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Good Lighting is by far the most important part of looking good on webcam. Webcams are very limited in their ability to display colors and objects due to their small size, therefore proper lighting is extremely important. Please see the page on Recommended Webcams and Video Cameras.

Additional lighting

Ambient room lighting can be enough to make the model visible, but to make colors pop and the image very crisp, additional lighting is recommended.

There are lots of ways to light up the scene. Look around the home to find any type of light that is bright and portable. Desk and floor lamps work well.

Recommended lights

You can get good lighting on a budget by purchasing utility work-lights from a hardware store.

Worklights come in different shapes and sizes including freestanding and clip-on. Depending on the room setup you will have to make the decision of what fits best.

Light bulbs

Different types of bulbs are available including halogen, incandescent, fluorescent, and compact-fluorescent.

Halogen bulbs are usually the brightest, but get very hot and operate at a low color temperature (very yellow). If you plan to use halogen, keep the air conditioning running or window open because your room will get hot!

Compact-fluorescent is recommended, the bulbs burn at a higher color temperature (less yellow), and daylight-color bulbs are available (4200 kelvins).

Positioning the lights

A big part of getting a good image is avoiding shadows as much as possible, as random shadows generally make the image look less appealing.

In order to get the least amount of shadows in the image, position the light(s) relatively close to the camera. For example, you can have just one light above the camera, or two lights, one on each side of the camera.

But remember, the higher you put the light, the more shadows will fall on your face, which is not recommended. Avoid putting the lights below the camera as upward shadows are very unappealing and may make you look scary.