10 Ways to Prepare for an On-Camera Video Shoot

Do you feel a little awkward when you know it’s time for you to be on camera? Whether a group photo or a video shoot, being in front of the lens can be a challenging time for some people. As a former on-camera talent, I know how nerve-wracking it can be to watch and listen to yourself on camera.

I found my confidence and on-camera groove over time, but you can get started right now with these 10 simple tips.

  1. Grant yourself space to grow. Acknowledge you may be stepping outside your comfort zone and may not be a shining star the first time you go on camera. It can take time to get comfortable in your own skin.
  2. Choose your outfit wisely. Find colors and fit that flatter you, and are also event/content appropriate. Avoid all white and logos. Solids work best on camera and some prints can be fine, but avoid small or complex prints or lines- which can confuse a camera. Choose large prints wisely as they could draw attention away from your on-camera purpose. Simplicity and color can make the best fashion statements and leave your words to have a bigger impact.
  3. Ask for direction. The person you are working with wants to help you look your best. Ask them if they have any clothing guidelines or suggestions. Are they filming you outdoors in the direct sun? Are you being filmed on a purple set or sitting on a bright orange couch? Will you be seated or standing?
  4. Act like yourself. If you normally use your hands when you speak, use them. The more you act yourself, the more natural you will appear. That being said, if you’re an over-the-top hand-talker then practice lesser movements. Gluing your arms to your sides (or in another awkward spot) will make others feel uncomfortable and they won’t hear your message. Be natural, with the best posture you can muster. Head up, face bright.
  5. Be sure to “Smize.” Take Tyra Bank’s advice and “smize”—smile with your eyes. Do it now. Start with a simple smile and think about including your eyes in that smile. Much different feel, right? You can’t look someone in the face with a smize, without them feeling a connection.
  6. Plan what you need to say. It goes without saying you should work to speak clearly and enunciate correctly. Prepare your thoughst ahead of time. For example, in this interview I know I want to communicate points A, B, and C. This is especially important if you are creating a response to an issue or correcting misinformation. A good interviewer should help draw information out of you. But if the interviewer is not good, YOU know your points and stick to them. (stay tuned for a blog post on controlling your message during an interview)
  7. Be comfortable with silence. Don’t ever feel like you have to fill all space. Pauses are perfectly fine. You can get in more trouble when you ramble and it is important to remain focused so your audience stays with your train of thought.
  8. Eat well the night before. Fuel your body with what makes you feel and look your best. Plenty of water and even warm tea can keep your voice from sounding congested.
  9. Get some rest. Concealer and make-up can cover a multitude of sins but nothing beats a full night’s rest and a relaxed attitude. (On Camera makeup tips coming soon… but always add a dab of translucent powder if shininess is a concern- both men and women)
  10. Practice, practice, practice. Look back over this list and practice each one so you aren’t thinking about them when the camera rolls. A bathroom, mirror or phone recording of yourself is a great way to get familiar with how you look when you’re on camera. Run through your lines while you’re getting ready for bed (smizing at yourself) or set up your phone and record yourself at breakfast. If you think that feels silly, imagine feeling sillier if you choke while on live camera!