We’ve discussed the importance of having the right equipment, lighting, camera, and audio source when building your video production studio many times. But that’s not all there’s to it. Your background also matters. Your backdrop is your canvas. It tells your story without you having to explain anything. Plus, having a picture-perfect background is a nice way to make a good first impression.
But what exactly makes a good video background? In this post, we’ll share some of our best background ideas and talk about the importance of professional video backgrounds.
Background for Video: To Use or Not to Use?
Not many people think about what’s behind them before hitting the live button. But your background can make or break the success of your channel.
Let’s take a look at some ways you can set up webcam backgrounds for your live stream.
1. Hide your messy room
Imagine watching a live stream with someone’s dirty laundry in the background. Would you still continue watching? That doesn’t just scream unprofessional, it’s also gross. Having a dedicated room for broadcasting is the best way to avoid such a thing from happening to you. But if that’s not possible, you can still cover all your mess by simply knowing where to point your camera.
You don’t have to do anything grand to create a nice backdrop. A clean, well-lit corner in your room is all it takes. A simple white wall background may be plain, but it’s better than your messy room.
2. Add personality to your set
Showcasing some of your stuff helps add your personality to your set. Plus, it can give you something to talk about with your fans. For example, if you’re an Avengers fan, you can display some of your collections in the background. You never know, some of your viewers might also be avid fans.
Such unspoken commonalities can help bring you much closer to your audience. Show your viewers a glimpse of who you are through your background display. This will make it easier for them to connect with you.
3. Promote your brand
Your background is a blank canvas. You can turn it into anything you want and showcase whatever you want. So why not use it to promote your brand? You can reinforce it by including your brand logo and colors in your backdrop. Using a virtual background is just one way of doing this, but you can also physically display the product you’re selling or promoting.
4. Look more professional
Things are less likely to go wrong when streaming from a controlled environment like an office. But when broadcasting from your room, there are more variables to consider. For example, the people (and animals) you live with can wander into your background and distract your audience.
If you don’t have a dedicated room for broadcasting, pointing your camera at a clean wall is one of the simplest ways to remove distractions.
YouTube backgrounds don’t need much to look presentable and professional. You just need to keep it clean and distraction-free. A nice background is all you need to make your stream look more professional.
5. For your privacy and security
Did you know you could endanger yourself and your family with something as simple as your video background? Leaving photos or certificates with information about your location in your background can lead stalkers straight to your home. With today’s technology, even an image caught outside your window can be used to find you.
When setting up YouTube, vlog, or podcast backgrounds, make sure there’s nothing behind you that can give away your location. The right background can help protect your security and privacy.
4 Best Background Ideas for Video Streaming
The video backdrop you use will have a big impact on how your story is told. That’s why it’s important to choose one that reflects your brand. As a live streamer, you probably already know this, but choosing the right one is harder than it looks. If you’re unsure what backdrop to use, here are some ideas you might want to check out.
1. Paper or fabric
Many YouTubers use crushed velvet, faux fur, chiffon, and bright-colored fabrics as their backdrops. These aren’t overly expensive materials. You may even already have one lying around in your home.
Try rummaging through your closet. You might be surprised with what you can find there. Interesting blankets, curtains, and bed linen can all be used as vlog backgrounds. Using a roll of seamless photo paper is another option.
Now, all you have to do is hang the fabric or paper on a curtain rod or a wall mount, and you’re good to start streaming. It’s the fastest and easiest way to hide your mess. The best part is you can easily bring these materials anywhere you go. Your audience will never know where you’re broadcasting from.
Here are a few things to consider when using a solid-color paper background.
- The simplest way to light seamless paper is by putting one scoop light behind the subject out of shot. But if you want to add more depth, you can go all the way and set up three-point lighting. If you’re aiming for a flat look, you can flood the background with more light.
- Different colors give different vibes. Muted tones like dark blue and gray are the safest choice. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can add a bit more color to your background. But be careful when using bright colors like orange, red, and yellow because they can cause color reflections, giving the subject an unflattering look.
- Dressing for the camera can help make you feel more confident. But make sure you choose an outfit that doesn’t clash with your background color. For example, if your paper backdrop is red, we advise against wearing green—unless it’s Christmas.
2. Your office
Your office is your place of work, but you can also use it as your video background. Aside from communicating authenticity, it lets people get a glimpse of you in your natural work environment. It also feels more genuine since natural backdrops have a certain spontaneity to them, unlike artificial setups.
Here are some of the things to consider when using your office as a background.
- Use a fast camera lens to blur out the background that isn’t interesting or relevant to your content. This also helps put the focus on you rather than what’s happening behind you.
- Move unnecessary items away from your shot to avoid distractions.
- Not everything will be seen in the frame, so choose wisely where you point your camera.
- If there are other people in the room, you can ask them nicely to stay put until you finish streaming.
3. Your room
Your room is the trickiest to use as a background. For starters, there are many personal items on display. Some of them might contain personal information about you, which could compromise your privacy. Other things you need to be concerned about are lighting and keeping your room clutter-free.
Let’s take a look at some tips and tricks you can use if you’re broadcasting from your room.
- The more distance you have between you and the wall, the more depth you create in your shot.
- Flat wall backgrounds are okay, but corners are better. The converging and diverging lines from you to the backdrop create a more interesting shot.
- Natural light is good, but it can also be inconsistent. If you want to have control over lighting, avoid putting a window in the shot. The bright sunlight outside will compete with the darker scene inside your room. This isn’t really a big deal if you have a professional camera with good exposure control. Unfortunately, most smartphones and webcams have little to no exposure control.
- Keep your room clutter-free as much as possible. Too many things in the background can be quite distracting.
- To make white walls less boring, you can add fairy lights, a closet display, bookshelves, or a picture collage in your background to make your room more interesting.
4. Virtual background
If you don’t have anywhere else to stream from but your boring, dark, messy room, there’s still hope for you. Virtual backgrounds are great for hiding all the mess behind you. But only use this option if you know what you’re doing. If not, you risk having your fingers or other parts of your body cut off onscreen. It takes considerable experience and technical knowledge to get this right.
Here are some things to consider when using virtual backgrounds.
- If you want to include green elements, such as plants and clothing, in your stream, use a blue screen instead of green and vice versa.
- Ensure the background is evenly lit so that all parts of it have the same brightness to eliminate shadows and bright spots.
- There are many affordable green screen kits, but any green cloth will do. Just make sure to pull it tightly so that it stays perfectly flat on your wall.
- Avoid using lights that conflict with your screen color. For example, orange-hued tungsten lights will make your blue or green screen look gray or brown. Use daylight-colored LEDs or fluorescents instead.
Using the right background will not only make your video more interesting. It will also help make your stream look more professional while you deliver your message. From choosing your backdrop to selecting the perfect hue, we hope our simple tips help you create video content that’ll make you stand out.