Even though lapel mics have become compact in size, some may find it can be rather tricky to hide one from the camera. If you are a shooting an interview or a news channel, concealing the lav mic is not really a concern but for any other situation, hiding it from view is often preferred or required as in a video movie or natural shoot situation. You obviously want the best quality audio without any interference or the mic showing in the video. So if you are looking for ways to conceal a lav mic, here are some options. Sometimes you just need to get creative in hiding the lav mic from view:
If you have never considered the collar of the shirt your subject is wearing, it is time to do so now. It is a great place to hide the mic literally in plain view, especially with a dark shirt. You can tuck the mic in the talent’s collar while running the wire behind their back and tucking it away from plain view. Tape the wire on the back or use an extra wire-clip, and with the mic sitting nicely out of view in the collar, it is well positioned to record quality sound covertly.
If your subject is wearing a dark Polo shirt, hiding the lav mic becomes super easy. Polo shirts have two or three buttons that give you the perfect space to hide the mic. Simply insert the mic in the bottom button-hole from the back with only the tip of the mic protruding. Secure with the clip at the back or use a little tape and you are positioned well and ready to go.
Alternately you can position the mic in the bottom ‘V’ of the Polo T-Shirt. If you simply do-up one button then the mic clip is all that will be needed to secure the mic – no tape required.
Use a Stunt Shirt
This is simply a prop-shirt or a shirt you can give your talent to wear with a front pocket that positions the mic inside close to the top. The shirt itself has a small hole at the back of the pocket to lead the concealed wire down to the plug-in recording or transmitting device often worn at the back of or in the subjects pant pocket.
Even though using your subject’s chest may not be a good idea for every situation, you can still tape the mic on the body, with permission obviously. Actually, the chest area is a great place to hide the mic without going into much trouble. Simply tape the mic to the talent’s chest and secure the wire by taping it in place down to the recording or transmitting device normally secured on their belt. You can also use their singlet or undershirt to attach the mic inside the shirt which becomes a really good idea if your subject has chest hair. Give them peace of mind in not having to remove the tape from skin with possibly a lot of hair. This method by the way is the most commonly used method in movie sets!
Many shoots utilize clothing accessories with their talent and therein provides a great way to conceal the mic also. Many accessories like hats, kerchiefs, ties and scarves give you many great places to hide the mic. The darker the accessory, the easier it is likely to be to hide the mic.
So with a little creativity and improvisation you can now see that hiding the lav mic from view is neither difficult or time-consuming with a number of options available depending on the shoot you want to do and the attire worn by the talent and accessories or apparel available.