What to wear on camera – a checklist

Your Corporate Video Dress Code

Your corporate video dress code checklist

Do you hate being on camera? Love it? Or maybe somewhere in between? Whichever way you feel about it, here’s a checklist on what to wear and how to present yourself, that will have you looking your best on screen. 

1. The Fit

So, what to wear on camera…

  • The golden rule is always bring a back up outfit – I’ve seen talent spill coffee on their shirt right before we roll, or turn up wearing the same outfit as another on screen talent. The safest bet is to bring a second or even third choice to have on hand.

Bring a backup outfit

  • Avoid prominent branding (unless it’s the brand you are representing in the video) as this can be distracting and can even present legal complications. 

Avoid prominent branding

Avoid busy patterns

  • Avoid noisy attire, as this causes audio issues – so bangles and necklaces that might clank against themselves or against your lapel microphone, also avoid noisy fabrics and items like windbreakers that can make a ‘swoosh’ sound.

Avoid noisy jewelry on set

  • You may also want to avoid dresses and jumpsuits as any time a wired lapel mic is used you will need to run a cable underneath your clothing and have somewhere to clip the microphone pack to. 
  • Last on the list of do-nots is anything that could possibly be see-through (cameras and lights make this worse), low cut or very tight – these can result in an unflattering look, sharing more than you want to, or revealing microphone cables. 

Consider the subject matter, audience and video type in picking an appropriate outfit. For example, if you are an executive, making a formal announcement to key stakeholders, then you probably want to select a full suit. On the other hand if you are a frontline worker promoting team culture in a recruitment video then you might want to put on your branded team uniform.

Wear a suit if your message is serious

  • Safety-first. When in situations like a construction site, food preparation area or a factory floor, triple check that you are going above and beyond in terms of meeting personal safety equipment and attire. So things like hard hats, high vis vests, latex gloves etc as relevant to the setting. The last thing you want is to have to reshoot a scene because you weren’t wearing what you are required to.

Wear correct safety or technical wardrobe

  • And finally, wherever possible, wear an outfit you really like, because if you feel confident and comfortable you will be well represented and will present better.

2. The Camera is Unkind to Frizz and Shine

Shiny skin and frizzy hair can be a pain at the best of times, but on camera they are amplified because of the lights. If you’re lucky enough to have sufficient budget, then you might have a make-up artist or director who will take care of you when it comes to shine and frizz, but small productions don’t always afford that luxury. Pop to the bathroom or request a mirror before the crew hits the record button, this allows you to blot away / powder any shine on your skin, and use a bit of hair spray or whatever you have on hand to flatten out any frizz or fly away hairs. 

Keep your hair dry to avoid frizz

3. Looking and Feeling your Best

It might sound basic, but self care goes a long way in physical appearance and how you carry yourself. Before being on camera, set yourself up for a win by having a good night’s sleep, staying well hydrated, getting your caffeine fix and having a light meal. Breathing deep will help you relax, have good posture and project your voice. Make sure also that your clothes are washed and pressed. And lastly, create a little routine that works for you – for example I worked with an on-screen host who before a shoot would put earphones in with religious music that was calming and important to them. So, find what works for you and carve out some space for it before going in front of the lens. 

Wear what you're comfortable in

With the Rocket Productions team you’re never on your own in making sure you look your best on screen. That’s something we’ll always advise on and check before hitting record. Our standard crews come equipped with powder, hairspray, lindt rollers and skincare basics. For bigger budget shoots we can provide you with a top hair and make-up artist and even a stylist. Get in touch to see how we can help your talent present brilliantly on your next shoot. 

I’m Rachel Hogan, Producer-Director at Rocket Productions in Sydney Australia, I’m not married to my ideas. Please feel free to change my mind or just add your thoughts into the mix. Or, if you need help with video content get in touch.

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