Don’t miss the opportunity to look your best and make your live content more inviting and attractive with the right camera position. Knowing how to position your camera will help you get the best angles and shots for your live stream while captivating your audience.
webcastingandvirtualevents.com gathered the following information and tips on camera positioning and improving your live stream content.
Where Should I Position My Camera?
Some camera angles can over-exaggerate facial features or distort your appearance. Video will always be a more significant challenge, especially if you don’t like the way you appear in the shoot.
Placing your webcam or camera equipment correctly can go a long way to achieving the right look. For best results, a USB webcam, full-on professional camera equipment, or the built-in webcam on your laptop, the camera lens should sit at or above eye level of your speaker, no higher than the hairline (unless using a more dramatic/dynamic shot).
Once the camera is in place, avoid shooting too close to the camera. Viewers may be turned off by someone being too close to the camera on a live video stream. Position the camera far enough away to capture your speaker’s shoulders and entire face with room to spare.
What Are Some Principal Camera Angles?
The degree, angle, or position of a camera can fundamentally alter the meaning of a photograph or video. Consider the following:
Low Angle – The subject or speaker is framed from below their eye line in a low-angle. A low-angle shot of one person is frequently used with a high-angle perspective of the other person to illustrate power dynamics between them.
High Angle – The camera, in a high-angle shot, is pointing down at your speaker. This perspective leaves viewers with the impression that they are “looking down” on them.
Dutch Angle – The camera is inclined or tilted to one side for a Dutch angle (Dutch tilt). You can leave viewers with a sensation or perception of disorientation, a destabilized mental state, or heighten tension by tilting the horizon lines of your video in this fashion.
Eye Level – You can achieve a completely neutral perspective by shooting your video at eye level (avoiding any superior or inferior positioning). This is similar to how we view and interact with people in real life, our eye lines intersect, and it can potentially eliminate barriers.
Overhead Shot – Overhead shots are taken from above and look down on your subject or speaker. These are typically filmed at 90 degrees from above; lesser angled shots would be referred to as low-angle shots.
Shoulder Level Shot – A camera angle that is as high as your speaker’s shoulders is known as a shoulder-level shot. Shoulder-level shots are more common than eye-level shots, which can make your speaker appear shorter than he or she actually is.
The speaker’s head can reach the top of the frame because the camera is aligned with the shoulder. It also raises the subject’s eye line slightly above the camera, giving an impression of a lower viewpoint.
Over The Shoulder (OTS) Shot – One angle that can change a viewer’s perception of a live conversation is an over-the-shoulder shot. For example, video of one speaker’s face captured from “over the shoulder” of another speaker can be used to demonstrate a conflict, disagreement, or confrontation.
Cowboy/Hip Level Shot – When your camera is positioned around waist height, you’re taking a hip level or cowboy shot. Hip-level scenes are more beneficial when one person is seated and the other is standing.
Cowboy shots can be incredibly effective camera angles when there is action occurring at hip level. This is why the shot is known as a “cowboy shot.” Have you pictured a gun, holster, or rival off in the distance in your imagination yet?
Close-Up Shot (CU) – When you want to focus on your speaker’s facial features without any distractions in the video, use the close-up. For this type of shot, your speaker’s face would be shown in a close-up from their brow to their chin.
Medium Shot – A medium shot or a mid-shot falls somewhere between a close-up and a long shot. The subject is shown from their head to their waist. It’s a close enough shot to see their face while also seeing some of their body language.
Long Shot – A long shot would be the complete opposite of a close-up. It sees the entire body of the subject, from head to toe. This offers a better feel for the subject’s surroundings and conveys information that would be otherwise omitted in a close-up.
All cameras can capture more superior video when there is a good light source. When selecting or setting up a place to record, avoid locations with low light or too much background lighting (windows positioned in the background can often present a challenge for some cameras like webcams). Poor lighting can leave your video appearing washed out or leave your speaker looking like a shadowy figure.
Light your speaker from the front with soft, indirect light, and minimize other existing lighting in the room, particularly from windows or light sources from behind.
Even though you’ve made your speaker the center of attention in your video production, you still need to be aware of the video’s background contents. Your audience will take notice of everything, and it can easily distract their attention from your speaker. Try to keep your background simple, avoiding anything overly busy or cluttered, and avoid windows that would let in natural light or may reflect your computer screen. Choosing a plain wall as your video’s backdrop is often the best option.
For more tips to get the best video shots, see 10 Tips for Video Recording Yourself.
Test and Practice Your Camera Position
This is particularly crucial if you’re recording in a new or unfamiliar location or with new equipment. It’s always recommended to record test videos to confirm that your setup and equipment are giving you the look, sound, and feel you desire.
This is also an opportunity for your speaker to practice speaking in front of the camera.
Live Streaming Camera Tips
In this article, you discovered crucial information and tips about camera positioning, lighting, and backgrounds.
Knowing where to place your camera for a live event can make or break the success or failure of your event. Learning how to maintain your viewer’s attention will ultimately lead to more successful campaigns and higher profits.
Poor camera positioning, set layout, or bad lighting can lead to your live stream’s audience fleeing from your event and potentially cost you your revenue.