We’ve put together a few tips for looking your best during video calls and while making video recordings.

The image depicts a young woman sitting at kitchen table in front of a laptop. Her face in being illuminated with a desk lamp.

Achieving flattering lighting doesn’t have to be complicated. Use a simple desk lamp or window to illuminate yourself during video conferences or when recording a video.

Dress for success
  • Choose your outfit based on your dress for an in-office meeting.
  • Solid colors, muted earth tones or blues work well.
  • Bright colors and white clothes reflect lots of light and are not the best choices.
  • Patterns, stripes, and plaids can blur and be distracting on camera.
  • Avoid any accessory that jingles or makes noise.
Find a well-lit recording location
The image shows how to set up a desk lamp so that it properly illuminates a subject's face for a video conference or recording session.

The desk lamp is pointed toward the subject’s face. Experiment with the angle and position of the lamp to find the most flattering position for your next video meeting or recording session.

  • For filming inside, position yourself facing towards the window so the natural light illuminates your face.
  • You can also use a lamp or other large light source to illuminate your face.
  • Avoid sitting with your back against the window because it will create a dark silhouette.
  • If you’re filming yourself outside, either film in all shade or all sun to avoid mixed lighting on your face.
  • Remember that there will be more ambient noise when filming outside.

The video shows how using a simple desk lamp to illuminate your face during a video meeting or video recording can improve the overall quality of the video.

Choose a neutral background
  • Before you start your call or video, take a moment to look at your background.
  • Remove any items that may be distracting.
  • If you are using Zoom, you might be able to use the virtual background feature. If so, you can choose from the preloaded options or upload a custom image or video of your choosing.
  • Check out our post on how to Duke-ify your Zoom backgrounds using Duke images from our collection!
Maintain good eye contact
  • Position your device so that it is slightly above your eye-level. You might need to place your device on a stack of books or other flat, sturdy household items.
  • Experiment with the distance between you and your camera to find the distance where you look your best.
  • Remember to look at the camera and not your screen when talking.
The image depicts a young woman sitting at a kitchen table in front of a laptop.

Stack your laptop on top of a few books in order to get the camera just above eye level. If you are using a desk lamp as a light source, you may need to also elevate it, so that the light evenly illuminates your face.