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Are you nervous about appearing on camera? Are you uncertain about what you should wear?

Choosing what to wear on camera can be a bit of an art. There’s a reason that every film and TV show has a costume department. The good news is that for your own video or if you are appearing on behalf of a business it is much easier to select your outfit. Just follow these rules…

Ask the producer

Most producers can provide a basic guide of dos and do-nots when it comes to outfits and can guide you. Additionally producers will know how the video is being filmed and can help you avoid something that will clash with the other colours in the shot.

The producer will also know whether you are likely to be sitting or standing during your time on camera. If you’re standing make sure you have a comfortable pair of shoes.

Dress appropriately

The first and most important rule is that what you wear should be relevant to how you want to be perceived. If you want to show how professional you are, dress as if you were dressing for work. If you want to show yourself as approachable, dress casually.

From experience you’ll probably end up deciding on a balance between the two.

You will never perform your best in front of camera if you are uncomfortable so choose an outfit that makes you feel good.

Avoid patterns

Shirt showing the moiré effect.

Heavily patterned shirts, like tight checks, or fine vertical stripes etc. create a bizarre effect called a Moiré effect.

This can be distracting on camera so it is best to avoid these. You want the audience focussing on what you are saying not what you are wearing.

Avoid brand names

If you are representing yourself personally this is less of an issue, although still something worth considering. If you are representing your business, however, you should avoid clothing that features any brand that is not your own.

This is mainly because logos or pictures on shirts etc. can be distracting from your message (unless you’re selling t-shirts).

You are not infringing any laws by wearing a shirt that features a clothing brand’s logo (providing you don’t imply that company sponsors you – unless they do) as you wearing the shirt is congruent with its regular use. TV often blurs out logos and avoids saying brand names to avoid giving away free advertising.

Colours to avoid

Girl wears green to school photo and becomes see through.

Finally avoid green if you are being filmed on a green screen and blue if you are being filmed on a blue screen. I am sure you can imagine why but if not take a look at this picture.

It is not that a video editor wouldn’t be able to solve this issue but fixing this can take FOREVER and may add to the cost of a project.

Wear the opposite of the background. If you have spoken with the producer you’ll know the intended background for the video. Wearing the opposite can be really helpful. If the background is meant to be bright and light then darker or brighter colours will contrast nicely. If the background is meant to be dark then lighter colours will be nicely eye-catching.

I would also recommend avoiding all black and all white outfits. White reflects light and can be difficult to light properly to look good. Black absorbs light so needs to be lit more to look good… the issue is that your face can then look a little washed out. Instead of black try a dark navy.

Bring a change of clothes

The final tip is to always bring a change of outfit with you to a shoot. Follow the rules above and you should be fine. However, if you have a change of clothes with you there is an option in case the producer notices something that you had missed.

For more information about Smarter Video take a look here.

Please get in touch and let me know what you would like to learn or read about.

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