Updated September 2022:
Reporters in TV broadcasting are expected to produce short, visually compelling stories that directly impact viewers. Video cameras are everywhere today, so you should always be prepared for your next appearance. Despite advances in film technology, cameras can distort many images, while some colors and patterns look different in person than they do on air.
Here’s how you can dress in way that helps you look your very best on camera.
Wear the Right Colors
Wear cool colors, natural tones, and pastels to keep your audience’s focus on your face instead of your outfit. That said, drab earth tones could blend into the background too much. White often looks too bright on video, and it can even appear to glow. Too much black looks too dark, especially next to brighter colors.
TV broadcasting cameras can’t handle high contrasts between bright and dark objects, including skin and clothing. If you have pale skin, avoid black and very dark colors as they will make you look paler. Dark-skinned people should avoid white and light colors.
Colors also have meanings behind them. Blue is a calming color to which audiences respond well. In many Western cultures, the color red means power and passion. These are useful traits to have on camera, but too much red could distract people or make your face look flushed. Other bright, hot colors like hot pink, orange, yellow, and purple can have the same effect.
Intricate patterns and details like pinstripes, checks, herringbones, or even textured fabrics can cause a distracting optical illusion on camera called a moiré pattern. Standard TVs have horizontal scan lines that interfere with the vertical lines in close stripes or a corduroy suit, creating a wavy look. You should avoid plaid and small, intricate designs for the same reason. Women should also avoid big, bright flower patterns. Solid colors look best on camera.
Minimize Accessories and Makeup
Most TV broadcasting studios have several light sources positioned at different angles and heights. Because of all the lights, anything metal, like necklaces, rings, earrings, or bracelets, will look very shiny. Avoid wearing large jewelry or lots of rings to minimize distractions. Pearls, cameos, and other simple, tasteful accessories look best. Make sure ties, scarves and handkerchiefs match well with the rest of your outfit. If you wear glasses, the frames and lenses should be glare-proof.
Wear makeup that looks natural, and use matte lipstick to keep lips from looking too shiny. If you’re bald or have a receding hairline, put face powder on your head to reduce shine.
Wear Comfortable Clothing
Sweating under studio lights or shifting position frequently will make you look nervous. Cotton is much cooler than heavy fabrics like wool or flannel. Don’t wear a jacket at all, unless it’s light and breathable. You should also avoid short skirts since you could have to pull them down before sitting. Your clothing should always be appropriate for the event you’re attending. For example, you wouldn’t wear a full suit to a baseball game.
Visit beonair.com to learn more about how to make a great impression on broadcast TV. You can choose to study at any of our Media Schools in various locations across the United States.