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MP In The Morning Sun

Virtual Backgrounds

How a virtual background gives me peace of mind

When the pandemic struck I never thought that I would have to turn my home into a studio. I thought that I would be able to perform remote simultaneous interpreting under the cover of a black screen with my name in white font. I was happy with that. However, some assignments became a bit more complicated and the time came when I had to show my face and my surroundings on screen. That to me was a home invasion. It raised two problems: how could I protect my privacy and how could I ensure that people were not distracted by my background in the same way that I was being distracted by other people’s real backgrounds? A virtual background was the answer. I played around with Zoom to see what I could do to improve things. The virtual background setting was and is a godsend because you can load up any location or interior and that’s it. Nobody looks at your bookshelves. Nobody is distracted and starts reading the titles of the books or folders behind you.

I have discovered Unsplash and take pride in finding some posh virtual backgrounds for certain clients and a variety of different backgrounds for others. Some customers really enjoy seeing a new background every time they talk to me. Sometimes I use the photo album of my trip to Peru in January 2020 and talk to my clients about the place they can see. Other times I choose a photo of something that I have been reading about. I use that to break the boredom of conference calls on Zoom. I confess that I don’t know if Skype, FaceTime or WhatsApp have a virtual background setting. Professional conference calls are almost always on Zoom.

Some photos are fabulous but they are spoilt by my fat head being in front of them. So here’s one below which is a full of tranquility and no fat heads.

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