Looking good online
10 tips to make your web cam love you
Lucie Beijert (22) started as a law student at the UG but switched to the Hanze University of Applied Sciences. On March 8, she made it to the finals of the Miss Beauty of Groningen pageant. ‘It’s weird, because it’s all been postponed because of corona. Everything will probably be up and running again in the spring of 2021.’
This means the training, photo shoots and boot camps to prepare her for the final round were cancelled. All the girls had to take their own pictures and send them in. ‘My boyfriend came over to do a shoot with me, since he’s a pretty good photographer. He took a picture of me standing on my bed, since my bedroom is the only place with a white wall and the right light.’
The end result is a great picture, but she realises how lucky she is: ‘It’s not entirely fair. Girls who don’t have a boyfriend to help them out will have a much harder time taking a good photo.’
1Wear something plain.
Can’t figure out what to wear in the morning? If you can’t decide between a pattern or a plain shirt, always go for the plain if you have an online meeting. ‘It’s easier on the eyes and your clothing won’t be distracting’, says Mariëlle.
2Wear your hair down
This is a tip for people with long hair: it’s best to wear your hair down, or at least have a few wisps of hair to frame your face. If you wear your hair in a tight ponytail, it’ll look like you’re bald on camera.
3Clean your room
It might be easy to forget that other people can see not just you, but also your surroundings. Make sure your room, or at least the visible part, is clean and neat. Otherwise your teachers can see your dirty laundry, which might distract them from giving you important feedback. Lucie: ‘In pictures I always edit out my trash can, because I think it looks a little gross.’
4Use eyebrow pencil
It’s a good idea to use a little eyebrow pencil to emphasise your eyebrows. Your emotions and expressions will come across better on the screen, which means your fellow Zoom users will know what you mean.
5Put a ‘do not disturb’ sign on your door
Before you start, tell your roommates or your family that you’ll be on an important video call. That way they can leave you alone so you can talk freely. Mariëlle: ‘Making a ‘do not disturb’ sign is easy and you’ll be a lot more relaxed going into your meeting.’
Mariëlle Spelde (20) is working towards credits in a bachelor in English and literary theory at the UG and studies English at NHL Stenden. On top of all that, she also manages an Instagram account with over eight thousand followers and has recently started working as a model. ‘Somewhere in March, I was approached by Margriet Model Management over Instagram. They asked me if I could come in.’ She was just about to start catwalk training and expanding her portfolio when the coronavirus struck.
Mariëlle also has a lot of designer clothes, which she keeps in a room at her parents’ house in Roden. She is especially fond of shoes. ‘It makes finding a room in Groningen difficult, though, because I want to be able to take everything with me.’
She posts professional-looking photos on her Instagram page, using good angles, make-up, and the right clothes to present the perfect picture. Who takes her pictures for her? ‘My mom!’
6Face the window
Natural light is nicer than the light from your desk lamp. It also allows your classmates to see you. Lucie: ‘Most people our age will know this, but teachers don’t always. They’ll sit facing away from the light, which turns them into a black outline…’
7Make sure your camera is at the right height
Before you start, make sure your camera is at the right height and angle. You’ll prevent your head from looking big and you from sitting too close or too far away. The camera is right when your eyes are at a third of the screen from the top.
8Use ‘Fix My Appearance’
Zoom has a hidden setting called ‘Fix My Appearance’ . Turning this feature on smooths out your skin tone without any effort on your part. Lucie: ‘If you have a 9 o’clock meeting and you don’t want to put on any make-up, this is a great solution!’
9Wear ear buds
If construction is going on right outside your window or your brother is always hollering through the house about wanting snacks at the wrong time, it might be a good idea to wear ear buds. You’ll hear your meeting partners better and they can’t hear your background noise.
10Get a Selfie Light
If it’s really important to you that you look good, look into getting a Selfie Light. You may remember Kim Kardashian’s famous phone case, which lights up for maximum selfie potential. A Selfie Light works much the same, but it’s bigger and can also be used on laptop computers. Put your phone on the stand or your computer next to it and fiddle with the light settings to find the perfect one for you. Lucie got one and has never been happier: ‘It was only 10 bucks on AliExpress.’