Lighting:

  • Use natural light whenever possible. Sit with a window on one side of you (not behind you) to get indirect light. Add a desk lamp to get soft lighting to fill in the shadows.
  • Avoid harsh overhead lights and dark rooms with little to no natural light. Bright overhead lighting can create unattractive shadows, so if you are setting up a light source, the ideal placement is at a 45-degree angle to the camera and slightly above your face.
  • Don’t sit with a large window behind you, as it will be much brighter than your face, making your face too dark and difficult to see.

Camera Placement:

  • Place the camera at or slightly above eye level for a natural and flattering angle. Too low and it is up your nose, too high and it is weird too.
  • If you are using a smartphone, put it on a tripod or prop it up somehow so you don’t have to hold it. This tripod on amazon looks like a decent inexpensive method to hold it steady!

Audio:

  • Assuming you don’t have a special microphone setup, my testing with iPhones has shown the best is just using the speakerphone! AirPods have a remarkably bad sound quality microphone for broadcast use. Having headphones to avoid feedback is great, but the mic on wired headphones doesn’t sound any better than the speakerphone surprisingly.
  • Turn off extraneous noise sources when possible like for me that is the baby monitor, noisy laptops, computer fans, water heater/air conditioner, TV/Radio (obviously).
  • Put your phone on ‘Do Not Disturb‘ mode to silence notifications. Here are iPhone instructions and Android instructions

Wardrobe:

  • I’ll be wearing nice casual clothes and probably get out of my normal @home sweatsuit, but dress however you feel most comfortable. For cameras, it is best to wear things that are not pinstripe or checkerboard patterns, they can create distracting moire patterns in the final video.

Other tips:

  • Consider the background: try to set it up in a way that is tidy, simple, and non-distracting. A plain curtain is better than some piles of junk! Move off-camera anything you don’t want to share.
  • Test your equipment, lighting, and positioning before filming to ensure everything is working properly. We won’t be recording right when you join, so we’ll have time to tweak things together before we get started.
  • Download the app: if you are using a computer webcam, just go to the Riverside website at the link I’ll send you. If you are using your smartphone, download the app ahead of time for the best experience. You don’t need to set up an account or anything, just have the app and click the link.

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