Lights, Camera, Action: Tips for Enhancing Your Webcam Videos
Did you know that by 2021, video will make up a whopping 82% of internet traffic? If you want a slice of that, you’ll need to start incorporating webcam videos into your content marketing strategy ASAP.
Info-packed and engaging videos are a great way to get the word out about your brand. Luckily, the recording process has evolved so much over the last decade that recording videos has become easier than ever before. You can easily make videos for any audience on any budget, no fancy equipment necessary. Forget about the fancy studio lighting. You can start recording right here at your desk, all you need is your webcam!
In this post, we’ll introduce you to a few things that will really enhance the quality of your webcam videos while keeping your viewers’ eyes glued to the screen.
First things first: What are webcam videos?
Webcam videos are short, informal videos that you record using your computer or phone’s webcam. When recording webcam videos, you are the main subject and typically, you are speaking directly to an individual or a small group. These videos are highly personalized, do not require any fancy equipment, and are low-budget. The purpose of recording webcam videos is so you can personalize your outreach and add a touch of humanization back into your communication. After recording, webcam videos are usually sent via email or text, but can also be posted to social media or copy and pasted wherever you please.
Now let’s get into 6 strategies and tips to keep in mind when recording webcam videos.
Top 6 Tips for Recording Webcam Videos
1. Prepare for the shoot.
The way you present yourself on camera is important but your message is what will be the ultimate deciding factor. It’s also a good idea to scout your location ahead of time. If you’re recording in your office, pick a place where there’s no noise or people walking around you. That way, the recipient of your video message can only concentrate on you. If you’re recording outside with your mobile phone, choose a place that is professional looking. You don’t need a photo studio, but be sure to take the viewer’s point of view into consideration before hitting the “record” button.
2. Position the webcam.
Too many video recordings feature people staring into their computer screen and failing to make eye-contact with the viewer. You can fix this by adjusting your webcam to be at eye level. Many first-time recorders do not change the position of their computers, which is a mistake because the desktop is typically positioned too low for a high-quality presentation. For cameras that are fixed to the computer, you can simply raise your computer with a large box or a few books to achieve a better angle. Be sure to adjust the distance from your face to the camera as well. A good distance should be a forearm’s length between the screen and your eyes.
3. Practice looking into the camera.
Looking at our computer screens has become so natural that when we record videos, looking into the camera seems abnormal. To make your audience feel like you are talking to them, we recommend looking into the webcam. This makes the video so much more personal and engaging. Other than looking into the camera, the easiest thing you can do to make your video look better is to fix your framing. Be sure to position yourself in the center of the frame, with your eyes between the top and middle third of the screen.
4. Clean up the background.
A lot of webcam videos are recorded in people’s homes including living rooms and home offices, so it’s important to make sure that the background of the video isn’t cluttered or distracting. You won’t be taken seriously if you film with an unkempt bedroom in your background. Once you position yourself on screen, double check to ensure that nothing inappropriate can be seen behind you or that any messes are off-camera. If you can manage, a clean paper backdrop can be a great solution to your makeshift studio. You can even purchase them on Amazon in a number of different colors and sizes, with options for any occasion.
5. Adjust the lighting.
When setting up your recording area, the brighter it is, the better your webcam video will turn out. First, be sure to avoid positioning yourself with a bright open window behind you as this will result in a dark shadow on camera. The main subject’s face (you) should be brightly lit. Because the webcam’s sensors are relatively small, a lot of lighting is needed to ensure that everything is captured clearly. In rooms where the lighting situation is less than ideal, you can use household lamps to achieve a brightly-lit recording space.
The best shooting environment is one in which you can control the lighting as much as possible. This means avoiding natural light as it can change in an instant if the sun decides to move behind a cloud, causing the lighting to vary from shot to shot.
Keep an eye out for glares. This is especially relevant for glasses-wearers where lighting can be your worst enemy. If you do wear glasses, a good trick to keep in mind is to raise the lights you are using higher up on their stands until the glare is no longer visible in your glasses.
6. Audio is essential.
If you don’t have an external microphone to assist you in capturing the perfect sound, make sure that you are in a quiet space. Noisy and busy spaces can be distracting to your viewers. Poor audio quality might result in a lost or ineffective message.
If you’re filming at home, be sure to put your children or pets in a separate room where any noises made won’t be captured on audio. While you’re recording videos, you are “at work”, so you want to make sure you come across as such. Silence your cell phone and any other devices to avoid additional disruptions.
Record, record, record.
Now that you’ve got everything set up, it’s time to hit that “record” button! The great thing about recording with your webcam is that it’s super easy to do multiple takes until you get the perfect video. Try not to move too much in your webcam videos either. Many webcams automatically track the movement of the subject on screen. Be careful not to roll around or twirl in your chair too much as this might cause the picture to be unnecessarily pixelated. While recording, keep in mind that viewers aren’t looking for perfection. You can usually get away with first-take videos if the sound and lighting are right.
If you’re recording with Covideo, you might want to check out these suggestions on how to record a video.
Still looking for more tips? Find out how to record the perfect video here.