By Max Rosen, CEO, Indigo Productions
It never ceases to amaze me how many people – including VERY high-profile people – show up for television and video shoots wearing clothes that look terrible on camera.
A proper wardrobe is critical. Viewers decide whether they like you and trust you almost instantly, and what you wear greatly influences their perception. So whether you’re preparing for a television appearance, a corporate video production shoot, a CEO profile, or a social media video, memorize these important tips to help you look your best in front of the lens!
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
First and foremost: Dress the way that you like to present yourself professionally, wearing clothes you know you look good in, and that makes you feel great. This will give you an extra boost of confidence. But there are lots more – read on!
Maria Menounos, above, was prepared with 4 clothing choices in different colors at this shoot we did for Kellogg’s. After a quick conversation, we chose this bold orange because it complements the brand’s colors and makes her pop out from the background.
NO, NO, NO – 9 deadly mistakes to AVOID on camera:
1. AVOID all busy, repeating patterns like herringbone, thin stripes, and small checks – even on ties. They ‘vibrate’ on camera.
2. Avoid deep blacks, bright whites, and nudes – they all cause lighting problems.
3. Don’t wear bright green shirts – they’ll give your skin an unhealthy-looking pallor.
4. Avoid large areas of bright red, which can ‘bleed’ on camera.
5. Avoid loose, billowy, or wrinkled clothes – they’ll make you look frumpy.
6. Don’t wear a bright white undershirt – it can show through your shirt under bright TV lights.
7. Avoid scarves and turtlenecks – they can muffle your audio or rub on your microphone.
8. Avoid excessive jewelry – especially jewelry that will glare in the lights or jangle noisily.
9. Avoid light-colored t-shirt style shirts – these make it very difficult to hide the microphone.
YES, YES, YES – 8 wardrobe tips to help you look your best:
1. Wear nicely fitted clothes that are well pressed and wrinkle-free.
2. Stick to solid colors that work with your skin tone.
3. Blues, grays, magentas, and browns are all good. Pastels are OK, too.
4. Wear a blue or off-white dress shirt instead of bright white, since white can overexpose.
5. A dark navy suit always looks great on men.
6. A sheath fitted dress is an excellent choice for many women.
7. Wear knee-length socks – if you cross your legs, you don’t want your bare skin showing.
8. Bring an alternate outfit – in case your first choice doesn’t look good on camera!
If you’re promoting a brand or a cause it may be appropriate to wear their logo. If not, avoid logos and brand names like the plague. You don’t want to find out later that there’s a conflict of interest between the logo you’re wearing and the people who are sponsoring or distributing the program!
If you’re filming on a green screen don’t wear ANY shade of green at all. Even blue-green is trouble, as I learned the hard way years ago. When making a recruitment video for NYU, one of the students wore a blue shirt with a touch of green in it – enough to require a full day of rotoscoping to fix the problem during post-production!
Men and women alike should wear light powder to avoid shining under the lights. Do you think tough guy General Colin Powell objected to wearing makeup for this shoot? No, he did not! Ask your producer if a makeup artist will be on set. If not, ask if the crew can bring a powder kit. If they can’t, bring your own! Visit a good makeup shop and ask for some loose powder in your skin tone to minimize shine. Oil blotting paper works well too.
RESEARCH THE SHOW
If you’re appearing on an existing series, ask the producer for wardrobe guidelines and watch several segments to see what other guests look good in. Business videos and corporate videos call for suits and conservative dresses, of course. Lighter videos, youth-oriented videos and social media pieces call for casual or informal styles. By the way – where will the shoot take place? In a studio? An office? Outdoors? Choose colors that make you pop out from the background so you don’t blend in and disappear.
Here are a few related tips:
Arrive with your hair clean and neat. Even if there is a hair and makeup artist on set, they may not have enough time for a major overhaul, so comb your hair just the way you like it beforehand.
Glasses often create distracting reflections under TV lights. If possible, wear contacts or just skip the glasses. If that’s not an option, ask for help. An experienced producer will have several tricks, like repositioning the lights, that can minimize the problem.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
Be comfortable, project confidence, sit or stand up straight so you’re clothes don’t wrinkle, and have fun during the shoot! If you’re having a good time and enjoying yourself, viewers will pick up on that and enjoy spending time with you.
For this nice CEO profile video, I interviewed the head of Pinkerton, the world’s leading provider of corporate risk management solutions.
To my surprise, he arrived on set wearing a torn t-shirt, ripped jeans, and motorcycle boots. Thankfully I convinced him to don more conservative attire. (Just kidding! He got the memo I sent him the day before the shoot and he showed up looking sharp.)
If you have questions about anything related to video production, please contact us anytime. We’ve produced thousands of successful programs over the past couple of decades and we love sharing our knowledge!
To find out more about the TV and video production services offered by Indigo Productions, please visit our website. You can also get in touch with us through our contact page or call us with any questions at: (212) 765-5224