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How To Create The Perfect Zoom Setup

Adjusting to online school has opened up multiple questions of concern: Do I even try and look presentable? Do I change out of my pajamas? Can I stay in bed? How soon can I get out of this? 

In a world where we have no choice but to love virtual meeting apps like Zoom, I’ve come up with my top tips and tricks for your next session that can offer some answers.

1. Appearance 

Not that I ever dressed up for class before the lockdown, but just because we’re stuck in our rooms doesn’t mean the clothes hanging up in our closets have to suffer. Whether it's sweatpants or jeans, getting up and changing for class can help make life feel a little bit more normal. Understandably, it’s hard to get yourself dressed up for only your walls to see, but ever since I changed my mindset and started to dress up for myself, my mood has been way better. Don’t even worry about finding the right shoes to match, just keep on your favorite pair of slippers!

*Pro-Tip: Zoom has created a beauty filter called “Touch Up My Appearance,” which gives the appearance of that no-make-up-make-up look that everyone loves. TBH, I never thought I’d say it, but I actually prefer my low-quality laptop camera that doesn’t pick up every single blemish on my face. With everything going on in this world right now, it’s nice to know that at least none of us need to worry about smooth skin. [bf_image id="q7irfo-e16nwo-2no67s"]

2. Setting

Having a clean background is key. I’m not saying that you need to plant yourself in front of the nearest plain wall you find, but you definitely want to be in an area that's clutter free with minimal distractions. Not to sound like I’m totally trying to mom you right now, but clean up your bedroom by making your bed (it not only looks better but makes you feel better too). 

Whether you’re Zooming from your childhood bedroom or your dorm room featuring a pileup of laundry, you might want to consider using one of the less embarrassing backgrounds the internet has to offer. There are tons of free downloadable works of art that you can upload to Zoom by selecting “choose a virtual background.” The best part is they don’t reveal that you’re actually staying in bed!

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3. Lighting 

If you don’t have a spare ring light handy, then here’s a really simple trick! Place a light behind your camera so that it’s shining in front of a window (of course natural day light is more preferable but not all of us here have the luxury of a window). I found that this lighting setup is definitely the most flattering compared to harsh overhead lighting that makes your Zoom video look more like a mugshot—no one needs that. 

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I am a junior at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and I am super passionate about writing, style, and inspiring young girls to be confident and to achieve their goals!
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