Video conference software wasn’t always at the top of many people’s minds but now, many of us spend hours each day on Zoom and similar apps – taking meetings, sharing meals, talking with our book clubs. Here’s how to transport those video calls to faraway places and virtually travel with others without leaving your home office.
Photo: Alexander Smagin (Unsplash)
A Street Scene in Japan (Alexander Smagin) —Don’t be afraid of a visually busy backdrop – sometimes it’s just the thing if you need to grab everyone’s attention in a crowded grid of faces.
Photo: Aussie Active (Unsplash)
The Taj Mahal (Aussie Active) —Certain calls demand a backdrop that’s iconic and a little fancy, in which case you can’t go wrong with this lovely shot of the Taj Mahal. Be sure to duck out of centre frame once in a while to show the full glory of its architecture.
Photo: Bantersnaps (Unsplash)
New York City (Bantersnaps) —“You talking to me? You talking to me? Oh, sorry I was on mute.” If you’d like to add some NYC grit to your next call, this is your background.
Photo: Chi Liu (Unsplash)
Canadian Rockies (Chi Liu) —If you’re feeling a little blue but you also want to get back to nature and show off your Canadian pride, this is the scene that should appear behind you. For added authority, put on some very soft choral music in the background and speak in a basso profundo voice.
Photo: Darren Lawrence (Unsplash)
Hawaii (Darren Lawrence) —Perfect for fans of Lost and Jurassic Park, this backdrop will keep your audience on the edge of their seats waiting to see if a velociraptor or one of the Others is sneaking up behind you.
Photo: Marek Piwnicki (Unsplash)
A Bamboo Forest in Japan (Marek Piwnicki) —Nothing projects calm and concentration like seating oneself at the centre of a massive bamboo forest. When the meeting ends, slowly turn and walk away from the camera and into the distance for maximum effect.
Photo: Finan Akbar (Unsplash)
Cherry Blossoms in Japan (Finan Akbar) —This year most people won’t get the chance to experience the glorious emergence of the cherry blossoms – unless they’re on a Zoom call with you.
Photo: Isaiah Bekkers (Unsplash)
Paris (Isaiah Bekkers) —An open window with clouds and beautiful rooftops stretching off into the distance. Move your head to the side and... the Eiffel Tower! A business meeting becomes so much more poetic when it’s conducted from your little pied–a–terre in Montmartre.
Photo: Redcharlie (Unsplash)
South Africa (Redcharlie) —Your next conference call may not be the right time to discuss the elephant in the room – but it’s always a good idea to point out the procession of elephants behind you in this lovely shot of a South African safari tour.
Photo: Philippe Wuyts (Unsplash)
Australia (Philippe Wuyts) —The great outdoors: remember them? It turns out you can go on a virtual excursion into the Australian wilderness, complete with stunning hills lit by the late–day sun. To make sure you match the background, try pointing a desk lamp directly at your face.