In my last 2 articles I discussed the value of video-recording yourself both in practicing your presentation and in your live performances. In doing so, however, you may discover that you are not pleased with what you see on the camera or camcorder. In this article I wanted to discuss how the camera sees you and what you can do to become more camera friendly.
The first time I was interviewed on television some years ago, I was aghast at 3 things I noticed about myself. First, I discovered I should never wear purple! Second, I saw that I had a tendency to close my eyes while speaking; and, third, my droopy left eye was more apparent at certain camera angles.
Two weeks later when I was interviewed on another TV show, I wore a color that suited me; I concentrated on keeping my eyes open; and, I made sure the camera was at the correct angle for my face!
While admittedly, the camera does add 10 pounds, there is nothing you can do about that unfortunate situation unless you are ‘model’ thin and can afford an additional 10 pounds!
[An old college friend who had viewed my voice improvement DVDs asked me if I had lost weight when he saw me in person a year later. No. My weight had not changed.]
What is fascinating about cameras and video recorders is that they show you an image of yourself with which you are not familiar and, in many cases, are not comfortable.
Lighting has much to do with how the camera sees you so it is important to note that harsh light will show more of your ‘blemishes’ while soft lighting can hide a ‘multitude of sins!’ The lens, as well as the proximity of the lens, can also have a profound effect on your image. In many cases it is wise to avoid a wide-angle lens.
What is not a given, however, is why the camera is friendly to some and not to others. In recording my clients, I have used the exact same lighting and exact same equipment in all situations; and, yet, I have found that some look better on camera, some look worse on camera, and some people look exactly the same.
It is also possible that you look better in still shots (like models) than on film or vice versa.
My advice in dealing with cameras and/or camcorders is to wear makeup, avoid white clothing – a white blouse or shirt is fine if you have a dark jacket, be careful with prints, work at improving that which you can change and accept that which you cannot change.
While the camera or camcorder can often produce a visual image that is not entirely true, what is interesting about the camcorder is that your vocal image – how you sound on the recording – is true. What you hear on your camcorder is the voice by which everyone else recognizes you.
If you are serious about projecting the best image possible, there is certainly a lot you can improve upon with your visual image. If, on the other hand, you would like to improve your vocal image, I suggest you research good voice training programs and discover your ‘real’ voice, a warmer, richer, resonant sound that will complement the visual image you are projecting.
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. Visit Voice Dynamic and watch Nancy as she describes Your Least Developed Tool!