Best Practices for Recording Yourself on Zoom

McKayla Kreutzkamp
11 Jan 2022

Using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other video meeting software can be tricky. The mic, video, chat, breakout rooms, waiting room, mute button and the wealth of options available, make it difficult to keep track of everything. 

Tech Checks

Technology often stops working at the most inopportune times. Properly preparing for your next Zoom meeting will ensure your call runs smoothly and looks great.

  • Ensure that your internet is working with a  high-speed and stable connection. Wired connections are preferred. Check your speed with a test run at speedtest.net.
  • Clean your computer’s camera lens, ensuring there are no smudges. A clean lens provides a clearer image of yourself to viewers. We love using microfiber cloths for this.
  • Do a mic test to ensure that your microphone and speakers work. A test call prior to the meeting can be a lifesaver.
  • If you’re using the Zoom desktop client, make sure the software is updated before the meeting.

The “Goldilocks” Spot

Finding a spot that is just right will help you not only look better on the Zoom camera, but feel more comfortable while speaking.

  • Find a simple background. Too much clutter will distract from what you’re saying.
  • This can be a plain colored wall, or a backdrop like a simple bookcase that doesn’t distract from you.
  • Try to find a place that is free of extraneous noises. Stairwells, neighbor doors and scampering children, all have a way of making themselves known at the worst times.
  • Avoid placing the computer or webcam for the meeting excessively close or far. People would like to see from mid-chest to slightly above your head, providing a clean portrait frame for the video.  This way everyone can understand your expressions most clearly.
  • Don’t use fake backgrounds. This creates a surrounding haze that can be distracting.
  • Use the horizontal (landscape) framing instead of vertical (portrait) framing.
  • Don’t set the camera low where it angles up your nose.

Lighting the Frame

Make sure that you are the highlighted subject in the video. A ring light can help with this as it focuses the light on your face. 

  • Use a source of light that’s independent of the time of day.  That means avoid using a window as your primary light because it won’t look the same at 10 AM as it will at 3 PM.
  • Ensure that the light is focused on you.

BAD EXAMPLES:

The examples below have a distracting background, too much head space, a vertical shot, or a low angle. Also note how in the first example the background is a lot brighter than what she is.

GOOD EXAMPLE:

This example shows the model directly facing the lens with little headspace, decent lighting that illuminates her face, and a simple background.

 

We hope that these Zoom recording tips and tricks will help you get the best video possible. While technology is tricky, following these best practices and tips will make your video easier to manage.

 

 

Want to learn how to prepare to be on camera? Check out our article HERE.

 

BW Productions is a full-house video and photography company, guiding Utah businesses for all their production needs. With our offices located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, we’re accessible and easy to find. Have an idea for a video or need an event photographer? SCHEDULE an appointment today!

McKayla Kreutzkamp

UWIPP

Utah Women in Production and Photography was founded by women for women. Their mission is to advocate for women in their respective industries. Women provide unique perspectives, skills and insight, making impactful decisions on set. BW Productions is proud to represent a dedicated group that advocates for and collaborates with women.