How Carla Bruni-Sarkozy Has Perfected Zoom Lighting

Sep 15, 2020 · 138 comments
Sandra Lee (New York City)
Wait! Where was the advice about the lighting??
Durga (New York)
Nice bit of escapism. I worked with Carla Bruni back in the 90s. She’s a delightful person. I’m sorry to see the negativity in the comments. And ashtanga yoga is bad for you I would not recommend it @hilary Thank you Carla for reminding us of the nourishment of life, living as well as we can with what we have taking care of our children eating well exercising and singing. 
Hilary (Dallas, TX)
You should do Ashtanga yoga instead of sports - it's vigorous, challenging, and you get the soul part that you like.
G. Samuel (Scottsdale, AZ)
Have I missed something? The headline has nothing to do with the story. Was it edited out? I have no interest in Carla Bruni except to learn her lighting tricks.
John Shelton (Ahwahnee CA)
Several years ago, my wife and I traveled through Europe, including France. I asked a friend if she wanted us to bring her anything, and she said “French aspirin, it really works!” I laughed, but as a gag gift popped into a pharmacy to get her some. Turns out their aspirin is 500mg, whereas ours is 375mg. Of course it works! Now when I have a really bad headache I take three, and call it “French”. Maybe I’ll have to try their moisturizers, too.
Marie (New York)
@John Shelton I remember my dad having bad headaches when I was a kid and he would take the aspirin 1000mg. So yeah French dose is pretty accurate ;)
John Grillo (Edgewater, MD)
Yes, I myself have never been to a more stressful, anxiety-producing region than Southern France. Nice was absolutely hellish, only exceeded by the third world grinding poverty of St. Tropez, although Cannes was gruesomely depressing also. So sad!
Michael Jennings (Iowa City)
Fresh air, exercise & surgery - Scandinavian blues fix.
Jeff B (Los Gatos CA)
She and her husband, the diminutive platform-shoe-wearing former President Sarkozy, both somehow manage to stay in the spotlight in France despite neither have much substance or relevance in today’s world.
Berkeley Bee (Olympia, WA)
How to do it? An hour of cardio helps. Good genes are even better and the best place to start. She's got the genes and the time and $ to do the cardio and all the rest that makes up her life and preserves her looks. Next life, I'm coming back as a Carla.
S North (Europe)
Why is the headline about lighting on zoom - which may be of interest to some of us - rather than 'ex-model's and ex-first lady's skin routine?' Total clickbait, and I'm sorry I took it.
sheva fruitman (NYC)
having had the opportunity to photograph carla for a magazine cover after she had spent a long hot day on another shoot it was wonderful to see how her elegance, beauty and professionalism came through under less than ideal circumstances. i can only imagine that any additional zoom lighting touches are unnecessary for some one with her inner and obvious outer beauty although grateful for any suggestions she has for the rest of us.
el (Nicosia - Philadelphia)
I have so many great memories constructed around listening to Carla Bruni’s music. Thanks NYT for this open-hearted offering. I’m glad to read something different, something about caring for human beauty. This time, I’m ignoring the other comments...
OneNerd (Here there everywhere)
Geez people , what is up with all of the negative comments? Yes the world is going down the tubes right now, I'm pretty sure that we are all aware of that. Does every single thing that we read have to dwell on that fact? This article is in the Styles section for cryin' out loud! If you don't want a bit of escapism, walk on by. As for me, I thoroughly enjoyed the 5 minute respite from all that is going on. Now , back to wiping the fire soot off of everything that I own..
flipturn (Cincinnati)
I enjoyed the article, the comments and the song. Mme. Bruni-Sarkozy’s voice and mannerisms remind me of Françoise Hardy, a French singer who was popular in the mid-‘60s. I happened to catch her performance on Ed Sullivan’s show when I was 12, and I wanted to look like her! As for the perfume and make-up that the former model uses, I am reminded of an article in Le Figaro from the ‘90s, when I lived in Paris. It stated that based on a national survey, the average French woman used 32 beauty products a day. I struggle to come up with more than 6-8 items that might be on my list, including toothpaste and floss!
Davis, CA (Davis, CA)
@flipturn Yes, when I was 11yo our French teacher used to play her song, Jamais Reve. Thanks for the memory!
flipturn (Cincinnati)
@Davis, CA: I love your comment! It made my day.
KTS (San Francisco)
I’m interviewing for jobs right now and have not had to rely on Zoom before to know how to look my best for in interview. This was helpful stuff for a contemporary, age wise. I’m having enough trouble with the ageism and can use all the help I can get. She also sounds like a perfectly nice woman, who happens to be extremely fortunate. Why all the sour grapes here?
Morgan (Philadelphia)
There are a lot of tips in internet on how to look good on zoom. I haven’t read the comments, but the article is a little bit funny. Her concept of *not dieting* is eating a little piece of bread. C’mon.
Morgan (Philadelphia)
I wasn’t bitter, I just found funny the part where she says she does sport for not having to diet, while she is probably dieting, too, at least in the common sense, not the *models*world where “starving to death” = dieting and “eating just enough to survive”= not dieting.
Angy (Florida)
I am not a fan of Carla Bruni, but she is right about the diet, i.e. the "don't deprive yourself of food and do a lot of cardio" diet. It works for me too. As for the creams, just replace all of them by Nivea or Cetaphil, even cheaper for same results!
Morgan (Philadelphia)
Sure. Don’t diet: eat a little piece of bread.
marie (bronx, new york)
I will never be able to comprehend this madness. Why do most Americans continue to obsess about likeness? Many of us are nothing like her. However, we should be able to appreciate the article for what it article in the STYLE section. I am going to purchase the creams she suggested. My hands are yearning for extra moisture with all of this extra hand washing. Geez, some of you behave as if they posted this in the international section. I, for one, appreciate this article for what and where it is.
Mary C. (Maryland)
I wonder if tips on lighting and skin care would be dismissed so readily if they came from someone else? For my teaching by Zoom, I face a window to get natural light on my face. I do try to have my face in the middle of the Zoom window, which means raising the laptop.
landor (Paris)
There is a french song going like that: Pauvre chérie, comme elle a des soucis!
Melinda Russell (Alderson, WV)
Not long ago, readers likely would have swooned over this piece. But in our mid-Trump and mid-pandemic state of misery, this woman and her concerns seem shallow and irrelevant.
Anna (Washington, DC)
@Melinda Russell Along with: mid-fires and mid-hurricanes...
Tiny Terror (West of Philadelphia)
Quelle dommage! Just what we need during a pandemic: another story about a self-absorbed celebrity. This time it’s a French celeb. Sigh
John Wryst (Athens, Ohio)
As I struggle with bad internet trying to teach in Appalachia using Google Meets, I will be sure to place “lighting” on my list of things to do.
Kathryn (New York City)
In a past job a multiple Academy Award winning actress came to give a private talk to young actors. Just before she was to begin she handed me from her purse two pink gels, instructed me to have them put into the stage lights and asked to have the furniture rearranged slightly on stage to promote her "best angle". Although at this stage of her life she was an overweight senior citizen, eschewing make up and the latest fashion trends, this talented national treasure gave a dynamite talk, looked stunning and absolutely glowed!
Diogenes (San Diego, CA)
@Kathryn Who?
Sally D (Toronto)
You're kidding me, right? The former super-model, former First Lady of France has found a way to be free? Thank goodness! I can sleep now. I, too, appreciate the plug for Dior Amber Nuit. I love fragrances and will check it out. But as for the rest? S'il vous plait!
lion2019 (Illinois)
I appreciate the tip on perfume - Amber Nuit. I hope th scent is as lovely as Carla made it sound.
Lew (Canada)
I’m sure that many working class people around the world can empathize with Ms Sarkozy...oh we can’t. It’s nice to be rich and be able to hole-up in the south of France for the pandemic. If all she has to worry about is which cream or lotion to apply to her face and hands, well, let’s just say, good for her. Me, I’m still navigating the waiting line to get in the supermarket. I’m still worrying about not getting too close to the many people in my city who need to go about the day to earn money and live. Just saying.
Claudia B (New York)
I enjoyed reading this. A little levity is nice. She sounds like a parody of a French woman.
FoodandWhining (Providence, RI)
"...the former first lady of France, says that lighting is more important than makeup." - Article only mentions makeup and NOTHING about lighting. Here's a summary I wrote for budding entrepreneurs.
Great Scott! (Minneapolis)
Thanks. This is a rediculously helpful article. I had my first Zoom meeting and yikes (!) it wasn't pretty ;-)
Fern 3 (03862)
There's a wonderful cream. It's from France. It's called "ZOOM," and it makes you glow so brightly that you don't need any lights ever. It also has sunscreen, and it smells so good you want to wear it even at night. The only problem: If you fast every week for 22 hours you may try to eat your face in the morning.
Susie (The Northeast)
Good for Carla! It may seem churlish, but of all the things to worry about in the time of a pandemic, Zoom lighting would not be first on my list. In fact, it might not make on the list at all. Perhaps I need to lighten up, so to speak.
Easy Goer (Louisiana)
I believe she must be on the right track. After finding a really good story to tell, Kubrick spent more time on lighting than any other facet of film direction. Of course, massive research was done before film began rolling...
Daisy (North Carolina)
Kubrick... Thank you!
Juliet A. (Alexandria, VA)
Kinda stressing me out especially at the end there!
John (Minnesota)
We need to see a photo of Ms. Bruni-Sarkozy as she looks on Zoom, a diagram that shows the position of the lights, a description of the lights, and a photo from the side that shows the setup. The story doesn't reflect what the headline and sub-head suggest.
Sandra (Northampton, MA)
I wonder how my boss would feel about that candle for our zoom meetings. Are they a business expense?
Paul Sheridan (Earth....)
@Sandra They are an unnecessary fire hazard: pets, forgetfulness, etc. Advice: don't!
Ruth (RI)
@Paul Sheridan After I married my husband and his three cats - no candles in the house.
Great Scott! (Minneapolis)
And flickering. Better to use an led "candle" that does not flicker. And not directly beneath your face either--you'll look ghoulish!
PDA (Santa Monica, CA)
I’m still looking for the lighting tips.
Beverly (Naples, Florida)
@PDA "How to Look Good on Camera, According to Tom Ford - A master class in lighting for your next video conference". This article from the New York Times on April 7, 2020 offers some much more specific advice on how to look good on Zoom.
Rebecca (USA)
@PDA The tip was to raise your laptop. I use a taped up amazon box. I read this somewhere else, and it makes a huge difference. Ms. Bruni also mentioned backlighting. Anything but fluorescent helps.
JenA (Midwest)
Great read! I agreed with a lot of what Carla Bruni had to say and like her approach to life! And she's right - don't film yourself on Zoom from below - it's horrid.
Buzzy (ct)
Honest, I tried to read the article but my eyes were repeatedly drawn back to the pic. What’s happening? Is someone trying to enter her door? A salesperson? Her grip on the the door seems in contrast to her sleepy visage and tousled hair. Also, did she throw on someone else’s jeans? They look way too long. Maybe that’s a new style? I’m lost so I’ll stick with the call-in number on the Zoom invites.
MikaB (DC)
And I will be following her Zoom advice.
MikaB (DC)
I’ve always thought Carla Bruni was fly. So what she’s talking about what skin care products she uses. Why does every article today have to be so serious and heavy? I stopped reading coronavirus news daily because of this. She wasn’t minimizing or trivializing the experiences of people who are living much harder, far more difficult lives than her. She was simply discussing HER experience during this time. Lighten up... And she’s still fly.
HM (Chicago)
The comments on this article are hilarious! Far more enjoyable than the actual article. You guys gave me some good laughs today. Thank you!
BayArea101 (Midwest)
This is an excellent piece. I'm encouraged enough to begin thinking about buying a screen that comes with a camera.
Robert (Out west)
Lovely in every way, and the notion that lighting or makeup is what is important is at least half of how we got into this mess. GO AWAY.
Taher (Croton On Hudson)
I have also mastered the art of zoom. Place a half-dozen books on the table and put your laptop on top of it. Put a lamp on the floor behind you so the light goes upward. I have no advice on facial creams because I dont want to advertise my favorite brands, but they too are French! Also don't smoke, swim every day and marry rich, if you can manage it. Otherwise, move to France. They have universal healthcare.
truelife (NY)
One thing about the Zoom lighting-when people are not well lit (like me-we don’t have adequate lighting at home), it’s hard to look at. One has to strain to make out the person’s expressions and subtle gestures. With all the zooming we have to endure right now, a few lighting tips sound good to me. A candle is affordable. I’ve never heard her music because I erroneously assumed she was just a model. I just checked it out-it sounds very relaxing.
Jon B (New York, New York)
@truelife She has a wonderful, beautiful voice! She really is more than a pretty face. You should definitely check out her music. I was surprised the first time I heard one of her songs, I had no idea she could actually sing (and I didn't know who the singer was, so I had to find out via Shazam!). As to the candle, I would think the lighting might be too flickering and not strong enough to really help. Perhaps small LEDs that could be placed behind the camera.
Susana (SoCal)
I use the same CC cream as Carla. I agree, it’s very good. Yes perhaps the article is superficial in light of so many catastrophes. But at least some of her ideas and suggestions are welcome distractions that help us get through these long, anxious and exhausting days.
Zencat (Falls Church, VA)
Wow, lots of product ads. Too bad that all the ones I checked out test on animals. There's no need for that anymore. Would be nice to see cosmetics manufacturers step up and challenge China on their animal testing requirements, or just stop selling there.
Mary (Tivoli, NY)
@Zencat Yes I stopped using Avene for that reason. There truly are many smart and nourishing products now that don't hurt animals. Just google "Best cruelty-free skincare..."
Rebecca (USA)
@Zencat No fair the animals get to use that stuff free. I just ordered the cream, and it was expensive. The hair products looked yummy but way out of my expense budget since I'm not married to the President of France.
laprof (Chicago)
I recently tried the La Roche-Posay Lipikar cream and it has worked wonders for the eczema on my hands. The Eczema Foundation recommends it too. I try to visit France every few years, and if I have eczema upon arrival, it's gone by the time I leave. I'm sure there's something in the French water that is responsible for this.
giris (Massachusetts)
my dry hands always get better in europe, too, but I think it's because they don't use forced air heating.
Suzanne (San Diego, CA)
@Iaprof- It’s called relaxation. The French have mastered the art of incorporating it into their everyday vibe. We here in the US don’t have a clue .....
Dora (London)
@laprof french food - healthy solution . They eat everything fresh.
Southern Hope (Chicago)
A question about BB creams (that is mentioned in this article)....this woman is spectacular looking so everything is going to work on her but, in general, can women over 50 wear it or is it more aging ? (it's refreshing to be able to ask realistic Times readers questions than this rather than beauty article readers!)
Ayesha (Chicago)
You can absolutely wear it, it’s much more brightening and forgiving then layers of foundation that will just sit on skin. BB creams are multi functional, light, breathable and full of skin benefits.
Milo (California)
@Southern Hope it works well. I don't think it is any worse than foundation
Mary (Seattle)
I’ve always liked her music. I enjoyed this article.
RalphJP (Florida)
This reminds me of a yard sign I see at a house in my town. I pass by it on my bike ride. It's a huge, well kept house out on a back road in a university town. There's an expansive front lawn, an elaborate jungle gym swing set in the back yard and a swimming pool. Three late model cars out front, along with a boat. I don't know boats, so won't venture a guess as to the size or type, but it looks nice. The sign says "We can do hard things." Hard things like... not having big summer cookouts? And boat rides at a local lake instead of a trip to Europe? I realize the homeowners may be having hardships that aren't visible from the street. But I doubt anyone there is a cashier at the local grocery store or working 3rd shift as a janitor sanitizing the local hospital, or hoping they can scrape by on unemployment without starving the family dog. Excuse me now, I have to head off to the east wing where my masseuse awaits.
lion2019 (Illinois)
@RalphJP So now we're shaming people who are doing the right thing because they're also financially successful? I pretty much fit the description of the home you cited - except we don't have a pool - I also employ over 400 people and I kept all of them on the payroll through the worst of the pandemic.
Elizabeth (Syracuse, NY)
@lion2019 I dont think RalphJP was "shaming people who are...financially successful." He was shaming obnoxious people who own big houses with big yards, lots of cars, and boats while professing to the world that "we can do hard things." People with that many luxuries don't give the impression of doing hard things.
Missouri Mike (Columbia, MO)
Terrific piece! Advice from someone who won the beauty gene pool, plus nice voice and musical talent, heiress to much of the Perelli fortune, wife of a head of state. Yep, that relates to me! Well done, tone deaf editors!!!
@Missouri Mike i don't think the article was meant to make her relatable. If she has a different life than you or I, so what? I became a fan after seeing her in a lovely, dreamy concert a few years ago. Sarkozy was in the audience and she was so flustered singing in front of him that she had to stop and restart the song again.
KTS (San Francisco)
@MissouriMike What makes you think that everything important or interesting must relate to you? Let me guess, Trump much?
Sarah (Berkeley)
Still waiting for some articles about men perfecting their zoom lighting and skin care routines.
Left Coast (California)
@Sarah Gavin Newsom may have some tips. Dude looks dapper even in a mask with wildfires closeby.
MALINA (Paris)
There was one, months ago, buy Tom Ford. Since then I do keep three big dictionaries near my desk to elevate my laptop. It’s good for your mood to not look your worst.
Chris38 (Kansas)
Tom Ford actually did... a few months ago.
Joe (Washington DC)
I love reading how rich people manage through the pandemic life. Let's have more stories like this one!
Bamanyc (California)
A supermodel experiences stress in the south of France! Didn’t Camus write a novel about this?
Ella G (NYC)
Her self care sounds like down to earth to me. Nothing special, regular creams you can buy in a drugstore. She is right about zoom. I’m sure many of us had that ‘really?’ moment when you see yourself in that small window. I am her age, I never diet but I should do some cardio and weight training. I just can’t bring myself to doing’s so boring!
Joyce Tarantino (Rome, Italy)
@Ella G, Weight training becomes a lot less boring when you see the results. Go for it!
Fiona (NYC)
These comments!Welcome to the internet, where you will be chastised for not mentioning the ills of the world in your every sentence, especially so if you dare feature a Franco-Italian supermodel talking about skincare. As someone who has her very first Zoom interview coming up and has always admired Bruni’s grace, I found her tips insightful! I will raise the camera. I’m also a huge fan of Lipitor as well, so maybe I’d like Erborian. There? That wasn’t so bad, was it? It’s vital to be actively concerned, but don’t be so stiff that you can’t let a little frivolity in.
Kate (Phoenix)
Fiona, make sure to read Tom Ford’s tips for video calls on NYC. Fabulous! I look amazing on calls thanks to his advice — and that’s not normally something I’d say about myself. He also says to put camera higher.
Fiona (NYC)
@Kate thank you so much for this delightful tip! Will be a treat.
Kindnest (Newark—from Brooklyn)
Yeah, but the candle!
Janice (Eugene, Oregon)
I actually got a huge chuckle out of this article. Surely Carla was putting on the reporter with her description of the incredibly elaborate array of "product." I will, "fer sure" have a candle in front of me for my next Zoom meeting.
John Buckholz (Brooklyn)
What a terrific and insightful article. No idea that a $56 shampoo could make SUCH a difference. Carla looks TERRIF.
Jon B (New York, New York)
@John Buckholz ...Not sure if serious...
SM (New York)
I know I didn't have to read this article, but I don't really care about Carla Bruni. "Working through stress?" She was in the south of France living like a upper-class princess. Give me a break! Millions haven't paid rent in months, eat a complete meal, are mourning relatives, are afraid for the future...This article got on my nerves!
Ellen (Hayward)
Why do fashionable French women dress like Northern Californian ranchers? All she needs is a hat and well worn riding gloves. And, these days, an N95 mask.
Rae (New Jersey)
@Ellen IDK about northern Californian ranchers but Carla's look is classic denim ready to rock and roll, quite fashionable.
Lefthalfbach (Philadelphia)
52? Sacre Bleu!
Kate (Portland)
@Lefthalfbach I have found that anyone can look good in their 50s. But, ah the 60s come around and there is no more fooling anyone. In your 60s you must be proud and listen to Popeye's adage, "I yam what I yam."
Monte (St. Louis)
Zoom lighting?
David Vos (Boston)
What? Paris Hilton wasn't available?
Ronald S. Clark (jake) (Newark, Ohio)
Paris was yesterday. Today we shifted to the South of France. Let’s keep up ;-)
shar (WNY)
@David Vos David, Paris WAS available, sadly, and appeared over the weekend during my morning scroll. No lie.
Dorothy (NYC)
Oh, to have been "stuck" in the south of France!
Mon Ray (KS)
The headline of this article claims that the women in question has “perfected Zoom lighting,” but she writes merely 2 very elementary sentences about lighting that hardly shed much light (ahem) on the subject. Must be a low news day.
Eve (Honolulu)
1) Lighting is more important than makeup 2) “Light” cosmetic surgery is more important than lighting Carla Bruni is indeed a beautiful and talented person, but this piece doesn’t do her or your readers service.
Reader (America)
Big news.
KennethWmM (Paris)
Everyone in France knows that indulgence in botox has left its marks on Bruni. Her virtue-signalling and truth-stretching in a time of world crisis is quite appalling. As is the publication of this puff piece of ânerie.
Naked In A Barrel (Miami Beach)
This is a prank, right? She cares about her makeup and hair? And her jeans. And her vogues. And now she’s a chanteuse? She’s the Melania of France
DS (Montreal)
@Naked In A Barrel Have you heard her songs? She is very good. As Bob Dylan said "don't criticize what you can't understand".
aln (ny)
@Naked In A Barrel Actually, Melania is the Carla of the USA
Jon B (New York, New York)
@aln That would only be the case if Carla had been a prostitute rather than an actual fashion model, and had no talent at all—which is not the case. So far as I can tell, Melania's only 'talent' is shopping.
Mark (Palm Springs, CA)
When did it become ok to wear pant that are 8" too long? doesn't matter how well she takes care of herself, she looks raggedy. Get a stylist or get a new stylist, what ever the case.
Rae (New Jersey)
@Mark Hemlines that are too long are long-established in fashion photography.
Lillie NYC (New York, NY)
This article is ridiculous.
Lee (Calgary,AB)
I am older and male but I use the Lipicar morning and night. Balanced portions and moderate exercise. More time spent on the yoga for me. Now some great tips from a professional used to being in front of the camera. This was a good article and I will be looking into her other care products.
The (Land of Oz)
What a luxurious and insulated life she lives. A very lucky woman. I appreciate her honesty about exercise and diet.
Paul Shindler (NH)
She is right about lighting. It can make a huge difference with video, and it's easy to play around with. What a life she is having - wow - what a great woman.
Marci (Oaktown)
This is a time of terrible suffering for so many, both in the US and the entire world. There is always suffering in the world, also pleasure and joy. Wise people take the pleasure and joy when and where they find it, whether it's family, nature, art. Or perhaps simply one's own personal beauty, not my thing, but there's no need to shame a decent person for vanity. Depriving oneself of vacations or cosmetics because others are suffering, or because jealous tongues will wag, doesn't go as far as donations to a food bank. We don't need to suffer in sympathy. It's hard right now for almost everybody. Let's find contentment wherever we can.
e pluribus unum (front and center)
@Marci -- yours is a wise post. My response does not oppose yours. Balance. Yes she is living the life of luxury she is accustomed to albeit without the bells and whistles..I especially like the projection into the future conceits she says she indulges in..HOWEVER recognizing that there are others starving, truly suffering, what do you want her to do, abandon her family? give her entire wealth away? live on the street? She is an established artist, a talented guitar player and vocalist, who both writes her own music and covers others', like any artist, judge her by her work, not the accoutrements of her life, perhaps the inward focus she was forced to confront will reveal itself in music that touches another's soul and brings life and hope to others.
Jeff (Seattle, WA)
"But for the most part I like sports that you can feel and where you can sweat. For me — I’m 52 now — I either have to do sports, or I have to diet. I don’t want to diet. I want to eat a little piece of bread or drink a beer. This is why I do sports." I really like this quote. It says a lot about who Carla Bruni is. I really enjoyed reading this profile.
RJ's (Kid)
@Jeff Yes exercise is great. It will help to mitigate a slightly less than perfect diet. But for most of the over 50 crowd, it's good to accept reality and remember: "you can't out-walk the fork".
Joyce Tarantino (Rome, Italy)
@RJ's, but once you are over 50, you can learn when to put the fork down :)
Laura Yang (CA)
Love her music! Hooked by "You belong to me". Her voice and casual attitude have enticing feeling~
Daisy22 (San Francisco)
Does she have any special arrangement with all the products and brands she talks about?
Matt Cook (Southeastern)
Carla Bruni-Szarkozy describes a good way to be well, feel well, and look well on camera... especially on Zoom. Photography is not so much about the subject herself as it is about the lighting that illuminates the subject. Also, the camera in a computer or smartphone has a wide-angle view. If you can keep the camera a greater distance away from the subject, and zoom the lens to fill up the screen as appropriate, you’ll look so much better. If you’re Zooming on a smartphone, a tripod with a smartphone adapter can place the camera lens at a distance and height that takes advantage of your best features or best angle. There’s nothing vain or shallow about looking your best when presenting yourself to others. In fact, if you groom, dress, light, and present yourself appropriately for the situation, viewers will respond in accordance with how they understand your presence. Optics are the instantaneous greeting that starts any conversation, so be seen at first sight the way you’d like to be seen.
Cindy (NYC)
@Matt Cook Thank you! I appreciate your practical advice on putting one's best foot forward on Zoom. I was disappointed that the interviewer didn't elaborate more on this point. Also, why are there so many jealous haters making snide comments about Carla Bruni-Szarkozy? Oh wait, she's a smart, talented, and humble woman...of course there are haters.
S North (Europe)
@Matt Cook I would go further: looking our best on screen is also a gift to those who must watch us over the course of a conversation. A little effort is appreciated.
@S North so no more pjs? I’ll consider it.
Sushirrito (San Francisco, CA)
I generally agree with those who have commented that the details of Zoom lighting are not high-priority now. On the other hand, I have noticed that a few tweaks do result in better visuals during meetings/teaching, and I'm glad I did move my camera higher and attempt to work from a spot with better lighting.
Kristine (Arizona)
Thank you for this article on my favorite singer! She not only sings perfectly, she takes perfect care of herself! Wonderful distraction in this unusual time.
Lori (New Jersey)
The last lines are the best lines: "I’m 52 now — I either have to do sports, or I have to diet. I don’t want to diet. I want to eat a little piece of bread or drink a beer. This is why I do sports." I'm with you, Carla!
Anne (Phoenix)
I realize we all need some non-reality distraction at the moment, but this article about skin care and ZOOM lighting seems indulgent and utterly superficial, given the true suffering so many are enduring throughout the world.
Sheila (NYC)
@Anne You are reading the Style section. Do you really expect to read about solutions to world peace here?
Lisa (NYC)
@Anne Pandemic or no pandemic, isn't the NYT's Style section almost always superficial? Some of the articles are downright laughable but their solid investigative reporting is anything but.
Hello (NYC)
@Anne I'm reading this in the Style section, under "Skin Deep". The title is "How Carla Bruni-Sarkozy Has Perfected Zoom Lighting" Is it cross-posted under another part of the newspaper where more serious topics are discussed? Was the title rewritten? If so, I understand your outrage. It is an indulgent, superficial topic. If not, you've chosen to read a style topic under a superficial heading, about a model and lighting her skin... there are hundreds of serious articles in this newspaper. There are always people suffering and this nation has been at war for over 10 years. The style section can still, in good taste, cover skin cream without waiting for the pandemic to end.
trudds (sierra madre, CA)
I'm sorry, I realize this is important to many people at the moment. Still, as a teacher doing all virtual classes I truly hope my students judge me for how hard I'm working for them and not my lighting, or if I gain a few pounds since the fires have driven me indoors.... or for any of the other myriad of flaws human beings are subject to on the outside. Be safe and happy all.
panam (Middletown, Pennsylvania)
@trudds As the mother of a teacher who also has two young boys at home, I want to say to you, thanks for your work. That you have to work amidst the environmental devastation of California fires seems just too much to bear, but you press on. May you continue to find energy and inspiration to teach your students!
Mimi (NYC)
@trudds I also want to say, I see you and I thank you for your crucial work from the bottom of my heart.