Creating A Video Optimized Home Office: Insights From Angel Marie At ConvertKit

Creating A Video Optimized Home Office: Insights From Angel Marie At ConvertKit

Looking for inspiration to create a home office perfect for video calls and webinars?

I had the opportunity a couple of months ago to sit down with Angel Marie from ConvertKit, to talk to her about how she gets fantastic lighting, sound, and a really interesting background for the webinars and video media she creates (both for ConvertKit and her website, YourBeautyInTheMaking.com). She does an excellent job of creating high quality webcam videos, while still making them feel authentic and seamless.

To hear some of her ideas for creating a video optimized home office, including how to create a background that’s interesting and personable for webcam video, watch the interview below. (Or, if you’d rather read than watch, there’s a transcription of the video further down in this post.) Enjoy!

After watching this video, if you’d like to get more advice on optimizing your home office for video, tweet me @anyvoo. I’d love to help give you a second opinion on your background and lighting, to get your webcam video looking amazing.

Video Transcript

Lance

First of all, tell me a little bit about, um, what you use video for, how you got started doing video, a little bit about your job, your side hustle, all the stuff that you want to say there.

Angel Marie

So I got started with video back when I was interning for a radio station. I did a lot of their production assisting type things: editing some commercials for them, anything that came to radio drops and helping out personalities. I was always in the studio editing. So that’s how I got introduced to video and just learning the different editing softwares on a Mac. I remember when I was first there, I didn’t know anything and I was like, “I have no idea how to do this. I have no idea how video works. The only thing that I know is recording on a phone, which isn’t similar at all.” But then I interned for a record label and that’s where I dived deeper into video production, which was absolutely just an amazing experience. So currently I use videos to produce and host online webinars for ConvertKit, which is an email service provider. I absolutely love the job, love doing what I do: that is just where I’m teaching people online (a webinar) and that was different in comparison to the video editing and production that I did at a radio station. So I had to get different camera lighting. It was a little bit different and of course people are seeing me and my office space, so I had to make sure that my space actually looked somewhat appealing.

Lance

Well, I love the videos that I’ve seen you do for your webinars. For those who are watching this video, that’s actually how I found Angel. She was doing a webinar video for ConvertKit. I’m like, “Oh my goodness, I need to talk to this lady!” So thanks for talking with me. I really want to focus on the things that we can potentially help other people with, with the stuff around them when they’re doing videos. So, first of all, the lighting that you have, when you do video, it’s a nice soft light. Looks great. Tell me a little bit about what you use or kind of how you set that up and then what have you tried before?

Angel Marie

When I first started making videos both for ConvertKit and just for my own blog and really getting into videography and blogging and all that stuff, I was just using window lighting and I was like, “Oh, I’m just going to use that natural sunlight. It’s going to be good.” It’s not.

It might be good for a simple selfie or something that you’re going to post on Instagram or social media, but when it comes to video production, that’s a big no. So then I just started looking into what other people were doing–just different lights, different softwares, different equipment that they were using so that I could figure out how I could get the lighting that I wanted. I started off with the really small ring light, which is about this big, but that didn’t work out.

Then I invested in a bigger, higher quality ring light, which that one is the one that gives the most light, which I can actually show you. Let me just use my little webcam right here. That is that ring light right there. It’s right behind my computer so that the light will shine directly in front of me.

And then you’ll see here I have two soft boxes, and these just add an additional piece of lighting. That’s not too much to the point where I’m literally blind, but it’s just enough to add in the additional lighting that I will need to just make it clear and more professional.

Lance

Okay, so I like to geek out about video lighting. I’ve done a lot of shooting photography with ring light but I’ve not done a ton of video with ring light. So tell us a little bit about what that ring light does. Like you have three lights, which to somebody who’s never used lights before, that’s going to feel like a lot.

Angel Marie

A little intimidating, right? Yeah.

Lance

Tell me about the function of those three different or two different types of lights.

Angel Marie

Yeah. Yeah. So the ring light is the brightest, and I have to be really careful when turning that on. Otherwise it will completely hurt my eyes. So I have to turn it on very, very slowly, super easy. There’s just a button at the bottom that just twists and you can adjust the brightness. So if I test it out a little bit here, I’m adjusting the brightness and you can see it’s dimming a little bit. Right? Okay. And then if I increase it, the quality is super bright, which of course is the kind of lighting that I want. This one is super easy, especially when it comes to traveling. So if you’re blogging or you’re making videos abroad or anything like that, it’s super easy to travel with this ring light because you can break it down and put it in the packaging that it had originally come with.

The box lights are a little bit trickier just when it comes to setting it up. And I also wouldn’t recommend just having box lights because they’re not going to give all the lighting that you’re needing. They’re really soft. Again, they just add in that little touch that you might be wanting or needing. Okay. But yeah, use something bright, something that’s more intense so that the quality is good overall. Definitely a ring light or any other type of lighting that you have seen that works really well or that you might’ve used in the past.

Lance

I’m always looking at catch lights in people’s eyes when they’re doing video. So I had like, you know, the little lighting pattern it does in your eyes to try to figure out what kind of lighting you’re using. And I missed the ring lights. So that’s actually pretty cool.

What I love about a ring light is from the perspective of the camera, the light is coming from all directions and the camera’s perspective is all that it cares about. So it basically creates a shadowless subject on your face, which is really cool. I know for your personal video blog that I looked at, you’ve got stuff about beauty and looking good on camera and all of that, which that’s a huge part of that, so that’s hugely cool.

Angel Marie

Yeah, yeah, for sure. One of the reasons why I got it.

Lance

Awesome. All right, so that’s your lighting. What are you doing for your camera? You mentioned getting a different camera.

Angel Marie

Yes, yes. So I got the Logitech webcam. This one, I wouldn’t say it’s on the cheap side at all, but it’s not on the super, super expensive side. This one costs about between two and three hundred, but it works great. It connects with your camera really well specifically for using it for webcam production and it’s very, very clear as well as you can probably see. But it also comes with an app that you download that connects the setting to the actual webcam. So you can adjust the saturation a little bit. You can adjust how far you might want it to be. I mean, it goes above and beyond what your regular computer camera or what your iPhone camera could do for you when it comes to video production. Especially when it has anything to do with blogging or webinars or online workshops, things like that. So that’s what I have used for a long time now and it’s been working really well.

Lance

That’s awesome. All right, let’s go to the obvious thing you’ve got in front of you here. A microphone. What kind of microphone, how did you decide on that one, and why do you even use an external microphone?

Angel Marie

Yeah, so this is called, if I can get it right, the AT2020USB+ or something like that. I got this on Amazon and it’s great. I love it. I haven’t used any other microphone except for this one. Now this one, it was recommended to me by another online entrepreneur, Megan Minns and I just was watching one of her online workshops and her sound was so good and I was like, “What microphone are you using? Because I would love to have access to that.” So I ordered it, bought it, and it works great. Especially to plug straight into your computer. So the sound quality is just spot on.

Lance

So you’re not having to go through a sound board or through some other kind of device to plug your microphone in to your computer.

Angel Marie

Yup, yup. Very easy.

Lance

Good. Um, alright. So then let’s get to the thing that, um, actually caught my attention the very first, which is when you, on your webinar video, when it came on, I’m like, “Man, the, the background behind Angel is just so personal but yet professional.”

Angel Marie

Thank you.

Lance

So tell me about like, has it always looked that way or what did you have before? How’d you figure out what looks good and so forth?

Angel Marie

Oh my gosh, no. So it hasn’t always been this way. Okay. This used to just be a blank wall behind me, which was pretty boring. But piece by piece, step by step, I just decided, okay, well this space is creative space, especially if people are going to be seeing it online. It needs to be bright. It needs to be me, right? It just can’t be something that’s decorative, but it has to showcase what I want as far as what I prefer in an environment, what helps me focus, what helps me be creative from colors to design to things like this globe, you know, anything like that. So I just started thinking of how I would want my office to look and kind of just put the pieces together.

I’m a very visual thinker. So before all of this happened, I was just standing, staring at the wall and I was like, okay, what would Angel like genuinely, what would Angel want? Not somebody that I’ve seen whose background looked great, I’m not going to copy them, but what would Angel actually like? So I started thinking of, you know, a wall piece that would fit and I wanted a book stand right there and a globe, things to showcase that I enjoy traveling and brighter colors, like the peach and orange with the tan, you know, colors that were just me. So I just started throwing those together and adding in little stuff in between that would match. And I was like, this is it. This is me.

Lance

That’s really cool. How far back is all of that stuff, approximately, from where you’re sitting?

Angel Marie

Oh man. Oh, like actually how far back?

Lance

Oh, like actually how big is your space there?

Angel Marie

Yeah, it’s actually not too big. So if I back all the way up, I’m hitting the table right here. So it’s actually pretty small. But it’s just what I need at least right now to make a webinar happen or just to be creative with my own blog if I’m doing any blogs and things like that. But I would say once I do get to the stage of wanting to do more video production in my own side hustle, maybe more professional like green screens and all that stuff, definitely need a bigger space. But this is perfect when it comes to, you know, just having a webcam and teaching online or doing anything online to people that are watching.

Lance

That’s really cool. I love it. Well, thanks for taking time to talk with me. This has been really informative. Really helpful.

Want a background solution for your video calls that doesn’t involve tons of time and work to get it looking great? Check out the Anyvoo video conferencing backdrop. It’s big enough to fill your webcam video, small enough to be moved out of the way when you’re done with work, and cool enough to give your video calls that extra pizazz you’ve been looking for.

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