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Archive for January, 2013

Why Do Some People Look Better On Camera Than Others

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

5465484586_8705733289Have you ever noticed that some people are very photogenic? No matter what they do they look great on camera. This includes photography as well as video cameras. I think there are several reasons why some people look better than others on camera.

Watching a recent news show where a group of people were entering the studio, a video camera was at the entrance recording them as they came into the studio. Some people looked into the camera and waved, and other people looked away from the camera and looked apprehensive.

I believe that when people embrace having their photograph taken, or being in a video, and smile, and have a positive attitude and they let their pleasing personality show they have a successful recording. When people are nervous and they don’t want to be photographed or video recorded that comes across.

It’s like anything else that you put your mind to. When you believe you’re going to do a good job, you do a good job. When you’re nervous about not doing a good job and that’s what you think about more, then, more likely than not, you’re not going to do a good job.

The same holds true when being video recorded or photographed. Some things I recommend that you can do in order to have a better result with being photographed or video recorded are, first, think positively about the experience and do the best that you can to look good on camera. Wear something that compliments you. Your dress is just as important as the ‘psychological’ state that you’re in when being photographed or video recorded.

Second, before the experience of being photographed or video recorded look into the mirror and determine if you feel confident in your appearance that day. This includes the way that your hair is done, the outfit that you’re wearing. And practice your smile – practice looking right into the mirror as if it were the camera lens. And get comfortable with a pose. As odd as that sounds people who don’t prepare their poses have a lower chance of being successfully recorded than those that do prepare.

There’s a room backstage in almost all performance arenas – this includes television studios, concert halls, theaters – it’s called the ‘green room’, and in the green room you’ll find several things, one is a mirror. That’s so the actors and professional talent can look at themselves before they go on stage or in front of the camera.

Getting comfortable with the way that you look is half the battle with successfully being video recorded or photographed.

It’s not considered vanity to practice how you’re going to look on camera. Rather, it’s important. And I believe that people who are comfortable with their appearance, know how to dress professionally and practice being photographed and video recorded have far greater chance at success in life than those that don’t.

One of the first steps I recommend taking is to change your attitude about being photographed and video recorded. Look at some people on line – Facebook is a great place to look at photographs – and see the people who are photogenic. What makes them photogenic? Is it the fact that they believe they look good? That’s not considered arrogance … that’s just confidence. Practice becoming more confident and you’ll have a better chance of having a good photograph taken, or video recorded, and those photographs and video recordings will contribute to your success far more effectively than bad photographs or non-confident video recordings.

photo credit: 27 via photopin (license)

How to Apply the Rule of Thirds

Friday, January 18th, 2013

4620433766_146683196e_bThe rule of thirds is a compositional guideline which suggests that you take an image and divide it into nine equal parts with two equally spaced vertical lines and two equally space horizontal lines.  By placing your subject on one of these intersecting lines, it’s thought to create a more pleasing visual than simply centering the shot.

Placing points of interest in the intersections or along the lines your subject becomes more balanced and allows the viewer of the image to interact with it more naturally. Studies have shown that, when viewing images, people’s eyes usually go to one of the intersection points most naturally rather than the center of the shot. 

For more examples like these, go to:

https://www.google.com/search?q=rule+of+thirds&hl=en&tbo=u&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS506US506&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=ENL2UIm-BsikqQGPz4CAAw&ved=0CE4QsAQ&biw=1683&bih=1292

The same principle can be applied when shooting video.  For instance, when shooting an interview with a stationary subject, be sure your subject is standing (or sitting) in a ‘Rule of Thirds’ position. And be sure to compose your shot applying the Rule of Thirds, creating space in front of your subject.  Make sure your background isn’t so busy that it’s distracting from the subject.  Find a simple background, or a background that doesn’t have a lot of activity behind it. For instance, if you’ve got someone in the background picking their nose or drinking a bottle of water, it doesn’t matter how great an interview you record, the audience is going to be looking at that instead of your subject matter.

So when you’re in the field and you have a camera and a tripod and you’re getting ready to set up your shot, what is one of the first things that you should do in order to apply the rule of thirds?

Look through the lens of your camera, place your subject matter off center so that it has some space around it, to the left and to the right – if you center it as in our first example of the rock, you see that it’s just not as interesting of a shot as the off center composition.

Bottom line, if you begin your video production with excellent digital video recordings you will save time and money in post and create a more pleasant video production.

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