How to make love to the camera

Getting into video but don’t have the looks of a Hollywood star or the physique of Sports Illustrated?  Never fear, with these seven simple tricks you can make yourself light years more attractive and dynamic on camera.

1. Wear a jacket

It’s hard to over stress the importance of this. Particularly for men, the sharp lines of a classic suit jacket give you broad shoulders, straightness and structure. Jackets are a great leveller and equaliser between different body shapes and sizes.  They cover a wealth of evils.

2. Smile

Another one that’s hard to emphasise enough: smile. You will not look jocular, weak or silly.  You will appear confident, personable and more attractive, and also feel more relaxed.

3. Keep a close eye-line

If you’re filming “interview style” and not looking directly into the lens, keep your eyeline as close to the lens as possible. Otherwise you will look remote to the viewer and disengage them. See a great example of eyeline here and an awful example here.

4. Flattering angle

If you want to cheat yourself a little slimmer, position the camera an inch or so higher than your eyeline, and tilt it down (but not too much). It’s a subtle version of the “MySpace photo angle” and can make you a lot more telegenic.

5. Get the light right

Have at least one light source on your face, whether electric or window light, but avoid direct sunlight. If you wear glasses, avoid reflection by positioning the light a little lower or higher and angling it back to your face. If you’re bald/shiny domed, avoid sitting under a bright overhead light.

6. Subtle make-up

Go light on the make up. Heavy, thick make up is dated, and looks awful in HD.  A small application of powder to combat shine is all you need (for men and women). I recommend Mac Studio Fix powder for this, it will also quickly and easily cover any prominent blemishes.

7. Quality audio

Sounding good makes you look good: quality audio is critical. Never rely on a distant camera microphone that gives you a thin and tinny voice in an echoey room. If you want to appear at your most confident, dynamic, appealing and persuasive, invest in a lapel microphone.

Even if you’re hiring a professional production company to film for you, don’t rely on them getting this all right.  I constantly see examples of people shot, at considerable expense, in ways that are not flattering and not engaging.