Webcam Lighting 101

5 tips for properly lighting your face during Zoom calls

With the COVID-19 pandemic, almost everything from meetings to concerts is now virtual. That means you've probably been staring way too much into your webcam. So how can you ensure that you look and feel your best on all those Zoom calls? Here are five expert tips:

1. Light from in front

Webcams automatically record and adjust to the brightest source of light. If that light is behind you, then you're no longer the focus. Be sure to face toward any light source, whether that's a ring light or window.

2. Use multiple light sources

It's crucial to make sure that your lighting is balanced. If you only use one light source, like a lamp that's on in front of you, that can cause dark shadows on your face. This is why you should use multiple light sources from different angles to balance out your lighting.

3. Put distance between yourself and light sources

Even if you have the best lighting equipment, it can wash out your face if your lighting source is too bright. Try moving your lighting sources further away from your face and allow your camera to adjust the balance automatically. If that's still too bright, you can try diffusing the light with a professional light diffuser.

4. Be mindful of your lighting position

When using any lighting source, including ring lights, it's essential that you're conscious of where you place it. Photographers often recommend the three-point lighting technique. One light is focused on you, while two softer lights balance everything out. Straight on lighting is also best, especially if you have natural light on one side of you to fill out any shadows.

5. Invest in lighting equipment

While you don't need special equipment per se, it does make things a lot easier. Consider investing in ring lights, "daylight" lightbulbs, light diffusers, and key lights.

Once you've set up your lighting, be sure to test it out using your webcam before your next Zoom call.

  1. "6 Tips for Proper Webcam Lighting for Virtual Meetings," Flockblog, March 11, 2020.
  2. "Tips from a Filmmaker About Looking Great on Zoom," Medium, June 18, 2020.
  3. "Zoom Meetings Will Look Better With These 6 Tips to Look Your Best," USA Today, April 12, 2020.

Zoom | webcam | ring lighting