My home office was at one time my son’s room. He has moved out, but his mark remains on the room, mostly in the form of a lot of small holes in the wall from thumbtacks that he used to hang up posters and such. Ideally I will redo the walls at some point, but for now I just needed a nice neutral backdrop. My solution was cheap and easy! I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and found two matching queen size flat bed sheets on clearance in a neutral color. I also bought a cheap curtain rod, the kind that attaches to the wall with a small included bracket. One the sheets, I simply cut a slit at the top of each where they had the fold-over (you know – the decorative fold over that goes by your head if you put it on the bed), on each end and threaded them onto the curtain rod and attached it to the wall behind me. Instant backdrop and it was less than $20 for all of it.
- The @ Sign
Everyone always asks about this. Hubby got this for me at Christmas last year from Michael’s Craft Store. They had # symbols too I think. Hubby just added a hook to the wall behind the curtain backdrop and hung it up. It runs on batteries so there is no cord to worry about plugging in.
I am very lucky to work with Marty and Misty of PodjamTV for some of the work that I do and Marty suggested I upgrade some of my audio and video devices. He suggested the Sony MDR7502 Professional Studio Headphones. You can find them on Amazon for about $50. They are comfortable to wear, even for long periods, and sound great.
Another suggestion from Marty, and one that seems to make a huge difference according to the people listening to me, is the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone. It is simple to plug in and start using! I found this on Amazon also for about $50. I did buy a desktop microphone stand to go with this to make it even easier, a ChromaCast CC-GDMIC Stand, also on Amazon for about $10.
- Selfie Stick
I find I use this for Periscope, a lot! It is much easier to hold this stick with your phone in the end of it to broadcast video than to try and hold your phone right in your hand. You can use it as a regular selfie stick for photographs as well – it connects via Bluetooth to your device so you just push a button on the handle to take a picture. Raising your phone up to above you a bit is always a more flattering look by the way. I bought my iPlanet Bluetooth Selfie Stick from Verizon for $30
- Mini Tripod
Sometimes I need a small tripod for what I do. I bought a Bower 10″ Mini Tripod from Best Buy for $10. While this is made for a camera that has a screw on plate, I unscrew the holder from my selfie stick and screw it onto this and it works great with my smartphone!
- Webcam (not pictured)
While my desktop computer does have a webcam built into it, the quality was not great. Marty suggested the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 for an upgrade. The picture is much better than what I had and it just sits at the top of my monitor. I bought this from Amazon for about $65.
That’s everything in the photo that I could think of to include plus the webcam. All of these tools will improve your video and live streaming.