone can pull off. Here are 8 essential tips to looking your best on Skype, you superstar, you.
1. Get camera level with your eyes or a tad higher. Photographer Matthew Rolston recommends adjusting the height of your laptop or computer so the camera is level with your hairline. If the camera is below your eyes, it will make your jaw and chin look disproportionally large and your nose hairs may become visible. You're hotter when you're looking up, not down.
2. Give yourself some light. Turn on a desk lamp over your laptop so it shines on you, or sit facing a window. Experiment to get light that illuminates your face in a flattering way, but isn't too harsh or too dim. Make sure you're not back-lit! (That's when there's light coming from behind you.)
3. Center yourself in the screen. Make sure you're not cutting off the top of your head or your chin, and make sure you're not over to the left or the right. Angle your screen if you need to, or back away from your laptop. Paul J. Bailo, author of The Essential Digital Interview Handbook, recommends creating a triangle between your forehead and shoulders within the frame.
4. Clean up your background. This is one of those rare occasions when a blank wall comes in handy. Make sure you don't have a lot of distractions behind you. At the very least, make sure you're not showcasing a messy room.
5. Check that your lens is clean. If you have kids, it's very likely someone has smudged it with peanut butter at some point. Clean it off -- unless, of course, you love that airbrushing effect you get from a dirty lens. It is kind of flattering ...
6. Do your hair and makeup in front of the webcam before your call. There are a few makeup tricks just for the webcam, but even simply putting on some lipstick and doing your eyebrows helps. And get your hair out of your face. Maybe change out of your pajamas? Just a suggestion.
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7. Sit up straight. No one looks good when they're slouching.
8. Look at the lens. Don't stare at your lovely face. Resist that temptation, and look at the lens. Otherwise, your eyes will look slightly off focus. I make this mistake ALL THE TIME. You feel like you're making eye contact if you look at yourself, but you really need to focus on that lens instead.
Do you worry about how you look on Skype?
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