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I was in a ZOOM call with six friends the other day and they were marveling at how refreshed I looked… after 8+ weeks of lockdown at home… with my four young monsters- ahem! I mean KIDS!
These ladies ARE the type of friends who would lie to my face, in order to make me feel better. But they didn’t have to! I really did look great, but it wasn’t because of all the full nights’ rest I have not been experiencing. I looked refreshed because my face was well-lit.
As a photographer, I know that lighting is everything. Now I choose to pass my wealth of knowledge on to you, budding young ZOOM Master.
THIS little tool right here is my secret:
A ring light! It is cheap, rechargeable, unassuming but picks a powerful lighting punch, and it clips right on to my monitor. And best of all it is CHEAP.
This is the particular ring light I own, though there are certainly others on the market. This one attaches to surfaces that are up to 3 cm deep. It fits beautifully on my laptop, second desktop monitor, and cell phone. It unfortunately doesn’t like my MacBook pro much (because the damn thing is angled at the top), but I have maguyvered a solution there with my much beloved bendy tripod that wraps right onto my desktop.
(For the record… If you don’t have a MacBook pro, this is not an issue you’ll likely have to deal with. Just make sure you measure your device of choice (make sure it is less than 3 cm deep!) before ordering.)
I don’t use my ring light often. I don’t take selfies, I’m not a youtuber or generally caring how I look on social media. At all.
BUT I DO occasionally meet with clients virtually, and this little baby helps me look like the professional I know I am. That, and ensuring that the amount of light hitting my face is the same or slightly greater than the amount of light behind me. (Bonus Tip!)
These days it seems EVERYONE is on a ZOOM call at some point. Working remotely has become the new normal. A ring light seems like a worthy investment for any professional who wants to maintain it that way…… even if your kids DO chase each other through the background now and then!