Body language is really important on camera. Really important. I mean really. 🙂

But did you know that your camera may be giving a bad translation of what you’re trying to say?

In this video, we demonstrate one way in which your camera may literally be telling your audience something that’s flat out not true about you.

Let’s not wait too long before fixing this problem, shall we? (Not that you have it, of course, but now you can help a friend.)

    23 replies to "How Your Camera Changes What You Say"

    • Marina Brito

      Wow. Brilliant advice from a real pro.

      I learned so much in only 4 minutes; fish-eye lenses and hulk hands – and how they hurt my business!

      Thanks a ton for the valuable info, as always.

      • admin

        Thank you, Marina. Nice to see you back (and sum up 4 minutes in only 11 words! :))

    • Mel Hardman

      Nice video, Steve…. great advice. I’m impressed that you would just send advice
      like this out (broadcast it) to an email list. Wish you had posted your blog url.

      • james ehrlich

        Mel….if you look at the top of this page, there are various navigation item including “blog”. I really like the intro and exit branding music and graphics. Its just right. It is also a nice touch to see Steve begin to talk and then the intro reel comes in soon afterwards.

        Of course, the content is uniformly excellent.

        • John Z Wetmore

          Having a few words about the episode before the title is vital for web videos. People on the web are very impatient, and will abandon a program during an opening title sequence, even one only 10 seconds long. A little teaser out front will entice them to stick it out through the title. (Check the Analytics for your own videos to see where people are clicking away.)

      • admin

        Ah well, at least you found it 🙂
        The URL does get posted in the non-html version of the email.

    • Hanna Perlberger

      Thanks Steven – we are always modeling something – and we sure don’t want to model something negative in an unaware state. Thanks for making this great tip short and sweet.

      • admin

        You’re welcome, Hanna!

    • Julie Weishaar

      Thanks Steve for the great advice – as usual – from the Video Pro 🙂

    • Regina

      You keep getting better…. no end.

    • Guy D.


      Great information. Is there a way to change the focal length in settings or are folks just stuck with their camera’s lens?

      • admin

        If you have an iPhone, Canon or even the Kodak; basically any camera with a zoom lens, you can change the focal length.

    • Dave Pipitone

      Great video, Steve! Thanks for sharing your wisdom on using hands naturally and the technical information about camera lenses.

      By the way, it looked to me like this video was shot from above? The perspective didn’t seem straight on like other videos.

      • admin

        Good catch, Dave! I was trying to replicate what often happens with a webcam 🙂

    • Michael

      Yikes Steve, with this lens your head had gotten soooo HUGE, too (compared to the size of your hands, etc). And shooting on a downward angle creates the subliminal impression the subject in inferior and less important than the audience. Pro photographer Jay Morgan has some excellent illustrations the problem shooting with lens that are too short (under 35mm):

      Happy trails, Michael

    • Grahame

      Thanks Steven great advice and also great expression ‘HULK HANDS’.

      I will certainly make sure I am not overly expressive with them.


    • Howard

      Steve, question about wardrobe and background.
      I assume that you used the darker background, brown jacket and black shirt so that you would accentuate the hands and focus our attention there.
      If you used a complete black background would you need to change the wardrobe, or would it still work? Thanks.

      • admin

        With a black background you have to be careful of contrast. You can’t go too light because the camera doesn’t have the same capability to resolve contrast that your eyes do. In fact, it’s something like 10,000:1 for your eyes and 128:1 for your poor camera.

        So yes, I would still use my brownish jacket and dark shirt, even with a black background, because I also use a backlight, which makes everything look separated from the background and easy to see,

    • When the video started, I was thinking, “Why’s he using a fish-eye lens?” Good to know you were making a point. 😉

      I typically think that a perspective from above makes the person look less authoritative (you look down to children, literally). I usually advise people to put the camera just a hair below them so that the viewer is “looking up” at you. It’s subtle, but I think it works.

      You’re right, though. People usually shoot from below on a webcam instead of just putting the computer on a couple of books or something so that it’s at least even with their eyes.


      • admin

        Yes. One of the things I didn’t mention is that even if you are only an inch above eye level, with the wrong focal length it can look like you’re a foot or more above.

    • Martine Bilodeau

      Thanks Stephen, that’s very helpful!

    • BJ Rosenfeld

      Great video, Steve. Didn’t realize there’s so much to learn about making videos to get our message across.

      • admin

        One or two things, maybe 🙂

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