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Reducing Glare When Photographing People Who Wear Glasses

how to photograph people with glasses
Photo by: Madabandon

Have you ever tried taking photographing someone wearing glasses? If you have, chances are you might have met with the problem of reflections on eye glasses. Light sources get reflected on eye glasses and strong reflections will interfere with or cover the subject’s eyes, making the photograph look uninteresting. As professional photographers you need to pay attention to such details and take measures to reduce them.

Photographers deal with this common problem in different ways. Some of the methods used are:

1. Just Take Them OFF

This is the simplest method but not recommended for professional photographers. Photographing the subjects with their glasses on could be important for their self esteem. 

2. Have the subject look away from the camera.

tips for photographing people with eyeglasses
Photo by: Ben Klemm

If your subject is not looking directly at the camera, chances are you will have fewer glares or it just becomes less important.

3. Tilting or Angling the Subject’s Head

portrait photography tips
Photo by: Elliott

Reflections could be reduced by tilting or angling the subjects head down. But make sure the eyes don’t appear cut off by glasses.

4. Angle the glasses

how to reduce glare in eyeglasses
Photo by: Phil Hilfiker

Rather than tilting the subjects head angle the glasses. Instead of resting the back of the glasses on the ears, lift them above tilting the glass downwards. If you tilt it more this will look awkward.

5. Shade your subject’s Eyes

portraiture tips for avoiding glare in eye glasses
Photo by: Neil Moralee

Make your subject wear a hat or anything similar to either partially or completely block light causing reflections.

6. Remove the lenses from the frame

 Remove the lenses from the frame, though it makes matters super easy for the photographer, it is not the right approach and at times the picture will look unnatural.

All the methods described above do work; one method might be suitable for a particular situation and another one for a different scenario. However, if you know the underlying science behind these reflections, avoiding them is easier than you’d think.

reducing reflections on eye glasses when photographing people
Photo by: Studio SSAMO

You know that law of physics states that light bounces off at the same angle that it strikes the subject. So simply move the light source up, down or to the side so that light bouncing off the glasses are not reflected in the direction of the camera. The modeling lights on studio strobes make this a very easy task. But you need to make sure the reflections are gone from the point of view of the camera and not from where you are standing. So having an assistant who could move the lights as you tell them will make life much easier when photographing people who wear eye glasses. Position your subject and your lights, stand directly behind your camera and simply ask your assistant to move the lights till you see that the reflections are gone from the glasses.
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