Where you place your camera to frame your body is super important for how your videos are perceived by your viewers. It’s even more important if you feel self-conscious about your body! There are ways you can “trick” the camera to create the best image.
Today’s live stream is really focused to the ladies who might be feeling a little bit self conscious about their body or if they feel like video makes them look heavier than they really are, or have a strange body shape that they don’t in real life. I’m going to give you 3 really important things that you can start to try out by knowing where and how to place the camera.
But before I go into that, I first want to preface a little bit with the mindset. Really take the time to do the inner work and start being kind to yourself. I think that we are so critical about how we look on camera, how people must perceive us, how we could do better than that … so be conscious of that. I know it’s not going to be an overnight thing, but be conscious of when you start to think to yourself negatively.
The first step to changing that is first being aware, “I’m being hypercritical of myself right now.” So then start to take it easy. Ask yourself, “what’s one thing I’m going to consciously work on and really become better at that?” Because here’s the thing, when we look at our image and the video and we say things like, “I don’t like this, this looks bad,or I should have done that, why’d I say that?” This storm of all the things we want to change can be quite negative.
Part of feeling more confident on camera is learning to grow a bit more accustomed to that discomfort of, “yea, that’s just kind of how it feels. It’s a new thing. I’m learning how to speak well on video and this is something that I’m progressively working on.” The more you do it, the more it just becomes a natural thing and it becomes less and less and less uncomfortable.
USE PROPER CAMERA FRAMING
When you frame your camera properly, it’s truly is the most flattering way that you can be seen with the camera. And secondly, when we unknowingly positioned the camera incorrectly, it can actually cause our viewers to subconsciously feel discomfort.
For example, if you have your camera like down here and you’re like looking down at it, think about it from the perspective of your viewer. They are going to be looking up at you and catching this angle of your face instead of looking straight on. It’s just a very unnatural angle, right?
Same thing goes for when you are positioning the camera too high and you end up looking up, or if we are always looking into our own reflection and not actually looking into the black hole where the camera lens. These little things can not seem like a big deal when we’re making videos. But for the end results for your viewer, it can create a disconnect. So just be mindful of that and it doesn’t have to be perfect every single time, but in general you’ll always want to place the camera more or less at eye level.
So the framing part of it is really important, but more specifically about framing is being mindful of your body shape from your shoulders down to about where your elbows are, because that part of your body will actually help to define your shape on camera.
So if you want to disguise the fact that you have a larger chest, it’ll come down to how you frame your camera. So for instance, if I was somebody with a large chest and I didn’t want to show that on camera or it’ll make me feel like I was heavier than I really am. Instead, I’m going to position the frame so that the crop is just above my chest. This is going to be slightly different depending on your body type, so make sure to do a test recording first.
If that camera frame makes you look heavy, then it could be that you need to crop it down even a little bit more without getting too close to the camera, OR you actually pull back. You do the opposite. You pull back far enough so that you can actually start to see your waistline in the camera. So because everybody’s body type is different, you know there’s not going to be a one size fits all. This will require a little bit of playing and tweaking based on your camera lens.
ANGLE YOUR BODY
The second tip is really about angling your body. So most of us have like a good side and a bad side to her face, but we sometimes don’t really acknowledge that we have a good side and a bad side to our body as well.
If you’re like me, you’ll probably talk with your hands because I’m right handed will tend to maybe move this arm more or move more in this direction. Or it could also be the part of your hair. If your hair is parted like mine, you probably don’t want a position the camera on this side because it will block your face. Right?
When it comes to angling your body properly on camera, one of the things that can be tremendously slimming on camera is if you have the camera pulled back a little bit until you show my waist a bit more now, then instead of sitting straight on, I’m actually going to pivot my body about 45 degrees, just a slight angle.
KEEP YOUR CHIN UP
Most of us have kind of rounded in shoulders and it’s also the habitual movement of being rounded forward and looking down. That’s what causes, you know, like the lines in the neck, or giving you a double chin on camera.
One of the things that we want to do is pull that back to stretch yourself outwards. You know the point on your back where your bra strap kind of comes together? That’s the point that I want you in your mind’s eye to focus on and to keep tight. So it’s kind of like pulling your shoulders back and pushing your chest out. All I want you to do is focus on that little spot on your back and that little bit of tension will keep your shoulders back, and it will help you to keep this space from your heart up into your mouth.
WEAR DARK COLORS OR A DARK JACKET
What are the kinds of outfits that I should wear on camera and outfits that I shouldn’t wear on camera? So as a general rule, very white whites and stripes or dense patterns and fluorescent colors are not really ideal on camera because the camera lens will sometimes distort the image. Basically it’ll look like little pixelated edges that just looks a little bit off.
Something that makes you darker along your edges that can slim you down as well. For example, if I wanted to just quickly make a video and look like I’m more put together, all I have to do is throw a dark jacket on or something that has some kind of shape. This will instantly make you not only look more polished, because the darker silhouette will frame your body.
So this is also another really important part about what to choose when you’re using, when you’re shooting your videos is where an outfit that’s going to compliment your background. So if I have a dark background, I’m not going to wear another dark sweater so that nobody could see me. I want to be able to pop from my background so you can really see me.
RELATED: Best Practices for Video Backgrounds
Do your best and ultimately nobody’s paying attention to all the little details that we are. People are tuning into your content. People are reading your body language and your nonverbal communication even before you say a single word. Yes, we want to look polished and put together, but don’t let that ever be a stopping point. Don’t let that be something that holds you back when you have so much to give inside. You have this beautiful message that’s meant to be shared. If we want to spend the time to be put together, of course, I totally support that, but don’t become so fixated on the idea that we have to be that way before we do anything before we go on video, before we share our message.
If you have any questions about filming when you feel self-conscious, or any other questions about framing yourself on video, leave a comment below!
Led by intuition and driven by data, Emmy is a storyteller & strategist who helps visionary entrepreneurs reach more people and create a bigger positive impact, using the power of video.
During her two decade film career, she’s worked with brands like Paramount Pictures, MGM, Subaru, and Real Housewives and bring big-screen-worthy storytelling to small business. Her video strategies have landed her clients their first $24k weekend from a sold out course, to clients booking $800k in less than 2 weeks by focusing on engagement.
At the heart of her work is her love for storytelling: by sharing what we know, we educate, inspire, and create a kinder, more loving world.
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