Screen Time Sucks: Conference Calls and Indoor Photography for Beginners

I am not at the point yet where I feel comfortable exposing my natural face. I always record or take photos with makeup on or a filter. It’s rare for people, even my family members, to see me without makeup. There have been many times I have missed class because I woke up too late, did my makeup and missed my train. There have been times when I wreaked total havoc on my skin and refused to leave the house. Lucky for me, I am not taking classes at the moment as I took a break from school and am working full time as an essential worker. Nevertheless, I find myself still wearing a full face of makeup everyday. From FaceTime calls with friends and family to working full time at my hotel, I still am in contact with people. Now that I am required to wear a face mask, I am at least skipping the foundation, letting my skin breathe. Still, I would like to at least get to the point where I can feel comfortable without makeup for when I talk to friends over the phone. Here are some basics to achieving a presentable look over the phone, whether for class presentations, interviews or just in general.

  1. 1. Know Your Angles

    Everyone has a favorite angle. For me, it’s the left side of my face. Angles always matter. That’s why everyone takes so many selfies before they post! Really though, why do you think class photo photographers always have you “tilt your head just a little this way…that’s perfect!” I will have my camera facing me head on, so that who is on the other end can be at the same level as me. People will tend to hold their camera too low or too high. When it’s too high, their face looks small. When it’s too low, I can’t see their face.

  2. 2. Find Bright Lighting

    There are times when I choose not to wear makeup over the phone to let my skin breathe. I’ll use the lighting to my advantage instead. My room is in the back of my house and for most of the day I get sun in my room. When I make calls, I’ll go outside in the backyard or stay in my room where it is most bright. People think that it would be difficult to see their faces if they dim their screen, but really I find this has the opposite effect of what they want to achieve. That’s why so many aesthetic filters on Snapchat and Instagram are brighter. It takes away eye bags, makes the skin look more even, refreshed and less dull.

  3. 3. Quality Matters

    I personally don’t like the way my voice sounds over recordings or over the phone. My voice pitches so high I sound like Ariana Grande! No offense to her; I love her personality and her vocals but that’s not really something I can change. I can, however, control the quality. I feel like it comes without saying, but a video with poor quality is a poor video and in the specific circumstance, just unprofessional. You can’t have a good interview when the quality is blurry, choppy, slow or pixelated, quiet or if the service is bad. We can’t have your chat shut down in the middle of an online class presentation, and how can you possibly hear a classmate’s presentation if the sound quality is poor? Plus, I generally talk to friends late at night and can’t be screaming in my room “WHAT? WHAT DID YOU SAY?” because I do not live alone.

In this new environment, with a travel ban and most public places being shut down, everyone is turning to electronics to stay in contact with friends, family and the world. We might not like this change, being directly face to face with people, but nonetheless the world is not changing back to normal anytime soon so we better find a way to hack the system so that life is a little more enjoyable.