Filming Tips – Looking Natural on Camera
10 June 2020
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Filming for the first time can be nerve-wracking – these tips should help you look your best when it comes to standing in front of the camera.
Avoid black and white – the contrast is too high. Avoid green if you might be using a green screen at any point, otherwise you’ll disappear. Avoid check and stripe patterns as they can cause strobing effects on the film.
Choose something comfortable, clean, and in line with your brand. If you’re a lawyer, a t-shirt probably won’t give the right impression.
People often freeze up on camera and looking uncomfortable will only make your audience feel the same way. Test out standing up and sitting down, if you can. Some people are more comfortable seated, others find they loosen up if they’re standing. Try both, watch the footage back, and see what works best.
A dry mouth will ruin your take – whether it causes your voice to crack, a cough to emerge, or makes your voice thick and harder to understand. Keep a glass of water nearby and sip regularly between takes.
Most people find themselves speaking more quickly when nervous or on camera, so slow things down a little. You don’t want to sound half asleep, so just a little slower than normal is ideal.
Enthusiasm and authenticity are both good ways to connect with your viewers – people like watching inspirational content. So don’t be a robot – keep your personality in view and let people see the real you.
Make sure you smile. It makes you appear more genuine and more successful. And studies have shown smiling faces increase profits – so make sure you’re not stony faced in your videos.
Make sure you look at the camera so that you’re talking directly to the viewer. Don’t stare it down but don’t let your eyes wander constantly or you’ll look disengaged. Put a picture of a friend right next to the lens and act like you’re talking to them for a natural level of eye contact.
Spend time reading your script before filming. Don’t try to memorise it – if you learn it completely you risk sounding robotic or over-rehearsed – but make sure it’s familiar and comfortable.
Practice reading your script aloud. Look at the sections that you stumble over and rewrite them into your own language – you’ll sound more natural if you speak the way you would normally.
Try to do something relaxing just before going on camera. Deep breathing, yoga, a walk outside in the fresh air – whatever you need to let yourself be calm and ready for filming. Don’t panic, don’t stress, just try to relax and enjoy the experience.