Looking Your Best on Camera
Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor
When you are on camera it goes without saying that you want to look your professional best. And when you are comfortable with your appearance, both you and audience can focus on the messages you are trying to communicate. Whether live in a television studio, or taping a video segment (which is happening more often right now), here’s some tips for making a great visual impression:
- Dress in solid, bright colors. You probably have a sense of what colors look best on you. Keep a few key wardrobe pieces in these colors to have on hand when the camera calls. Sapphire blue and coral are two of my personal favorites. Avoid black and white as they typically come across harsh on camera and can make you look washed out.
- Dodge the busy patterns. Narrow stripes and elaborate patterns are distracting and can become distorted on camera.
- Make sure the fit is right. You don’t want clothes that are too tight or too baggy. Your outfit should fit well without creases and lines. A beautiful blouse and skirt, or top and pants combination are always a safe bet and make it easy to wear a mic pack if needed. Also remember that if you are going to be seated for an interview, avoid a short skirt.
- Look for simple detailing. Choose styles that have minimal detailing and avoid overly trendy pieces. A ruffle on the cuff, or a sophisticated collar can add interest.
- Buy friendly undergarments. Shapewear can “smooth the edges” and help you avoid unwanted lines under your clothes. Check yourself out in a full-length mirror at home first.
- Dress to match the weather. I see TV anchors wearing sleeveless all the time, but it is not favored and the camera can make your arms look wider. The best advice is to dress to match the weather in your area.
- Keep jewelry simple. Leave the big baubles and bangles at home as they can be both visually and acoustically distracting. Big necklaces can interfere with your microphone and jangling bracelets can make way too much noise. Simple jewelry is best.
- Make sure to wear makeup. You may go for a more natural look in real life, but the lighting in a studio and from HD cameras are bright. Makeup will help define your features and help you avoid looking washed out. Choose a natural lip color, apply blush, add eyeliner and brow shaper/color, and finish off with a light powder to avoid looking shiny.
- Keep hair off your face. Watching someone do a segment with hair falling in their face is very distracting and you certainly don’t want to be pushing stray strands when you are conducting an on-camera food demo. Use hairspray and choose a style that stays in place.