This is so obvious
yet most of us haven’t paused to think about it…
All of our lives we are told
It’s rude to stare.
One of the reasons TV | small screen | internet video is addictive
is that we can stare at people without seeking permission.
As a documentary cameraman for decades
I was a professional starer.
For hours - sometimes days - on end I would stare at a face through my viewfinder.
Stare long enough and you see things you miss at quick glance.
A shift of the eyes, a wince, a hint of a grimace; they all tell a story counter to the words being spoken.
I stared at a woman for a long time and I saw something wasn’t right.
A TV foreign correspondent.
She was and still is top of her game in reporting world events.
I won’t say her name but know this…
as professional and polished as she was in front of the camera, she was always presenting a 9/10 instead of 10/10.
I knew why.
She knew I knew.
But we never spoke about it.
It was a facial blemish she was self-conscious about.
So I’d use the thumbprint filter for her.
It’s an old Hollywood trick from the glamour days.
You wipe your thumb on your forehead to pick up a light film of skin oil then press your thumb on the lens.
As you look through the viewfinder you feather the edges of the smudge with a cloth. It was a poor man’s soft-focus beauty effect.
BUT … here’s the thing.
I tricked her good!
When I feathered it down with the cloth, bit by bit, I was really wiping the lens clean.
At the same time, I reassured her she was looking great.
There was no soft-focus filter but her internal confidence lifted and she looked great on camera.
This sounds corny
but it’s true
and I stand by it…
the best way to light yourself is from the inside.
Once you get the out-of-date stories out of your head that are holding you back
- that you aren’t good enough, that you have to look a certain way -
you too will shine on camera.
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