Some people have a natural ability to look good on video. It’s not necessarily about being physically attractive either. Yes, those fortunate to have been born with good genetics do have some advantages, but physical beauty does not necessarily translate to looking good on video.
Some people just “pop” onscreen. They seem to genuinely enjoy being in front of the video camera and know how to put their “best self” forward. This talent comes naturally to some, but for most of us, it is a learned skill.
Rita Hayworth Gave Good Face
In my profession, most celebrities who are filmed for a living have learned which facial angles and expressions work best for them, and they take care to present this angle to the camera most of the time. From my background experience as a professional actor, model and sports features/fitness cover model, here are some of my insider tips to help you discover your most flattering facial angles.
We have a Best-side
No one has a perfectly symmetrical face. But, we all have a “best side”. Film directors and cinematographers know this and they study their leading actors to figure out the most flattering angles to film them on.
Most celebrities don’t have perfect symmetry, but industry professionals know how to “work around it” and film them on an angle where the less flattering side is minimized and asymmetry is a little more balanced.
I admire actors who resist pressure from studios to undergo cosmetic surgery and insist on keeping their own unique look. However, these people are fortunate – they have a team of people around them coaching them on how to control their visual image i.e. look good onscreen, in the flesh, on the red carpet and in media.
I’m going to teach you how to do this for yourself, so you can focus on delivering your video presentation without being self-conscious or distracted about your appearance.
How to Find Your Most Flattering Side
- Hold your filming device at arm’s length and take a large number of still photos of your face from different angles; front on, right profile, left profile and all the angles in-between
- Also, film yourself turning your face slowly from side to side as you keep eye contact with the lens. Combine this with slowly lifting your chin up and down, and tilting your head on various angles
- Use extreme angles and tilts
- Notice how your nostrils dominate the shot if you tilt your head back too far, or how you get a double chin if you tilt your head towards your chest
- Play around with extremes so that you have a reference point of “what not to do”. You may get a good laugh in too!
- Now playback all your images frame by frame
- Screenshot the frames that you are drawn to. Include the ones you don’t like also. This will be an (intuitive) indicator of your best and not so flattering angle/s.
- Narrow your choices down, and select which angle is most flattering for you as a reference point and what to avoid doing on-screen.
Once you have chosen your best angles, start photographing and filming yourself from this angle wherever possible – e.g. whether you’re being interviewed or are speaking direct-to-camera. You can (subtly) position, your head, face and body position to present your most flattering side onscreen.
Troubleshooting aka “Work Around” Tips
Nose: If you have a generous nose try the following:
- Face the camera square on and avoid excessive head tilts or 35-degree head turns
- Keep your chin level or slightly lower. If your chin is elevated you’ll look as though you’re peering down your nose at your viewer. It’s not the kind of attitude you want to imbue in your frame
- Avoid full profile (side on) body positions. Instead, ensure that both eyes can see the video camera lens
- Avoid the “selfie” distance – eg 12 inches between you and your filming device to prevent nasal and facial distortion. Opt for a distance of 3 to 5 feet (portrait distance) instead
- Also note that some filming devices and their lens capabilities, as well as various apps and filters, can distort and make your facial features disproportionate
Double Chin: Keep your chin level and extend the back of the neck up. Gently push your chin slightly forward. This will reduce the appearance of a double chin. Position yourself so that the camera is at eye level or slightly above. As a bonus, this also helps reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eyes
Face/age/skin texture: Always face your light source – good lighting will make you look stunning on screen, no matter your age.
- It fills in facial shadows, brings light to your eyes and can make hair look lush and shiny
- Always wear make-up onscreen. Not to simply feel more put together. But to meet the technical demands of the lens. This rule also applies to men. See: Let’s Make Up! How to Look Good in Your Video Presentations and Look Good on Video. Make Up Techniques for Men and Women.
Practice, Pose, Poise
Now it’s up to you to practice working on your best angle in front of the mirror or on video wherever possible. You may feel silly at first, great! It means that there is a little self-consciousness coming to the surface – so process it. Doing mirror work get you comfortable with how your viewers will perceive you. And the more you practice showing your best angle to the camera the more natural it will be for you, not only onscreen but also at social events, family photos etc.
Some of my clients come to me saying they hate (their words) the way they appear on video. In my one-on-one coaching sessions, I help them to view themselves more objectively and how they can film themselves in the most favorable way so that they feel more empowered with their visual image, which results in authentic onscreen confidence, that ultimately impacts how they deliver their message and are perceived by their target audience.
No matter what, learn to love the way you look. Inner confidence is such an attractive quality that will enhance your on-screen presence.
- how the camera sees things differently, and what you need to know
- how to look at the camera, in a compelling and confident way
- how to make good eye contact, and what to avoid doing on video so that you don’t repel your viewer
- and the importance of having a warm genuine smile.
If you have a deep question or you what me to cover a topic for you let me know.
You can also book a time with me to troubleshoot your video creation or a production challenge. Or see below for details.
Founder of STEBIAN.com ★ Video Presentation Coaching and Production★ Established in 2006 Bianca provides an exclusive, personalized consulting service for business owners, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, speakers, best-selling authors, and VIPs to help them present themselves, their products, services, or brand message to their target audience in the most effective way possible on video. Her clients want to master the screen and command the lens, in a compelling way and in any filming situation. With Bianca, you’ll get the tailored expertise from a real-world operator with over 20 years of TV/Film industry experience working in front of and behind the camera. Enhance your on-camera presence, influence, and screen confidence with compelling video presentations. Find out more today.
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