Improve your look on Zooms, Lives and

all ​video meetings with 3 simple steps.
(scroll down for suggestions for better quality taped videos, too! )

Prices below are estimates, please see links for current price - which may be less, as special offers from vendors are common.
I highly recommend you print this out and take it to your local photo / camera / video supply store and ask them to help you. SHOP LOCAL. 
If you order through this site, we receive an affiliate commission from Amazon. Thank you for your support. <3 


LIGHTS (you got this)


Simple lights

I like box lights because they give you a softer light. They also don't cook you like some other kinds of lights do.  They are called box lights because the collapsible covers around the lights look like boxes. 

Option 1 is the simplest. If you are in a small area, this is a great choice.

Option 2 gives you more flexibility, especially if you don't have good natural light available. 

​Option 3 allows you to adjust the amount of light by turning bulbs on or off. If you don't have much space, but want a little more flexibility, this one is for you.

These come with regular fluorescent lights that you can easily replace later as needed. 


Option 1

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$39.99





Option 2 gives you more flexibility, especially if you don't have good natural light available. 

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Softbox Video Lighting Kit
$56.99

CLICK TO ORDER

 



Option 3 has five bulbs and allows you to adjust the amount of light by turning bulbs on or off.

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5 Bulb Softbox Light 
$ 46.99

CLICK TO ORDER



 

Ready for your close up? The Diva Ring is the gold standard for close-ups. I do NOT recommend this light if you wear glasses while you are on video, or if you want the option of sitting more than 2 or 3 feet from the camera. In general, box lights give you more flexibility.  

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It's called Diva for a good reason - it's much more expensive and you need to know what you are doing with makeup for this shot, because the result is very detailed and High Def. Also, unlike the box light, you can't move it to light from the side - the smartphone goes in the center of the ring. 

But if you want gorgeous even light every time, and you are OK with a fairly close shot, this is the light for you. 

Don't forget to purchase the SmartPhone mount above - it will attach to the bracket in the center of the Diva Ring.  If you order this setup, you won't need a separate tripod. 
 
$229.00


Safety Note:
If you have small children, big dogs, or curious cats, be sure to safeguard against tipping lights.

These kits are not as heavy as commercial grade studio lights, but they can still tip and break the bulbs, or bruise a noggin or paw, or scare one of the lives out of your cat.

If you can't close the door on your video setup, consider ordering some sand bags to weight down your lights. They are shipped empty, you put the sand in (or rocks or pennies or gold coins or jelly beans or whatever...).  $16.99  


Sound:

Use earbuds so that you sound normal, not like you are in a tin can. They also help control the noise because, with earbuds, your computer or phone won't pick up all the sound around you. The other attendees will thank you for this. (Note - check out the next section for mic recommendations for your pre-taped videos)

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UrbanEars Earbuds, $30



Composition:

If you are joining the livestream from your computer - use a stack of books or a shoebox to get the camera UP a bit. ​  

You want the screen to be at about the same height of a person’s face in real conversation. 

If you are joining from your phone, take 2 minutes and put your phone on a desktop tripod or lightweight tripod. Then you don't have to hold it while you watch.

 

TRIPODS

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My favorite desktop tripod because it doubles as as selfie stick, and has a bluetooth remote control. 

Yoozon Selfie Stick / Tabletop Tripod




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This regular tripod is lightweight and affordable, adjustable up to 5 feet, works great for smartphones or tablets
​$23.49



Brackets to attach your smartphone or iPad to your tripod.

Yes, you can shoot great video with your smartphone!

Here's what you need if you are going to tape videos that will be posted later - like videos for courses, social media, YouTube. 

You can use the same lighting and stabilization gear from above, but just add a microphone if you don't want the earbuds to show.   


Basic Microphone Set up - easiest. 

Rode SmartLav Microphone - for standing or seated taping. It is simpler to start with this mic than the wireless mic (below), if you don't need to be moving around to demonstrate something. 
This microphone does NOT work for live video, like Zoom or FB live.

Dongle for iPhone 7 and above.
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Note for iPhone 7 and above - Apple, in possibly the most annoying change ever, deleted the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 and above.  To use a mic with your iPhone, you will need the little white cable adapter - it's called a "Dongle", that came with your phone.


​If you have a new iPhone X, they didn't even include a Dongle for you, and you'll need to buy one. It looks like the thing in the picture, and you can also order it by clicking on the image. 

If you use this, be sure your phone is charged before you start taping, as you can't charge at the same time as using a mic with the Dongle. 


Rode SmartLav Mic.

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This Rode mic is called a lavalier.  (Lah-vah-leer). It plugs into the headphone jack for the iPhone 5 - 6s, or the Dongle (see above) for your iPhone 7, 8 and X. Also works with most Android phones. ("Android" is basically any brand smartphone that is not from Apple). 

Price: approximately $70. Click to see exact price because sometimes it's on sale.