Why Camera Angles Matter

Why Camera Angles Matter
Posted by Ryan Sweeter

Do your video conferences feel natural? All too often not enough attention is given to camera angles, and makes something that should feel natural, feel awkward.

Low angle camera shots taken from anywhere below the eye line looking upwards make the subject look imposing, powerful and more important. It can make the person on the other end feel weak or insignificant. It can also present the subject poorly, and create poor contrast with ceiling lights, especially when using a low-quality camera. We see this most often when using the camera on a phone, tablet or laptop. 

High camera angles look down on the subject, which makes them look insignificant, weak and vulnerable, and it becomes more extreme based on the angle. Think of this from the point of view of an authority figure looking down on a child. 

An eye level camera angle allows everyone involved to connect, with little or no psychological effect on any of the participants. Looking directly at the subject on the same level feels natural, and does not imply more or less power to either party.

Video conferencing can and should replicate meeting in person as much as possible. When we meet in person, we all sit at the same table at the same eye level, so if one or two people stood at the table, it would feel strange, right? Whether you meet in person or in video conference, eye contact matters, and a study by the National Institute for Physiological Sciences suggests that eye contact in real-time provides the best foundation for effective social interaction.

If your video conferences don’t put your team, customers or clients at eye level, give us a call, we can help.

Ryan is passionate about writing and telling stories to inspire new uses of technology and innovative ideas.

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