If you’ve ever been on camera before, you’ve probably had this conversation run through your head: “Do I look at the host? Do I answer to the camera? Help! Am starting to pit out?”
Where you look depends upon the camera setup and the creative vision the person in charge has in their head. Ask them where you should focus. Below is a helpful guide on camera etiquette so that you feel prepped before you arrive at your shoot.
The interviewer is on camera NEXT to you.
Answer your interviewer but engage the camera because your viewers are the third person in the conversation. When you are talking in a group, it is natural to answer to the person who asked you the question, but you will shift your attention between different members in the group. Video example: Anna Kendrick on Ellen Notice how Anna and Ellen engage the audience.
The interviewer is on camera ACROSS from you.
More than likely you’ll be looking only at the interviewer. The cameras are focused on each individual and will be edited together like a natural conversation. Video example: Taylor Swift Barbra Walters Interview. Go to timecode 1:23
The interviewer is OFF camera.
Depending upon the creative direction for the shoot, the interviewer might have you look at the camera or look at them. Ask what you should do. Typically the interviewer will sit right next to the camera so it looks as though you are speaking to the camera. Video example: Citadel Worship and Community Center Jesse :07 is looking off camera at the interviewer | Major Kirk : 41 has the interviewer sitting right next to the camera.