How to Film Yourself on a Mac: A Step-By-Step Guide

Did you know that you can create videos of yourself even if you only have a Mac?

If you’re a teacher that needs to record video for upcoming courses, a hobbyist vlogger, or you’re applying for a new job, there’s no need to purchase expensive video equipment. The best part is, filming yourself on a Mac is easy to do and requires little to no knowledge of video editing software. 

With this in mind, read this simple and straightforward guide on how to film yourself on a Mac! 

Open Photo Booth

Photo Booth is a free application on Mac that should be loaded onto your computer automatically. This is the most straightforward way to start recording yourself on the Mac without needing to pay for or download additional software.  

If you can’t find Photo Booth in your Application folder, click on the magnifying glass found on the upper-right. You can then search for the app from there.

Once you open Photo Booth, you’ll want to click on the camera in the settings above and choose the camera you want to use. This option is meant for people who have multiple cameras, but if you’re just using the default camera that comes with your Mac, it will already be selected.

If your camera isn’t working, check this article to learn how you can fix it.

Choose Effects

The best part about Photo Booth is that you don’t have to worry about adjusting settings–it’s a simple and straightforward application that requires minimal input. However, you have the option of choosing different effects for your video.

All you need to is click on the Effects button near the bottom and several different effects choices will show up in a grid format. Simply click on the one you want!

For professional applications, we always recommend you keep the video on “normal.” Extra effects can be distracting and take away from the content of the video.


Now that Photo Booth is set up, we recommend you adjust your surrounding area before you click on “record.” Take a look at your background–you’ll want to avoid any distracting elements or mergers.

The best kinds of backgrounds will have neutral colors or patterns. Natural light, plants, or bookshelves can also make great backgrounds. If you’re not able to move your computer, try and clean up the area behind you if you find it looks disorderly in the video.

You also invest in background materials and backdrops if you find it difficult to find a good spot in your home or office for the video. 


Once you’ve decided on the setting for your video, lighting will make a big difference in its quality.

The easiest method for achieving good lighting is to light your face from a diffused, natural source–think light shining through the light curtain of a window. If you don’t have this natural light, you’ll want to mimic it. 

You can do this by placing a lamp fitted with a daylight LED bulb next to the computer. Make sure it’s diffused with a white lampshade. 

Good lighting can help you with a number of things that will help people take your video more seriously: 

Rendering Realistic Colors

Using lamps with different color balances will make your video warmer or cooler looking than in real life. You want colors to look accurate in your video for a more professional look. 

Minimizing Distractions

Videos without proper lighting are distracting. Harsh shadows can distort your facial features and make it hard to even see you. You might have a bright light behind you that distracts from the subject matter. 


Almost everyone has some reservations with how they look on video and harsh, unflattering light can make you look even worse. These lighting tips will make you look your best and help you feel more confident while you’re recording. 


Now that you’re already with the best lighting and background, all you need to do is click on the red record button at the bottom of the window. Remember that you don’t need to get everything perfect during your first recording session. Record as many times as you desire until you’re happy with the finished product.

You can view your recently recorded video by clicking the stop button. Your video will show up as a small thumbnail at the bottom of the window.


If you’re happy with what you see, then your next step is right-clicking on the thumbnail and choosing the “export” option. This will open a small pop-up window that allows you to choose where you want to save the video. The video will save as a MOV file. 

Other Applications

If you’ve tried Photo Booth before and don’t like it, you still have a few other free options on the Mac to try. You can also record yourself with FaceTime or the QuickTime Player, and the process is just as easy.

We recommend you try out each of these methods to find the software that suits you best. However, the video you export will always be saved as a MOV file.

How to Film Yourself on a Mac the Easiest Way Possible

If you’ve been wondering how to film yourself on a Mac, we hope this method is straightforward and simple.

If you’re on a time crunch and want to get the video finished and recorded as quickly as possible, you can also type up a script for yourself in the Notes app and leave it open on your screen. 

This way, you’ll be able to read off the script while still maintaining good eye-contact with the webcam as you speak.

Want to learn more ways to make your digital life easier? Keep reading our blog for more tips and tricks!

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