In one of Oprah Winfery’s earliest editions of her magazine, she showed the entire process of exactly how she gets ready for a cover shoot. It takes a team. She has experts in lighting, photography, wardrobe, and makeup all working hard to create what appears to be a natural, spur-of-the-moment shot. Trying to equal what takes her days and thousands of dollars in your own home is impossible! But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a few changes and strategic investments to make your “natural” self look a little (or a lot!) better. It’s worth reading this section and taking it to heart, so that you can be more comfortable with the end result.
1. Lighting. When it comes to lighting, more isn’t necessarily better. If you have a bank of fluorescent lighting it can exacerbate any imperfections and even, dare I say it, make you look old! Natural lighting is preferable. Position yourself near a large window, with the sun filtering in (not shining directly on you – you don’t want to be squinting!). Test the situation at different times of day to see what looks best. When you come up with the most ideal end result, try and film only at that particular time of day.
2. Wardrobe. Clothing counts! This doesn’t mean that you have to spend a fortune at the store to get a whole new wardrobe, but you should really consider the clothes that you wear during the shoot. Most video tends to be shot from the waist-up, so keep in mind the neckline of your shirt or blouse, and the graphics or words on your T-shirt.
Match your clothing to your area of expertise; if you’re talking about a creative topic like art or design, you can get a little funky. Don’t dress like a hippie if you are trying to address a professional audience, financiers or lawyers as you are not likely to generate much confidence unless you are appropriately attired and professional. A white doctor’s coat would be appropriate in the medical field. If you’re a personal trainer, wear your gym togs. And to take advantage of this quickly, seriously consider taking on someone looking to become a virtual assistant, or even a team looking to become a virtual assistant business, to maximise your efforts in a very short span of time.
Understated is best; you don’t want to distract from your message. Look at what newscasters and TV personalities wear – solid colors, understated designs, and simple jewelry. There’s a reason for that. If you wear something too jazzy, it distracts attention from you to your clothing. While that may, in theory, sound like a good idea, it really doesn’t work. Do experiment a little bit during the few early takes to see what works best in your situation and what shows off your nicer qualities. And an individual who wants to become a virtual assistant could easily help you with all the details, moving forward.
3. Makeup. Men, I’m letting you off the hook – though if you knew the number of on-camera males who sneak in a little powder and self-tanner, you’d be surprised. (Maybe you should have a go?) Ladies, if you’re used to going bare-faced, you may want to consider using a little bit of product to even out your skin tone, accentuate your eyes, and help you from appearing washed out. Don’t overdo it, though! If you look in the mirror and have even a hint of Tammy Faye Bakker about you, wash it all off and start again. Test before you start with different shades and approaches and you will find out what works best in your case.