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People with glasses

Created date

October 14th, 2014
woman wearing glasses
woman wearing glasses

Photographing people wearing glasses can be challenging when shooting with flash. It’s hard to avoid the light from reflecting back into the camera lens.

Eyeglasses are usually part of the “look” and personality of an individual, so you should not ask the person you are photographing to remove them. There is something you can do to improve, if not eliminate, the problem, if you understand what’s causing the flash reflection.

Light travels in a straight line. It also reflects in a straight line. The angle at which light will hit someone’s glasses is equal to the angle of the reflection. With most cameras, the flash is located so close to the camera lens that the light will reflect directly back from the subject’s eyeglasses to the lens.

Small adjustments

To eliminate the reflection, ask the subject to tilt her head down slightly. It doesn’t take more than a couple of degrees to change the angle of the reflection and direct it away from the lens.

The same solution will be achieved if the subject turns her head slightly to the side; not too far, though. It’s important to keep both eyes in contact with the camera lens. Also, be careful that the eyeglass frame does not conceal either eye. You may get spectral highlights on the frames, but that’s a minor detraction. The reflection will also miss the lens if you move your camera slightly to the side; just be sure to have your subject follow the camera with her eyes, not her head.

Of course, you can avoid the issue entirely by having your subject look down or off to the side. While effective, these poses are intended to suggest a different mood and are not the standard pose most people want.