Remember the days when you messaged a new guy online, maybe talked on the phone, then finally met up in person?
Those days might be gone.
Now, you can hop on Zoom or FaceTime and see if you get a good vibe before spending all that time and effort on meeting him.
The virtual first date is here, and it’s not going away.
Virtual dating doesn’t mean you have to give up everything that makes a first date fun. You can still have drinks, or dinner, or watch a movie. You can still dress up and wow him. You’ve just got to tweak things a little.
There’s an art to looking good on camera. Some of you already know exactly what to do to make yourself camera-ready. But others of you might hate the way you look on camera; you come across a lot better in person.
Luckily, this isn’t like getting your picture taken. With a virtual date, you’re in control of how the camera sees you. With the right angle, the right lighting, and the right makeup, you can look exactly how you want to look.
So let’s start with getting the right angle…
Tip #1. Angles
Most people use their laptops for video chats, because it’s easier. If you use your phone, you’ll want a tripod so you don’t have to hold it the whole time.
If possible, position your camera so that it’s eye level or slightly above. Otherwise, if the camera is looking up at you, it can give you a double-chin effect.
Think about what your date will see behind you. Your backdrop frames you. Your office can make it feel like a meeting, so try your sofa! It’s comfortable and it’s visually clean, so that he focuses on your face rather than all the clutter in the background.
You can look at the camera straight-on, but you might want to experiment with different angles. Most of us look best with our chins tilted slightly down and our heads to the side.
Tip #2. Lighting
Flattering lighting makes all the difference. That’s one advantage of having your date during the day: you can take advantage of natural light. I used to film in a south-facing bedroom in the morning, when the room was flooded with indirect light, and it took years off me!
In the evening, you’re going to have to rely on artificial light. If you’ve got several light sources, use them all. There’s a reason film sets have so many lights.
I also recommend getting an inexpensive selfie ring light that you can clip over your camera. For just over $10, it’s less than what you’d pay for dinner and well worth the investment.
Tip #3. Makeup
I’m a huge fan of natural-looking makeup. If my makeup is the first thing that someone notices about me, I’ve done something wrong.
But what I have learned is that the camera REALLY likes makeup. Without makeup, I have no eyebrows and no cheekbones. I look really strange!
So, for me, the goal of camera makeup is to look like my normal self. I have to define everything, and that takes a lot more makeup than I’d normally wear. Eyebrow pencil, eyeliner, mascara, contour, highlighter, the whole 9 yards.
Do your makeup, then go and sit in front of your camera and see your face as the camera sees it. You’ll want to see how your lighting and your backdrop change things.
And don’t forget that Zoom has a cool “touch up my appearance” feature that smoothes out your skin and makes you look flawless.
You’ll also want to see how the camera likes your outfit, too. The colors in your background can affect how well the colors in your outfit work. Always test your outfit in front of the camera where you’ll be sitting. I find that basic black is always a winner.
If this sounds like a lot of work, I hear you! It takes time to get your virtual date setup right. But once you do, you’re sorted. You’ll know exactly how to set up your camera and your lighting and your look each time.
You’ll have the confidence of knowing that whatever happens, you look great.
Virtual dates are here to stay. Right now, they’re the safest way to date.