How To Photograph People In Glasses

One of the fastest ways to frustrate your subject is to ask them to remove their glasses for a photo.

Seriously? I know. I’ve been wearing glasses since I was three years old. Well, except for those two years in college when I decided to just go without because, you know, squinting is such a good look!

I understand why people fear the frames, but there are some simple solutions.

Find Good Light

Good light produces good results. You’ve heard me say it before. Find even, non-dappled, non direct light and the reflections will disappear. If you can’t see the reflection through your camera’s lens, it won’t be on your subject’s lenses. Sometimes this means walking around your subject to find the right angle.

Tilt A Bit

Don’t underestimate the power of a tilt. Have your subject either tilt their head slightly down or turn their head to the side. Once they’ve turned their head to the side, have them turn their eyes to you. Okay, not easy with kids, so you may want to find that good light I mentioned.

You can also have your subject tilt their frames down just a bit by raising their frames a bit off their ears. This is not noticeable to the viewer but can feel a little funky to the wearer.

Diffuse Your Flash (if you must use it)

Diffuse your flash or bounce it off of something if you’ve got to use it at all.

Want to sound smart around your friends or your husband (as you convince him you NEED that new piece of gear) here is a concept you will want to remember.

The angle of incidence equals the angle of reflectance.

In English? It means the angle your light source hits the glass will be the same as the angle the light bounces back. So if I’m using a flash on my point and shoot camera photographing someone looking right into the lens, I can guarantee I will have lens glare.

Avoid the glare by either changing the angle of my light source or the angle of the glasses. This is where our quick, trick of angling frames down just a bit works. The tilt changes how the light hits the glass, eliminating the reflection. Do you feel smarter now?
I hope so.

Live With It

When you look at me in glasses, you will see glare sometimes. Sometimes the frame cuts through my eyeball. But that is the way you see me. That is the beauty of everyday photography. And I’ll live with a little glare if I have to! Consider it a little extra catchlight!

Avoid This!

If you google “photographing people with glasses” you may find the brilliant advice to remove the lenses from the frames. (Note the sarcasm in my previous sentence.) Please don’t use this option. Yes, many professional photographers use this trick, but as someone whose Senior photos were taken this way, they just look goofy. If I was brave enough I’d post my photo, but alas, I am not!