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What TO WEAR and What NOT to Wear on a video shoot

One of the most common questions we are asked when shooting a video is “what should I wear?” Obviously we all want to look our best, but what we wear can also have some impact on the overall look of the video.

This week I spoke to Chrissy, Bullseye Productions NZ Design Consultant, who gave these helpful tips for what to wear when the cameras are around.

What to wear on a video shoot

1. You need to feel comfortable in whatever you are wearing. How you feel will translate to the audience. If you’re not comfortable, your body language will show how you feel. You really want to show off the best and most natural you. For some people, dressing up will give them more confidence and ability to relax in front of the camera. For others it will be dressing how they do every day.

2. Dress for the location. If you’re being filmed on a farm milking cows, obviously your Sunday best is not going to be appropriate or make sense to the viewer. If you’re in an office, look smart, but be comfortable. Remember that you are a reflection of the business or organisation that the video is for.

3. If you’ve got long hair you’ve probably had that unfortunate photo taken with your hair tied back. You know the one – where you realise afterwards that you look like you’ve got short hair or close to bald. Video won’t be quite as dramatic as that - as usually all sides will be captured at some point during the shoot. If you’re going to be addressing the camera directly though, think about wearing hair down if it’s appropriate to do so.

4. If you know what the backdrop is going to be, make sure your clothing contrasts. If your backdrop is black, avoid wearing a black shirt as you may end up looking like a bodiless head!

5. Wear muted tones – not too bold, and not too light. Avoid black as it can tend to wash out your complexion. White or off white is also best avoided as it can mess with the camera’s white balance.

solid colours

6. To ensure the longevity of your video, solid colours are best to wear. They will stay current for a longer time whereas patterns and prints can date quickly. Definitely avoid wearing close pinstripes, herringbone, or checks. They can be a distraction to the message, but most importantly they can warp the screen on which they are displayed which is uncomfortable for the eye.

7. Be aware of any logos or branding on your clothing. Make sure that you’re promoting your own brand, and at the same time ensuring you don’t run into any copyright infringements with other brands. Try and keep your colours plain and avoid t-shirts with graphics.

8. Keep the bling to a minimum. Dangly earrings or things that reflect light or make noise can be distracting. A little bit is ok, but keep it simple - unless it is appropriate for the story.

9. Tidy up that manicure. Chipped or dirty nails may look like you don’t care about your presentation. For some people, it may also impact on how comfortable you feel in front of the camera. If you are a “hands talker” but you try and hide your hands due to feeling self-conscious about the state of your nails, this may come across as nervous or unnatural.

10. Always be flexible. Most rules can be broken, and each video will have it’s own unique message. Keep appropriate to the style of video that is being filmed.

11. Listen to the advice of the experts. Your video producer should know what you need to wear and what to avoid and be willing to give good advice accordingly.

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