Considering A FaceTime Facelift? Good Lighting's A Better Solution!

Facetime and Skype have sent hordes of us to plastic surgeons offices, because, like Nora Ephron, we hate our necks….and the way our jawlines look on our iPhones and webcams.  Before you go under the knife, consider these simpler solutions.

Two NY Times articles, Chinny-Chin-Chins and Ready for My Video Chat Close-Up, really got me thinking. Apparently, Facetime and Skype have sent hordes of us to cosmetic surgeons offices, because, like Nora Ephron, we hate our necks….and the way our jawlines look on our iPhones and webcams.

In a weird way it makes total sense, because as women, the majority of us have been obsessing about our looks since high school.  We want to look “perfect” all the time.

I’m not pointing any fingers here. My best friends make fun of me for putting on eyeliner first thing in the morning, before walking out the door to the gym or yoga. (Yes, I am that vain, though plastic surgery’s not on my “to-do” list. Yet.)

Even so, I’ve always wondered why we actually care so much about how we look on our photos, driver’s license’s and passports, since we’re standing right there, in person, holding our photos whenever we show them. Who cares what we look like on those tiny little pix anyhow? Somehow, we do….

Facetime and Skype have ratcheted up our group obsession with “our images,” causing a bonanza for cosmetic surgeons. Those webcams magnify every little wrinkle and underscore every puffy under-eye bag. I too, cringe each time an important meeting is scheduled on Skype, wondering if I’m wearing enough concealer and long lash mascara.

Still, rushing off for cheek implants, neck surgery or a Facetime Facelift seems over the top to me …and totally unwarranted.

As a video producer I can tell you without question, that how you look on film and video is ALL about the lighting, the camera angle and framing. The direction and source of the light, and the height of the camera will have much more of an impact than the best cosmetic surgeon….and cost a lot less money too!

This short video from Wistia’s Video Production Learning Center outlines easy to follow, step-by-step tips for looking your best when you do make those video calls.

And, FYI, here’s a list of the lighting basics you’ll learn in this video, so you can always have them on hand. You never know when that next Skype or Facetime call is coming in!

  • Elevate your laptop so the camera is just above your eye-line pointing slightly down at you. Use a box, a stand or a stack of books to elevate your laptop.
  • Place two lights about 3 feet apart on the right and left sides of your computer, also just above your eye-line.
  • If you don’t have lights, but have another external computer monitor, place it behind your latptop, turn the brightness all the way up and open a word doc, or anything white.
  • If you don’t have an extra monitor don’t stress out about it, the other lights will work just fine.
  • Chat away! Those lines and wrinkles are erased….and you’re looking great on Skype and Facetime!

Join the Conversation

Has using Facetime or Skype made you more concerned about looking “older”? Do you hate the way you look on video?