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Do selfies make you feel “ick”?

They’re just not your ‘thing’. And anyway, the camera always seems to catch you just as you blink.

They seem so contrived. So manufactured.

After all, who wants to be an ‘Instagram hubby’? Right?

So true. And yet, there are some things I’ve learnt from the ‘selfie’ phenomenon that will work to help your confidence as you start to make your own videos.

Wisdom from selfies. Seriously.

No, it’s not narcissism. It’s a sensible learning technique. Here’s what you will gain from a ‘selfie’ approach.

  • Trial and error are good. There’s no harm, and lots of benefits, to play with lots of options. Lighting, background, angle. Have a look at your results, pick the best, delete the rest. It’s a learning process.
  • You’re in total control. No-one will see anything – unless you want them to. You could, technically, take photos (or videos) all day, and pick out the top 60 seconds. With no-one any the wiser.
  • Eventually, you relax. The more you do, the more relaxed you are. You get used to how you look, how you sound, and how people respond to you online. It becomes just another thing.

5 no-budget tech tricks

These are tips you can apply to your phone camera, digital camera or webcam photos and videos. Take them onboard to lift your game.

1. Test your light

Take your camera around your house – and backyard – and have a look at the effect of sunlight, inside light, morning light and afternoon light on your face. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. Watch for shadows, and see if you can find the best spot to talk to your audience.

2. Check your frame

Your shot frame – where you are in the picture – sends important information to your audience. How do you want to come across? To be seen as friendly and sensible, you want a handspan of space between the crown of your head and the frame of your shot. You also want to have head and shoulders down to mid-chest in your shot. This framing sets up a ‘conversational’ vibe, as distinct from, say, ‘newsreader/authority’.

3. Protect your sound

We automatically screen out routine noises – the fridge, traffic, the dog snoring. But when you record, your microphone will pick up way more than you can imagine. This is another reason to find a recording spot indoors. You can cut out a lot of background noise and distraction. Try it for yourself, and see.

4. Imagine your bestie

It’s not ‘natural’ for us to talk to a tiny lens in a phone. Or a big shiny lens in a camera. It feels freaky and intimidating. But if you imagine your most beloved friend on the other side of the lens – as if they were just a few feet away, through the lens – you’ll be more relaxed, open and warmer. Imagine you are talking to them. Hold them in your mind’s eye. And you’ll show your own self – which is what people want to see.

5. Get used to it

Practice, practice, practice. It’s not the old days – where every shot cost a heap to process and print. If you aim to make two short videos a week, you’ll get to the point where it becomes second nature. You’ll be used to how you sound, and how you look. And then you’ll focus on what you want to say, and who you want to talk to.

Which is perfect.

I’ve put together a short video discussing these points and more. And created a check sheet with some extra tips as well. Have a look, and feel absolutely free to tell me what you think. You can email me directly on kath@kathlloyd.com.


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