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Looking Good in a Tiny Square Zoom Backgrounds
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You at Work

Zoom Backgrounds: Looking Good in a Tiny Square!

By Bull Garlington

Zoom backgrounds are either your favorite thing about online meetings or your glitchy internet nightmare. Since many have discovered Zoom’s cool trick of adding a virtual background, we’ve all been in meetings with colleagues dialing in from aquariums, the ranch in “Tiger King” or the Vatican. But here’s the thing — not all meetings are low-key and pantsless. Sometimes you have to look professional, even on Zoom.

Studio Ghibli, a wildly fantastical collection of animators led by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki, just posted a collection of stills from their movies to use for free as a Zoom backgrounds library. While the stills are absolutely gorgeous and perfect, and can you tell I’m a fan, there are other options for finding the perfect Zoom background picture — also for free.

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Unsplash Zoom Backgrounds

Unsplash is one of my favorite sites for high-resolution free photographs. They do a fantastic job of promoting the work of amateurs and professionals from all over the world. Their files are a cinch to download, and their tagging work is top-shelf. I’ve been pausing my TV for the last three weeks to investigate the bookshelves behind celebrity guests on late-night talk shows. Now I can have my own top-shelf library at my back.

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Photo by Iñaki del Olmo on Unsplash

If you’re looking for something more office-like or modern, Unsplash is loaded with perfect shots, like this one, by Samantha Gades, which has been viewed more than 13 million times.

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Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

Flickr Commons’ Library of Congress Collection

Sometimes you want that old-school dignity only a picture of a 700-pound desk from the 18th century can properly impart. The Library of Congress’ collection of public domain photos has your back. Like wacky circus shots of a drunk carny from the 1930s? Want a picture of the actual Rosie the Riveter? There are no copyright restrictions because these photos belong to the American people to abuse as quirky Zoom backgrounds, as is their birthright.

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A Free Background to Make Your Zoom Colleagues Jealous

I can’t use my home office as my background for legal reasons (because my wife is an attorney and she uses the back of my office to store empty boxes, old mops and broken lamps). Also, my dog won’t stop hogging the camera. So when I Zoom, I just pop down to my swanky downtown apartment/office (pictured below) and work from my luxury couch, which is a total lie. I’m at my desk right now, sitting on an old Amazon box filled with catalogs. But nobody knows it because I use one of the free backgrounds from West Elm and I look like I’m a millionaire.

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No, seriously, I live here.

Zoom Backgrounds From Famous Shows

Modsy is an interior design app offering free downloads of living spaces from famous TV shows. You can look like you’re working from Seinfeld’s apartment, Monica’s place in “Friends,” or the “Three’s Company” kitchen picture below, which is a total lie because that’s actually the kitchen from “The Golden Girls.”

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What’s your favorite Zoom background? Let us know @AttnyatWork or post to our Facebook page.

You might also like Marsha Hunter’s “Seven ‘Public Speaking’ Tips for Videoconferencing” while #WFH #SIP.

Featured Illustration ©iStockPhoto.com

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Bull Garlington Bull Garlington

Analog Attorney columnist Bull Garlington is an award-winning author, columnist and public speaker. He is the author of the books “The Full English,” “Death by Children” and “The Beat Cop’s Guide.” He prefers South American literature, classic jazz, Partagas 1945s, a decent Laphroaig, and makes a mean chicken and andouille gumbo. His company, Creative Writer PRO, offers top-shelf content for small and medium-size businesses. Follow him @bull_garlington.

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