Women who have experience working as webcam models are not just well-groomed beauties who know their own worth and who can deftly manipulate men. They also speak perfect in foreign languages and can hold their own against inveterate computer specialists with regard to technology and software settings. On the other hand, neophyte webcam models who are just starting out and working from home often spend lots of time doing research on the Internet. They study industry forums and various related resources in search of information about computer settings, cameras, Internet connection speeds, software components, and lighting.
We have come up with a way to make your life easier and reduce your research time by providing you with the information you need to get started.
The five pieces of essential equipment you need to launch your new webcam model career are:
1. Computer or laptop
The nature of working in video chats means large amounts of video processing, so any computer intended for webcam model work should be suitable for multimedia and compatible with HD-video. When you’re at the computer store, it should be enough to state that you need a computer for gaming or to work with video. But just in case, take a note with the recommended basic characteristics that are given below. A desktop computer usually costs less than a laptop with the same parameters, and it can be continually upgraded. Laptops on the other hand are quite difficult, expensive, and sometimes even impossible to modernize; but they are more mobile. Therefore, think about what is more important to you: saving money and potential for upgrading or convenience? A 19-inch LCD monitor should be sufficient. If you’ll need it to work simultaneously on several sites, then a 21-inch or larger model would be better. The keyboard and mouse should be easy to use, and a wireless option is an excellent solution. You will also need speakers. The microphone is usually built into the camera.
Desirable parameters for a computer or laptop for webcam model work:
- Core i7 Processor (for work on one site, there will be enough and 2 nuclear. For work on several sites, it will take 4 nuclear and more)
- At least 4 GB RAM
- SSD hard drive
- Minimum 32-bit graphics card
- 19-inch or larger monitor
- Wireless mouse/keyboard
If you have enough money and plan to work simultaneously on several sites, we recommend buying a powerful computer or laptop right away. Plan to spend about $1000 on a desktop computer. A laptop with the same parameters will cost about 20% more.
Make sure to regularly remove any dust from your computer, otherwise it will overheat and hang or break at the most inopportune moment. For laptops, it’s better to let a cleaning service do the work in order to avoid damage or lay-up.
2. Webcam or video camera
To achieve high earnings in the webcam business, you should purchase a professional video camera with an optical zoom and a remote control function. Once you’ve set up a tripod and a movable controlled stand for the camera, you will have created a fully-fledged film studio at home. Cameras with an optical zoom and a control panel along with a video capture device start at $500. However, most models don’t have that kind of money when first starting out, so the following models of web cameras can be an excellent alternative.
Logitech® HD Pro Webcam C920. Main advantages: Full HD video 1080p (1920 × 1080), autofocus, up to 30 shots per second, built-in microphone. In domestic online stores, this camera can be found for $100. If you order in the world’s largest hypermarkets like Amazon, AliExpress or online eBay, the cost will be significantly lower (from $60), although the delivery time will increase by several weeks.
Logitech C930e. Main advantages: Full HD video 1080p (1920 × 1080), auto focus, maximum 30 frames per second, field of view expansion up to 90 degrees, 4x zoom, built-in dual stereo microphones. The camera’s video processing feature and dynamic adjustment reduce the load on the computer so that the video stream is smoother. Prices on Amazon, AliExpress, and eBay start at $100.
Logitech BCC950 ConferenceCam. Main advantages: Full HD video 1080p (1920 × 1080), auto focus, 180-degree view, 55-degree tilt, zoom, remote control, built-in microphone that provides professional sound quality. This is the best offer in terms of price/quality/functionality. Excellent camera for webcam model work. Prices on Amazon, AliExpress, and eBay start from $200.
If these cameras are beyond your price range, you could start out with a regular webcam or built-in laptop, but we recommend upgrading as soon as you can afford it. Without the high-spec parameters we recommend, your earning potential will be much less; and your account can be suspended or blocked on top webcam sites for poor picture quality. Our recommendations for choosing a professional camera with a zoom and remote control can be found here.
3. Internet connection
An important condition for productive work is a quality and stable Internet connection. The best type of connection for webcam model work is of course fibre, or at least connection to a local network via cable (Ethernet 100 Mbit). As a rule, Wi-Fi and mobile Internet do not provide stable operation, so your connection may be lost, which will negatively reflect on your earnings. After all, nobody wants to look at a frozen picture or a completely stalled show.
To check if your Internet speed is sufficient to work as a webcam model, click on the following link, select one of the servers (Los Angeles, Miami, Luxembourg or Hong Kong), and at the end of the test, look at the value of the outgoing traffic (upload speed). The minimum threshold is 1024 Kbps, and the optimal variant is from 1.5-2 Mbit/s.
If the bandwidth is too low (below the declared tariff plan of the ISP), it’s worth checking whether various applications on the computer are running (torrents, messengers, tabs with video or audio in other browser windows). If the problem is your tariff plan, then you need to contact your Internet provider and change to a faster plan.
4. Programs for work
The effective operation of a computer depends primarily on its most important program — the operating system. Microsoft engineers recommend reinstalling the operating system every two years. But as long as you do not put extra programs on your computer, use original drivers and complex anti-virus protection, and delete temporary files, there should be nothing to worry about. The operating system should work without reinstallation or problems for many years.
In summary, the main programs for a webcam are the following:
- An operating system, the most suitable of which for working on webcam sites is Windows 7.
- The most secure and reliable Internet browsers are Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera.
- Almost all video chats use flash technology in their structure; so before you start, make sure that the latest version of Adobe Flash Player is installed on your computer.
- If you plan simultaneous work on several video chats, then you need a program that will allow you to distribute the video stream from one source (your camera) to two or more sites. SplitCam has proven to be the best among free ones. ManyCam is among the free options, and at $ 29.95, e2eSoft VCam is among the paid options.
- Adobe Photoshop is a good program for processing photographs, and Adobe Premiere is good for editing video.
For the perfect shot, you’ll need a suitable arrangement of light sources in addition to an attractive model and an interesting background. After reading tons of conflicting and complex lighting guides, it may seem that this is almost impossible to create at home. Usually this is done in professional studios using really expensive equipment. However, quality lighting can be arranged at a much lower cost.
For this you need:
- A set of fluorescent lamps PhotoSEL LS11E22 (or other with similar parameters). The set comes with two high-quality 26W luminescent fluorescent lights. This product is specially designed for photographers and video operators and allows you to transfer accurate colour to detail when taking photos (a useful thing for photo shoots). It also creates perfect lighting for streaming HD video from desktop webcams. Prices on Amazon and eBay run about $100. These lighting devices need to be placed on either side of the model.
- Ceiling light source located one and a half meters from the model (this can even be a normal lamp or chandelier).
- A small additional yellow fluorescent light installed behind the monitor. It helps to avoid glare and unnatural facial tones in the event that you are used to working near the monitor screen.
Don’t forget to experiment with the placement of the lamps to determine the best location for emphasizing the appearance of your face and figure.
If you don’t have enough money for the recommended set of lamps, you can use an ordinary table lamp and work in the daytime near a window. Moderate natural daylight will be diffused and gently transfer shadows. Avoid direct bright sunlight, as objects can be overexposed and shadows will be sharp and severe.
Natural light is best and, if necessary, can be supplemented by lamps recommended above. At night you should use several light sources at once.
Overall it really is easy and simple to organize a studio for a webcam model once you’ve bought everything you need. With the right equipment, you can use creativity, charm, and imagination to reach your goal!