How to Record Yourself with a Webcam

On this page you’ll find information on how to record video of yourself with your computer’s webcam. First we will start with an aesthetic guide so you know how to get high quality visuals and sound. From there we will move into a technical guide on how to do the recording.

Aesthetic Guide

Please review the guides below carefully as they will have a significant impact on the quality of your video recording. We strongly recommend that you self-check the quality of your recordings by doing test recordings and watching them.

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Framing

First, visualize the screen into thirds. Second, position yourself so that your eyes and the top of your head are in the top third of the video without putting any of your head off screen. Third, make sure that you position yourself so that the bottom of the video is at about mid-waist. You may need to move closer to your computer or move it closer to you.

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Brightness

Make sure to film in an area with lots of natural light (windows) or add/turn on light fixtures. Beware of changing lighting conditions such as sunlight from a window being shaded and unshaded by clouds.

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Background and Wardrobe

Pick a background that has some visual interest if possible, but more importantly make sure that it looks professional. Make sure that whatever is behind you looks clean and organized. In regards to wardrobe, we recommend business professional or business casual.

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Focus

Almost all webcams focus automatically. Make sure that you are clearly in focus. You may need to shift forward and backward to get your camera to adjust focus.

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Sound

It is best to record in private closed areas to avoid extraneous sounds that may distract students (ex: home office with door closed). Beware of external sounds such as construction, pets, HVAC, fans, etc that could be heard in your video. Finally, make sure you are close to your computer so the microphone hears you better.

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Perspective

Make sure that you are not looking down or up at a dramatic angle in your video. You may need to lower/raise yourself or your computer.

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Eyeline

Make sure to look directly at the camera, instead of your computer screen, while recording. If you find yourself looking at your video feed on your screen while filming, you can hide the video recording application under another application window

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Starting/Ending Recording

Make sure to start and end your video recording smiling and looking into the camera for several seconds. This is especially important at the end of your video. When you finish speaking continue to look at the camera and smile for several seconds.


Technical Guide

Currently we support two options for webcam recordings depending on your platform. Quicktime for Mac and Camera for Windows. Currently, we are unable to support options beyond these two.

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Pre-Recording Preparation

Before you start recording make sure that you follow the steps below.

  1. On your computer, silence all notifications and close any app that may produce sound.
  2. Make sure you are recording in a private quiet area that will be free from any extraneous noise
  3. Finally, review and apply aesthetic guidelines found on the top of this page.

The Process

Step 1: Opening Quicktime Player

The first step is to open Quicktime Player. Quicktime Player is in your Applications folder. It can also be found by searching for it with Spotlight from the right side of your Menu Bar.

Step 2: Start a New Movie Recording Session

Once you have Quicktime Player open, you will want to start a new movie recording session. This can be done by going to File and then clicking New Movie Recording

Step 3: Verify You can See Yourself

Make sure you can see yourself in the window that appears. In addition, make sure Quicktime is selecting the webcam you would like to use. This is only something you need to consider if your computer setup has multiple webcams. For example, a laptop with a built in webcam that is docked to an external monitor that also has a webcam.

*Make sure to follow the rule of thirds!


You can switch webcams by clicking on the drop down next to the record button.

Step 4: Audio

Make sure that you are close to your computer so that the microphone can pick up your voice. You should also see the audio meter change when you speak. This can be used to help judge whether you are too quiet or too loud. If it is barely moving while you are speaking, that may be a good indication you are too quiet.  And in turn, if the meter is frequently filling completely, you are most likely overly loud. The meter should move to the 1/2-3/4 point consistently. Sometimes further adjustment to the microphone recording level is needed.

Step 5: Recording the Video

Once you have your shot and audio set up, then it is time to record. Hit the red Record button to start recording and then click it again to stop recording once you are finished.

The Media Team will take care of editing out any extra video at the start and end of your recording. So feel free to take your time and don’t feel like you need to rush to begin speaking, or to stop the recording.

At this point your video is ready to send in. It just needs to be saved.

Step 6: Saving the Video

The final step is to save the video. Go to the File menu and click Save. Make sure to name your video. Please make sure to include your program acronym, course #, and content descriptors.

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Pre-Recording Preparation

Before you start recording make sure that you follow the steps below.

  1. On your computer, silence all notifications and close any app that may produce sound.
  2. Make sure you are recording in a private quiet area that will be free from any extraneous noise
  3. Finally, review and apply aesthetic guidelines found on the top of this page.

The Process

Step 1: Opening the Camera App



Open the application named “Camera” from the Windows Start menu.

Step 2: Select Video Mode

“Camera” has two modes. Photo and Video. The icon shown in the large white button is the currently selected mode. Click the Video or Photo icon just above or below the white button to switch modes.

Step 3: Starting and Stopping Recording

To start recording click the white video button.

To end your recording click the red stop button.

Step 4: Accessing your Recording Files

Your recordings are automatically saved to your Windows Camera Roll when you click the stop recording button. You can access your recently recorded video by clicking the image representing it in the lower right corner of the Camera app window.

From here you can review your video. To access the video file for your recording, click the icon that is three dots in the upper right of the window. Choose “Open folder”. From here you can access your video recordings.

Step 5: Renaming Your Recordings

After each recording, rename the video file to something more useful. You can also move them to store them with your other course files. These video files are then ready to be submitted.


Published on October 06, 2018 at 11:34:23 am CDT. Last modified on August 20, 2020 at 10:22:58 am CDT.