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How to Photograph People With Glasses


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Light becomes a completely new obstacle when reflective surfaces come into the picture. In addition to creating unflattering glares, reflected light distracts viewers from the true beauty of a portrait.

When it comes to children, this challenge becomes a particularly risky creative endeavor. Your images, no matter how brilliantly composed, will all have a single flaw: a bright glare sneakily hiding your subject’s eyes. Because of these issues, it’s not a surprise that many photographers are intimidated by bespectacled clients.

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We all yearn to make our clients happy and provide them with timeless memories. Thankfully, photographers of all kinds can do this flawlessly. Whether you’re dealing with reflective surfaces or limited light, you’re capable of defeating an innumerable amount of obstacles. Below are tips that will help you do just that.

Avoid Direct Contact With Light

Windows, studio lights, and phone screens all have one thing in common: they serve as valuable lighting tools in portrait photography. When it comes to eyeglasses, however, having your subject directly face these light sources won’t give you the best results. If the glasses don’t reflect harsh light, they’ll definitely reflect your lens.

An easy way to solve this problem is to experiment with various angles. Make sure your subject never faces a direct source of light. For instance, subtly moving away from a window will work wonders. Your subject will remain well-lit, and any unnecessary glares will be nonexistent.

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Change Positions

Your subject’s glasses don’t always have to be on their face. To keep your images interesting, have your client take their glasses off for a few moments. They could use it as an accessory on their head, hold it while sitting, or slightly change its position on their face. This will give you and your client more images to choose from. Instead of having simple portraits, you’ll have wider and closer shots.

Create Well-Lit Portraits With Backlight

Outdoor backlight is almost always ideal for portraits. It not only flatters a subject, but gives the photographer a chance to focus solely on their model’s face. When working with other types of light (e.g. artificial light), angles are highly important as they determine how visually appealing a portrait will look. Backlight, on the other hand, is usually even and smooth. These qualities make it the ideal type of lighting for bespectacled people.

Backlight can be used in 3 different ways:

  • To allow light into one part of your image (think of light leaks in film photography)
  • To create sun flares
  • To light up your subject from behind and highlight things like hair

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Break the Rules and Experiment With Creative Reflections

Though harsh light won’t give you flattering results, a subtle exposure to it will. Some reflections, like ones of landscapes and flowers, can complement a face and give you very creative results. Letting viewers know more about your subject’s surroundings with the help of their glasses will add more emotional depth to your photographs, too.

When taking photos of interesting reflections, make sure you’re not standing in front of your subject. Instead of blocking the view, take photos from different angles. This will help you a lot, especially if you’re not sure what to look for in a reflection. As you experiment, you’ll find the right elements to include in your composition.

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Extra tip:
If you’re a fan of nighttime photography, make the most of artificial lights. Christmas lights and neon signs can make your nighttime photographs really stand out.

Using these tips, you’ll be able to look at glasses as extensions of someone else’s life. They will cease to be obstacles that ruin your shots. Instead, they’ll become accessories worth using in your greatest portraits.

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