Posts Tagged ‘On-Camera’

Looking Good on TV – Part Three (Book Excerpt)

June 2, 2017

TV viewers will size you up quickly and since television is a visual medium, you (or your client) need to make sure you know the basics and the nuances on how to look good on TV — and it’s not just about delivering your message for the media.

In my book, The Insider’s Guide to Media Training, I cover a lot of topics that are all part of the process to polish on-camera interviews.  Looking Good on TV – Part One of my book excerpt covered the basics of wardrobe guidelines for men and women. Looking Good on TVPart Two delved into the details of what colors work best on television and what colors you need to avoid. Now, Looking Good on TVPart Three is all about patterns and prints that work best and the ones to avoid turning your wardrobe into a fashion disaster on camera along with a few final wardrobe tips that will make all the difference in fine tuning your on-camera appearance.

Prints and Patterns that Work Best On Camera. Without the right wardrobe planning, certain prints and patterns can be very difficult to pull off, for a variety of reasons. So always exercise caution when you think you absolutely have to wear a patterned or print dress, blouse, or slacks.

Tiny print patterns (like flowers) are generally safe and flattering, but large prints can add pounds you don’t have because they create optical illusions. Horizontal patterns are infamous for making a person look wide. Generally, stripes are not a good look on camera and shouldn’t be worn.

Prints and Patterns to Avoid On Camera. Patterns that look great in person don’t always translate well on camera. These patterns include pinstripes, chevron, plaid, fine checks, stripes, herringbone, houndstooth and similar patterns that can cause a moiré effect on camera. Small, repetitive patterns, should be avoided.

The moiré effect is a visual perception that occurs when viewing a set of tiny stripes, dots, or checks that are superimposed on another set of lines or dots, and which seem to actually move back and forth or flicker. It is very distracting and not camera-friendly, so stay away from these patterns.

No Logos or Written Words on Clothing. Wearing a logo implies product or brand endorsement so do not wear any clothing with visible commercial logos, unless it is for your own company.

Accessories and Jewelry. If you know about fashion then you know that accessories and jewelry can really bring your look to life, but less is more when it comes to accessorizing what you wear on camera.

When it comes to jewelry, wearing anything too distracting takes the focus off you and off your message. Avoid wearing shiny jewelry or watches since they can catch the light and cause a glare. Also, women should not wear dangly earrings or more than one ring per hand.

Finally, avoid jingly jewelry (especially bracelets) or accessories since the microphones on set are very sensitive and will appear to magnify that noise, which may make it difficult to understand what you are saying. Remove jewelry that moves, makes noise, or could hit your microphone.

Shoes and Socks. Unless you are certain, never assume that your shoes, socks, or stockings won’t be visible in the shot during your interview. Shoes don’t matter that much when they’re not in the shot, but it’s important to wear ones that are appropriate and which cover your feet. Men should wear over-the-calf socks so that if you cross your legs no skin is visible (as the camera may be capturing you from a low angle).

A good way to ensure that you’re on point regarding your on-camera wardrobe is to study the fashion choices worn by talk show hosts and their guests and then mimic the style that suits you best. Do not go trendy for its own sake, unless the style genuinely flatters you.

You may feel like you really aren’t skilled at fashion styling and if that’s the case you should consider investing in a consultation with an image consultant who specializes in on-camera looks. They can help you put a few winning wardrobe pieces together as your go-to outfits for interviews.

If you follow these guidelines they will not only make you look good (and professional) on television, but your well-planned preparation will contribute to a smooth running production (and earn you positive notice from producers who may one day be interested in re-booking you).

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Marianne Schwab is the author of The Insider’s Guide to Media Training and the go-to broadcast media expert to show you how to get booked on TV and ace your on-camera interview. Her producer credits include Live with Regis & Kathie Lee, Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous, Runaway with the Rich & Famous, E! Entertainment Television ON E! Specials, and many more. She has worked in broadcast for over 25 years and is currently the Executive Producer for CMP Media Cafe — a company specializing in broadcast public relations where she provides customized media training services for clients.

Copyright © 2017 by Marianne Schwab. Excerpt reprinted with Permission. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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Looking Good on TV – Part Two (Book Excerpt)

June 1, 2017

Viewers will size you up quickly and since TV is a visual medium, you (or your client) need to make sure to look good on TV — and it’s not just about the message. In my book, The Insider’s Guide to Media Training, I cover a lot of topics that are all part of the process to polish on-camera interviews.  Looking Good on TV – Part One of my book excerpt covered the basics of wardrobe guidelines for men and women. Now,  Looking Good on TVPart Two delves into the colors that work best on television and the ones to avoid.

Solid Colors – What Works Best and What to Avoid

Solid colors work best for television, but there are the good, the bad, and the ugly of color choices and that’s why you need to understand some basics about how colors look before the camera, whose lens captures their values and hues very differently than the naked eye does. One advantage to wearing solid colors is that your wardrobe won’t easily become dated since rich, saturated colors never go out of style.

You should choose colors that not only flatter your skin tone and hair color, but also work well on camera. In 1987, color consultant Carole Jackson, wrote Color Me Beautiful, a book that has become the gold standard for determining which colors work best for you. The book is still available through Amazon.   When it comes to color, you should also consider the set design of the show you’ll be appearing on since you don’t want to disappear into the background, but nor do you want to stand out from it in a way that is distracting.

Solid Colors that Work Best On Camera

Jewel tones are all the rage right now but make sure you choose a color that looks great on you, not just the hanger. The colors near your face will either drain you of life or highlight your best features, like your eyes, on camera. There’s a palette of colors that look best on each of us and look especially great on video. Go to MediaTrainingGuide.com and download my quick wardrobe tips that show you a palette of colors that the camera loves.

The safest color on TV is blue but there are many shades of blue and if you’re on a blue screen, then you should avoid this color in any shade.

Pastel shirts or muted colors work well on camera, but do require some caution since they may wash out if they are too soft and can appear more white than their actual color. One useful tip is that pastel colors layered with darker solids like suit jackets will not appear washed out. In fact, pastel colored shirts or blouses are preferred over white since there is no extreme contrast between the dark solid, but instead provide a flattering layer.

Pastels and jewel tones look good, but do avoid ‘glowing’ colors (i.e. neon, certain hues of blues, purples, and reds). Other good colors include beige, gray, green, brown and blue.

If you want to add visual interest with color, try layering two jewel tones in the same color family or two colors that complement each other. Another option is to layer a solid on top of a pattern to mute its effect on camera.

Solid Colors to Avoid On Camera

Certain solids should be avoided or worn with caution because they can be a little tricky. These are colors which the camera is particularly prone to capturing in a wonky way, or which create issues with lighting. Four colors to avoid are all white, black, red, and purple.

  • White: Solid white should be avoided whether it’s a suit, dress, jacket, blouse, shirt or pants. Why? It’s all about lighting. White glows and becomes the most noticeable thing on the TV screen and certain combinations with other solid colors in your attire will create a contrast of light and dark colors (i.e. black and white, dark blue and white, etc.) that make the camera lens go crazy (and the director of photography bonkers). Exceptions do exist and most often involve a chef’s uniform or doctor’s white lab jacket, but this is the general rule. Off white, cream, beige, soft yellow, light blue are colors that can all give a soft, lighter look without blowing out the lighting.
  • Black: Black isn’t a complete “no-no,” but you need to be careful when you wear it. Be aware that if you’re wearing an outfit that is solid black, that black will suck up all the light, causing your body to become invisible against many studio backdrops. So you certainly want to avoid wearing a black shirt under a black suit jacket, but you can wear a jewel or pastel tone shirt underneath as long as it’s not high contrast. Like whites, exceptions do apply and black can look good on camera, but it usually requires good lighting and makeup to add life back to your complexion. If you want to wear a dark color, navy is a better choice. Dark browns and blues are fine alone or combined with pastel colors or jewel tones. Women can also can accessorize with a colorful scarf to avoid an all black look.
  • Red, Purple & Orange: Certain shades of bright red can appear glowing orange and bleed on camera, so if you do wear red, make sure you choose a shade that is blue based rather than yellow based. Also, HDTV has largely solved the “purple” problem, but it’s still a tricky color for cameras to capture authentically. You’ll find your purple dress, blouse, or tie will look blue. Darker shades of red, purple, and orange usually work best.
  • Green: You only need to avoid wearing any shade of green (including some shades of blue) when you are working with a green screen and the control room is keying in the set background.

So that sums up what colors work best and the colors to avoid when it comes to making wardrobe decisions for on-camera interviews, but equally important are fabric patterns.

Our next post?  Tune in for Looking Good on TV – Part Three for essential info on prints and patterns that work best on TV and how to avoid on-camera fashion disasters.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Marianne Schwab is the author of The Insider’s Guide to Media Training and the go-to broadcast media expert to show you how to get booked on TV and ace your on-camera interview. Her producer credits include Live with Regis & Kathie Lee, Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous, Runaway with the Rich & Famous, E! Entertainment Television ON E! Specials, and many more. She has worked in broadcast for over 25 years and is currently the Executive Producer for CMP Media Cafe — a company specializing in broadcast public relations where she provides customized media training services for clients.

Copyright © 2017 by Marianne Schwab. Excerpt reprinted with Permission. All Rights Reserved.

 

Looking Good on TV – Part One (Book Excerpt)

May 31, 2017

In my book, The Insider’s Guide to Media Training, I cover a lot of topics that are all part of the process to polish on-camera interviews.  Viewers will size you up quickly and since TV is a visual medium, you (or your client) need to make sure to look good on TV — and it’s not just about the message.

As you focus on your verbal delivery, mastering the art of conveying your unique knowledge with assurance and ease, you must at the same time never forget that your appearance is equally critical for success on television.  In this series of blog posts, I’m sharing a chapter from my book, so here is Looking Good on TV (Part One).

For any appearance on camera, you must take complete control over every detail of your personal appearance with appropriate wardrobe choices, professional makeup and hair, and a vocal delivery that exudes confidence. It’s all part of your on-camera package, and will even precede your message in making that first impression with a television audience ready to size you up in a matter of seconds.

People shouldn’t judge you by your appearance, but they will. You’ve heard it said that you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. When television viewers first see you on camera on their favorite TV talk show or in a newscast, they make an initial judgment in the first four seconds and that judgment is finalized largely within 30 seconds (or less). Everything contributing to the way you look on camera is important and if it’s not helping you, it’s, unfortunately, hurting you. A first impression can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo so you must set a favorable tone from the first moment viewers see and hear you.

Wardrobe Guidelines for On-Camera Talent

Your wardrobe choices are a major factor in controlling how you appear and appeal to viewers. As a producer, I have a keen sense of what clothes look best on camera and what clothes are a fashion disaster. A little wardrobe planning, including perhaps some professional guidance about what works and what doesn’t work on camera, can go a long way toward helping you craft a look that projects the confidence and trustworthiness needed to get your message through to viewers.

In order to choose the best wardrobe for your interviews, let’s take a general look at style, color, prints and pattern, fabric, jewelry, accessories, and shoes, and review some miscellaneous do’s and don’ts.

Style for Men and Women

You certainly want to make a good first impression with a quality wardrobe when you appear on camera, but that does not mean that you have to invest thousands of dollars in designer clothes. In fact, a few simple guidelines can lead to smart choices in quality garments that will make you look like a million bucks without investing a small fortune.

Style – Men. Whether you are a CEO, chef, or a Hollywood animal trainer, you should choose the right attire that fits your profession, position, and your company culture. Not all CEOs wear suits and not all animal trainers wear khaki shorts and even if you do, you should evaluate how that attire will look on camera and make adjustments to favorably portray your personal brand.

For most men in professional careers, a wwell-fittedsuit is an obvious choice. Black and dark blue suits work best and you will need to pay attention not just to the patterns and color of your shirt, but the tie as well. Avoid vests because they are outdated and tend to look a little stuffy on TV.

Men should have about an inch of their shirt cuff showing past their suit sleeves. Sometimes a trendy style may read well in certain situations, but it can look ridiculous on camera or simply not flatter you.

Style – Women. Women have many choices when it comes to fashionable attire but if you remember this simple rule, it’ll take you a long way: If it doesn’t flatter you, do not wear it. I don’t care if it’s the hottest new trend, do not wear it.

Lately, I’ve noticed a huge trend for female on-air personalities, hosts, and anchors to wear sleeveless dresses and blouses — even in the middle of winter. This can be a good look if your upper arms are toned and tanned, but it can be very unflattering if you do not work out or are a tad overweight. Also, you have to apply body makeup on your arms. Just because it’s trendy doesn’t mean you have to wear it.

I personally think that it’s better to dress with classic pieces that have timeless value. The investment you make in your wardrobe will go further as a result and you can think in terms of building on your wardrobe instead of replacing it the moment the fashion trends turn. Obviously, if your expertise is fashion, then you need to make a more personalized decision to reflect your profession, but for the “rest of us,” it’s best to find outfits that flatter what we have to work with. That said, one way to determine how to dress for your interview is to take note of what on-air talent tends to wear and modify it to your personal style and profession.

 

Our next post? What colors work best on TV and the colors to avoid.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Marianne Schwab is the author of The Insider’s Guide to Media Training and the go-to broadcast media expert to show you how to get booked on TV and ace your on-camera interview. Her producer credits include Live with Regis & Kathie Lee, Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous, Runaway with the Rich & Famous, E! Entertainment Television ON E! Specials, and many more. She has worked in broadcast for over 25 years and is currently the Executive Producer for CMP Media Cafe — a company specializing in broadcast public relations where she provides customized media training services for clients.

Copyright © 2017 by Marianne Schwab. Excerpt reprinted with Permission. All Rights Reserved.