What if you could get a professional look without any expensive equipment?
Sure, it seems like the first step to creating professional-looking video is to buy professional-grade equipment.
Wrong. What if I told you that you can spend your money on something else?
I've created a FREE workshop to show you how to make your current space look polished and professional using simple techniques I've learned from my years of shooting news stories in various conditions.
Sometimes you need to be a little 'extra,' I get it. So the products below are my recommendations; most are linked on my Amazon storefront, where you can see the full list of products I've used and buying options.
Full disclosure: I may receive commission payments from your purchases of products featured. I have not received compensation to feature any specific products and these recommendations are whole-heartedly my own from experience or meticulous research and review.
If you're interested in skipping the investment in equipment and investing in YOURSELF and your presentation skills, click the button below to find out about my next free workshop.
Lighting recommendations for working virtually
Professional studio lights are always trying to re-create that magical combination of natural and ambient light. Daylight provides a glow that can't be beat, but when you don't have access to it, professional lighting equipment might be the solution. Lucky for you, there are many options to choose from.
Professional Lighting Kit
Lighting options vary greatly in both scope and price. For an in-office interview set-up to record professional videos or live conferences, I would recommend a professional lighting kit with two lights. My best recommendation for this is from a company called Genaray.
You can buy these at a reasonable price through B&H - a great resource for professional equipment at discount prices.
Budget-conscious Light Kit
A more practical version can be found by the Neewer Brand, which is a brand I have used and like very much.
This is basically a cheaper version of the Genaray brand. It works just as well, in my opinion, if you are simply using it for video conferencing or recording video.
From tik-tok to the office, this is a popular choice
If you don’t need a professional office set up and just need a little extra light for your desk webcam, I suggest a ring light. These are great for one-on-one virtual calls or simple conferencing with colleagues.
Big Daddy Ring Light
Also from the Neewer brand, this ring light is fantastic. It is on an adjustable tripod and can hold a camera or iPhone of any size
Keep in mind, this version is large. This is a full tripod, which is adjustable to different heights. If you are looking for something that sits on the floor and creates a great light whether you are standing or sitting, this is a great option.
Desktop Ring Light
For even easier set-up or transfer between offices, I recommend the desktop version. This light is a little less intimidating with setup, and it can easily be propped on a desk to place around a PC webcam. It also holds any size iphone or camera.
This is the exact version I use on my desk because I have limited space and I shoot most of my videos in my basement office. It plugs into the USB port in your computer and has adjustable lighting.
Bad audio can be the most distracting problem when it comes to working virtually. If your sound is breaking up or hard to hear, it can derail your entire meeting. A great working microphone can solve these issues.
Keep in mind, most computers and even headphones these days have excellent built-in microphones. These are some other options to consider if you want to go next-level.
Clip-on Ring Light
Although I have not personally used this option, I have heard good reviews. This is a super cheap version of the ring light that works great for a built-in web camera.
The desktop ring light does have the drawback that it sits directly on your desk, which is usually in front of your screen where you need to work.
This option eliminates that problem and allows you to see your screen while lighting all sides of your face with minimal intrusion to your work. It runs on battery or USB port.
The blue YETI microphone is an excellent option and my top pick for a desktop microphone. It effectively eliminates background noise and helps direct your audio. This option plugs right into your USB port and will work as an audio option for any video conferencing software.
A lavalier or clip-on microphone is another option to enhance your audio. It clips to your lapel, so it doesn't take up extra space on your desk.
This particular version works best for recording or producing live videos on a camera or iPhone. It does not have a USB port, only a mic cable jack.
Logitech Desktop Microphone
Logitech is an excellent brand and this is a great desktop microphone that is a little less invasive than the Yeti. The sound quality is excellent and it also has a USB plug in so it will also work well as an audio option for any video conferencing platform.
Video matters when you are creating a professional virtual workspace. The good news is that most newer computers or laptops have excellent built-in cameras. Smart phones are also an excellent option for video conferencing or recording video. Any newer version will have excellent quality.
That being said, if you need a web camera, there are plenty of great choices.
Logitech is a dependable brand that I know and trust. That is why I highly recommend this web camera. It records and shoots up to 4K Ultra HD so your video will look crisp and professional. It plugs in with USB and is compatible with any virtually any computer or video conferencing platform
I don't have direct experience with this brand, but the reviews are good. When it comes to web cameras for video conferencing, you are basically looking for at least 1080HD quality video, if not an option for 4K, USB-compatible and recording capability.