What NOT to wear on camera
August 12, 2015
Long after people forget what you said, they will remember the visual impression you made. But dressing for an on-camera appearance can be tricky. Camera sensors work differently from the human eye; what works well in-person for make-up or clothing colour might look disastrous on screen. Here are a few tips to look your best on screen:
- Colour Savvy: Avoid wearing extreme colours such as white, black and red. They make it hard for the camera to balance exposure. And contrary to what you may think, black won’t make you look slimmer on camera. The lack of contrast will make it hard for the camera to pick up where your arms end and your torso begins-potentially making you look wider. Choose solid tones to contrast with your skin colour and background. Avoid really hot colours like hot pink, green, yellow, orange. You shouldn’t look like a highlighter.
- Busy Signals: Polka dots, stripes, plaid, or any type of crazy pattern should be avoided. They create the moiré effect – lines on screen will look like they’re moving, it can make viewers feel dizzy. Nausea is probably not the lasting impression you want to leave with your audience…
- Go Light: Heavy fabrics will make you hot and sweaty under the camera lights. Cotton or light fabrics are the best idea.
- Skirting the Issue: What seems like a good length when you’re standing may inch up during a sitting interview. Check your skirt before you leave the house to see if it inches up- lest you be filmed in a micro-mini.
- The Big Reveal: Be careful of low-cut or revealing necklines – ditto for too tight clothing on men or women. You may show off more than you intend.
- Casual or Formal? What you wear will reflect your company or organization. Whether it’s business formal or adventure travel, use your outfit to give viewers important visual information about your company’s image.
- Have a Spare: When in doubt, bring an extra outfit or even two. The producer or director can help you chose the most appropriate one for the filming situation.
MAKE-UP AND GROOMING
- Come Made Up: Never assume there will be a make-up artist or hair stylist. Come with your make-up done and hair in place.
- But not TOO made up: Save the glamour for the evening and choose a more natural, subtle look for the camera. Be especially sure to avoid glossy lipsticks; reflective lips look weird on camera.
- Powder is your BFF. A little face powder will go a long way to giving you an even, matte finish and cut down on distracting forehead and cheek shine. This advice is not limited to women! And for bald men, powder is often a necessity on the head.
- Up close and personal. We won’t tell you which handlebar moustache or ZZ-Top beard to sport, but remember that on High-Definition video close-ups you can see every hair! Remember to shave/trim properly to be ready for a tight framing.
- Bejeweled: Unless your on-camera appearance is to talk about the jewellery you’re wearing, you want to keep jewellery simple. Anything that reflects or glares should be avoided. Dangly earrings and jangly necklaces will also create noise that will be picked up by the microphones. If you have glare-proof glasses, now is the time to wear them.
Lastly, when in doubt ask. The program or video producer can let you know of any special requirements or offer suggestions of what works best for the particular shoot.
Contact us on how we can help you look your best on video.