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Dear Governor Wolf, Please watch this quick video.

An open letter to Governor Tom Wolf (and others) About Framing Yourself In Video

Dear Governor Wolf,

Please watch this short video or read this post. Thank you.

We’re all engaged in personal video publishing these days, whether it’s business or personal. I wrote a blog post just a few days ago about how to frame yourself on video.

And then this image showed up on the news.

I’m sure Governor Wolf has better things to do than futz around with every detail in these videos. He’s prioritizing properly for a governor, ya know. But maybe he could take a second to tilt the camera just a little.?.?

Anyway… here ya go.

Vice President Joe Biden and Governor Tome Wolf - Video Screen Capture where Governor Wolf if Very Low in the Frame
Survey of Head Height

How big are you in video? – A Survey of Head Height

I did a quick survey of how big people are on news programs. How zoomed in the camera is, how big the person appears on screen. The sample was from national and local programs, particularly segments with single speakers in a 16:9 aspect ratio. Typical webcams are 16:9. I reviewed about 15 examples. This can be a guide to how to frame yourself with your webcam.

Here are the results:

  • The head height ranged from about 40% to 55% of image height.
  • Most head heights were around 50%, some slightly bigger, and only a few smaller than 45%.
  • The space above the head was about 12% of screen height, rarely if ever less than 10%.
  • All but one was centered.
  • Almost all examples had a lower third.

Start with This for Your Webcam Set Up

  • Place your camera so your head is about 50% of image height.
    • If your camera has a zoom function, you can often get a better image using the zoom a little.
  • Put the top of your head near the top of the screen.
  • Leave at least 10% margin above your head, no more than 15% of image height.

Embrace the Tech, Embrace the Performance: Practice

What do I suggest to businesses who used to go to events to sell and make connections?

Embrace the tech.

Like it or not, online meetings and personal video publishing is a big part of business now. We all have to get used to it and adapt to it.

Embrace the Performance

Remember the first time you did a sales pitch? Or the first time you went to a networking event and spoke for a minute about your business? You practiced. You thought about what you would say, perhaps you did a dressed rehearsal. The first time was, in essence, a practice run. You improved as you did more sales pitches and short “commercials” at networking events.

In the same way, personal video publishing is a performance.


Take time to set up your camera and microphone. Test your set up.

Move lights. Practice running presentations in a meeting. See if software like OBS is something you can use.

In a word: Practice.

Check out the short video.