Make sure your video is in landscape (widescreen), and not portrait. We need to be able to see your signing space, do not crop out part of your arms or adjust your signing space in order to fit into a thin, vertical or cropped screen.
2. Eye Contact
One of the most valued characteristics in ASL is eye contact. Make sure you are looking into the camera and not at yourself on the screen (…though it is tempting!) Looking into the camera is how you make eye contact through video, and allows you to engage with your audience. Without eye contact, you will lose your audience quickly.
3. Camera Angles
Many people use a laptop camera to record videos, and while the video quality often is good, the camera angle is often not flattering. Keep the camera level with your body. The lens should not be angled up or down, you want to be looking forward. The last thing you want is for your audience to have an awkward perspective of looking up or down at you.
Bright or natural light is best, avoid backlight. To do this ensure you are not standing with any light sources behind you. The camera, often set on auto-exposure, will then compensate for the bright light by making the person on camera very dark and difficult to see. The solution is to either move away from the bright light, mask or dim the bright light somehow, or place additional light, in front of you, that is much brighter than the background light.
Use a plain, solid background that is free of objects and clutter. Remove objects in the background that are distracting, and could make for an unprofessional-looking video. If you find that you do not have a large enough space to film, find a small area with nothing obstructing the camera view – record yourself in that space yet maintain appropriate visual surroundings for your signing space.
6. Steady Camera
Your camera must be set up appropriately in a safe and steady position. It is recommended that if you have a camera that you use a tripod, adjusting the zoom and focus accordingly. If you do not have an external camera and are using a laptop camera, make sure it is set up on a desk or a table – somewhere stable that, again, is level with your eyesight. Please do not put the computer on your lap, creating shaky footage.
7. Clothing and Attire
Attire should be an appropriate color, keeping to solid colors and avoiding patterned tops. A general rule of thumb for videos in ASL is to wear a shirt that is an opposite hue of your skin, i.e. darker skin tones should wear lighter clothing, and lighter skin tones should wear darker clothing. Take the time to pick out a nice top such as a blouse, button up, polo, or sweater – make sure you look your best!