Easily record a Webcam Subject with these best practices
Recording a subject on their webcam is a very simple set up. Follow these tips and hints to get the best footage every time.
Keep It Short
We recommend segmenting your webcam recordings to 10 minutes or less. Because the webcam recordings are temporarily stored in the browser cache, shorter files put less stress on the system and the browser, facilitating faster and more reliable uploads.
Camera at Eye Level
Webcam should be placed at or just above eye level. Avoid having the camera below eye level and shooting up at your subject (the up the nose angle is really not all that flattering). If your subject is using their laptop's camera they can achieve this angle by propping their computer on a stack of books, OR buying a stand like this one from Amazon.
Frame the Shot
The webcam should be about arm's length away from the subject. Leave a bit of space between the top of your subject's head and the top of the frame. And make sure the top of your video is not cutting off your subject's head/hair.
NATURAL LIGHT RULES! If natural light is available USE IT! The light should be lighting your subject's face, not lighting them from behind. If good lighting is not available, an easy fix is to ask them to turn the brightness up on their computer to brighten the shot.
Keep your background tidy & on brand. A messy background can distract from the subject. Take few minutes to move any distractions off camera & out of the frame.
Look for a quiet place to film! Background noise will make it difficult for your subject to hear you and be distracting on the final video.
AVOID: Background Noise --- AC vents, fans, other people in office or on set, phones ringing, areas where you can hear traffic
AVOID: Echo --- Very large spaces and very confined spaces can both be echoey depending what furniture is in the room to absorb the reverb.
Improve audio by using an external microphone. Your subject can use simple headphone / headset, or they can connect an external USB microphone. Wireless Microphones can also be paired to the subject's computer and used to record (another use for your subject's AirPods!)
USB Microphone Suggestions
- Samson Q2U USB Microphone ($60 on Amazon)
- FIFNE USB Microphone ($22 on Amazon)
- Blue Showball iCE Condenser Microphone ($35 on Amazon)
The majority of built-in webcams record at a max resolution of 720. True HD starts at 720, but if you want to increase quality even more, you can always use an external webcam. External webcams don't need to break the bank - there are many fairly inexpensive webcams available.
- Logitech - in general Logitech webcams appear to have good reviews on their cameras in the $60-$75 range