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Getting Framed

Ever wonder what it would be like to be a magical portrait at Hogwarts?

Well, now you can.

If you're making a video, that is.

That little box your video is appearing in is ... well ... really little. At least if you're talking to the camera with only your head and shoulders in view.

One TINY step to either side can look HUGE on camera. And a simple movement from your arm could look like you're flailing around.

Trust me, it's not a good look.

Take a tip or two from the acting world and see how you can be most effective within what we call a tight frame. Even if you're going to be farther away from the camera lens so that your whole body showing, you still have to know how much you can move before you d.i.s. a. p. p e a

... from view.

Just think of the magical portraits at Hogwarts. People can see the animated you within the picture frame that's your video, but only as long as you don't go off "visiting" some other portraits.

The frame is that amount of your surroundings that will be seen on camera and specifically how you will be shown within it.


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Laura's Quick Tips

  1. Find out how much space you have to move around: up, down, left, and right

  2. Get a sense of the tightness of the shot: head and shoulders only or full body?

  3. Adjust your movements to match the size of your frame - usually that means to keep them SMALL

Ask these questions before you begin shooting the video, so that you can keep your gestures and other physical movements in proportion to everything else happening on screen. Remember that the camera magnifies everything. In a tight shot, the slightest, shift of weight from one foot to the other can be quite noticeable, making it look like you moved partly across the screen. Move too much and you could actually distract from the message you're trying to give.

Practice a bit with your phone's camera after watching this short video and you'll see what I mean. I'm sure you'll get it, faster than I can say Abracadabra.

Like these tips? There's a whole series of short videos to help you become more comfortable and effective on camera: On Camera Tips for Busy Execs. And if you'd like to explore a little 1:1 help, reach out for a free 15 minute consultation.

Laura Doman smiling

I'm Laura Doman, a former tech industry sales executive, hands-on mom, voice & TV/film actress, and improv performer. I create memorable characters that tell my client's stories, from the friendly CEO touting new upgrades to your sassy best gal pal dispensing some necessary, real-world advice...Let's Talk!


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